Two major problems in the world today (unless you are Donald Trump!) are global warming and COVID-19. Bizarrely, science is looking to the same device, facemasks, to help us combat both.
Until this year, most Westerners saw facemasks as a ‘curious cultural oddity’ that Far Eastern populations wore. Whilst we now look to ‘facemask-up’ to protect ourselves, in Far Eastern cultures masks are predominately worn to protect others and deal with pollution. Whatever the reason, facemasks are now going to be part of our day-to-day attire.
Cows, whether they like it or not, might be about to join us humans across the globe wearing facemasks. Zelp Ltd, short for Zero Emissions Livestock Project, is a UK based start-up that is using the same basic tool, a facemask, on cows to reduce methane emissions to reduce global warming.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has stated that agriculture is responsible for 18% of the total release of greenhouse gases world-wide, with cattle being a major contributor.
Zelp’s mask incorporates, solar fans, methane filters and tech to carry out more than one task. The main goal is to reduce methane emissions, of which 95% released by cows is by burbs exhaled through their noses. The units also allow GPS tracking, health monitoring and improve the cow’s efficiency in terms of food eaten vs methane produced.
Zelp, although the product sounds rather bizarre, is a great example of the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit happening in the UK now, despite the current social and economic pressures. The company is run by two brothers, sons of Argentinian cattle ranchers, who saw the UK as the perfect place to develop their businesses.
We don’t know whether Zelp has received HMRC R&D tax credits, but they have certainly taken advantage of innovation grants through the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and development innovation programme. The UK remains a great environment to base innovative companies, with the Government supporting innovation through R&D tax credits and a variety of Government grant and subsidy schemes.
ArchOver strives to assist innovative companies by providing Advances against expected R&D tax cash credits and against both UK Government and international grant programmes. Our Advances can help businesses like Zelp reach their goals faster by providing the cash to fund research and development now, rather than having to wait to reclaim funding through tax credits and grants after the spend has already been made.
It’s also another great way for Investors to help the UK flourish with attractive returns on short term loans.