Business Extra: News in Brief


Energy boost


Cella Energy has been named the 2011 winner of the Shell Springboard Awards, which support small businesses with ideas for combating climate change.

The company’s invention uses nanotechnology to store hydrogen safely and cheaply in tiny micro-beads (smaller than a grain of sand), which release the gas when heated to produce energy that can fuel cars, ships or planes. The micro-beads can be safely transported and are compatible with standard combustion engines and can either be used as an additive to conventional fuels, reducing carbon emissions, or on its own to make hydrogen-gas-creating, zero-carbon vehicles. The company said the £40,000 prize would enable it to scale its technology to an industrial level. Vphase was runner up for its product that lowers and regulates household voltage, immediately cutting energy costs without the need for customers to change supplier or lifestyle.

Beating the Blues

The London company responsible for Beating the Blues, a mental health treatment for mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety based on computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, has agreed a joint venture with US healthcare company UPMC. Ultrasis developed the treatment in conjunction with the Institute of Psychiatry in London, which was approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for NHS use in 2006. However, uncertainty about changes in the health service have led to a drop in revenues in the past year and it is hoped that the US venture will give the AIM-listed company fresh impetus.

Encouraging youth

Up to 40,000 UK schoolchildren will get £10 each to help start a business under an initiative backed by Enterprise UK and entrepreneur Peter Jones. The “Tenner Tycoon” campaign – named after Jones’s book, Tycoon – aims to promote enterprise education in schools by helping pupils “make money, make a difference and give back”. In what is said to be the UK’s largest ever enterprise competition, pupils up to the age of 19 will have access to £10 each from the Tenner Bank and will have until the end of March to make a profit and a difference in their communities. The initiative coincides with youth unemployment passing the 20 per cent mark.

One jump ahead

High-performing companies recognise that continual shake-up at the top and early injection of new leadership blood are keys to success, according to the book, Jumping the S-Curve by Paul Nunes, executive research fellow at Accenture’s Institute for High Performance Business. Nunes identifies that orderly and well orchestrated transitions in the upper echelons of the business, especially between CEOs, are imperative; that structured planning can ensure the selection of the right CEO for the challenges being faced, not simply the next person in line; and that by changing CEOs early, the company gives its new leadership time to produce the required reinvention, well before deteriorating revenues and dwindling options become a crisis. Nunes adds that to survive the current economic climate, companies need to reinvent themselves “before the cracks begin to show”, digging deeper than the financial curve, to track competition, renew capabilities and build a surplus of talent.

Getting later

UK businesses of all sizes have been hit by a significant increase in late payments for goods or services. The Late Payment Index from Experian, the global information services company, shows that while the average payment performance for 2010 as a whole saw a small improvement from 22.81 days in 2009 to 22.58 days, payment performance deteriorated during the final quarter, with firms paying their bills 25.70 days late – the highest recorded average since 2007. Businesses with 500 or more employees still take the longest time to pay, but the biggest decline occurred within the small-to-medium-sized enterprise sector. In particular, firms with 100 employees or fewer paid their bills an average of 22.24 days late in the fourth quarter of 2010, three-and-a-half days slower than the equivalent period in 2009.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering