Arthur Kay creates coffee-powered bio-fuel. Through his company bio-bean the award-winning designer and entrepreneur has industrialised the process of turning waste coffee grounds into advanced bio-fuels.
He came up with the idea for bio-bean whilst studying architecture at The Bartlett, UCL and in less than two years raised several million in financing, built the world’s first coffee waste recycling factory and a team of twenty specialists.
Arthur is one of thirteen WIRED2015 Innovation Fellows who will be speaking on the Main Stage at our flagship event, WIRED2015 on October 15-16. He will take part in the session, “Startups with impact” alongside startup seeker Alisée de Tonnac and algae cultivator Fredrika Gullfot.
Bringing the WIRED world to life, WIRED2015 showcases the innovators changing the world and promoting disruptive thinking and radical ideas. There will be around 45 speakers over the two-day event, presenting stories about their work in science, design, business and many other fields.
What are you planning to speak about at WIRED2015?
About turning the challenges of urbanisation into opportunities, about foodtech, transition energy demands and getting London #poweredbycoffee. My company, bio-bean, links food, waste and energy to create a closed-loop, circular economy. Disrupting existing systems means a change in the way we understand cities. This is the best way to design tomorrow, today.
What would you like to achieve by speaking at WIRED2015?
I’d like to inspire people to build sustainable urban design into their lives and careers.
Who are you looking forward to hearing and/or meeting at WIRED2015?
You’re the recipient of a WIRED2015 Innovation Fellowship for your work on industrialising the process of turning waste coffee grounds into advanced bio-fuels.What does being named a WIRED2015 Innovation Fellow mean to you?
I approached this challenge with a spirit of curiosity, creativity and innovation. bio-bean is a blend of art and science, so recognition from WIRED is an incredible honour that really reflects the hard work of so many people.
Where do you see the bio-fuels sector in five years’ time?
bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process, so I’d expect our sector to be more competitive. I see local, sustainable green energy (despite policy setbacks) to become part of the fabric of our society, normal rather than pioneering.
What do you see as the next big developments in bio-fuels?
Advanced bio-fuels are the future. First-generation bio-fuels, in a world of food scarcity, are a redundant concept. The next generation of bio-fuels will come from all sorts of surprising quarters.
What’s next for bio-bean?
bio-bean continues to scale domestically. We are on course to hit our production capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year. The near future will see us diversify our product range and expand internationally.
What’s next for Arthur Kay?
Growth of my company is the priority for me now. I am also exploring setting up a think tank about the age of urbanisation and the resonance of sustainable urban design in our near future.
WIRED2015 takes place on October 15-16 at Tobacco Dock in London, E1W. Last year’s event sold out, so secure your place now. WIRED subscribers save 10 per cent on tickets. We also have a limited number of half-price tickets available for startups and registered charities. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.wiredevent.co.uk/wired-2015.