Name: Edward Craig (Ed).

Age: 51.

What is your business called?


Where is it based?


What does it produce, what services does it offer?

It creates and produces CreChar, a charcoal-like substance or Biochar which has a wide range of applications in agriculture and energy. For example, it can be used to increase the efficiency of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants, which produce bio-gas from waste.

Crechar is produced from hard to recycle organic waste such as coffee cups and waste by-products of high-quality paper/cardboard production destined for incineration or landfill.

We also advise Anaerobic Digestion plants on enhancing biological and energetical efficiencies.

To whom does it sell?

Our beach-head market is the Anaerobic Digestion industry in the UK. There are over 700 AD plants processing agricultural, food and sewage ‘waste’. We work with organisations that are primarily rural based.

Crechar acts as an adsorbent and that enhances the stability and efficiency of biogas production within the Anaerobic Digestion process.

What is its turnover?

Technically we are pre-revenue with a range of grants, loans and investment but we do have a growing consultancy business. Our turnover in 2021 will be around £150,000 and is expected to increase significantly in 2022 and as we start producing at scale in 2023 our turnover will be in the low millions.

How many employees?


When was it formed?

Carbogenics was spun out from the University of Edinburgh in 2016.

Why did you take the plunge?

I Joined Carbogenics late Summer 2021 but had worked with and supported it for many years in other roles. I saw Carbogenics as a great opportunity to make an immediate impact on the climate crisis. Our additive enhances the creation of bio-gas for an existing industry displacing fossil-fuel derived gas.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I was Executive Dean of the Business School and Centre of Business Innovation at Staffordshire University and before that Founder and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation at the University of Edinburgh.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

Even before me joining Carbogenics the company attracted start-up funding. Presenting to investors a clear message based on world class research and identifying a clear market need allowed us to access grant and loan funding as well as secure a range of organisational and individual investors.

Carbogenics is uniquely placed to provide real economic, social and environmental wins through the application of CreChar to its customers and surrounding communities and has a clear pathway to growth

What was your biggest break?

In 2019 Carbogenics completed a £500,000 funding round led by Techstart Ventures and supported by Old College Capital which transformed it into a commercial entity with a growth pathway to secure our supply chain and trial our CreChar product at industrial scale within the AD industry.

What was your worst moment?

Lockdown was tough for the team but an episode that involved days of hand-milling and bagging tonnes of CreChar (after mechanical issues) in winter on an exposed AD site in Stirlingshire has become a story of legend! The char was essential for use within an industrial trial to demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of CreChar on Anaerobic Digestion. We battled through and the trial proved a triumph- something we are now building the company on...

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

The sense of controlling your own destiny, agreeing a strategy, deploying actions and making a real difference.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

To create Scotland's first CreChar production facility in the third quarter of 2022, to grow the company to supply 20%+ of the UK Anaerobic digestion market and to take it into the much larger German and Chinese markets by 2025.

What is your biggest bugbear?


I was at COP26 in Glasgow and attended over 40 events and spoke/presented at six as lead observer for the Centre for Human Ecology.

I left with a mixture of outrage and optimism: Optimism about the determination of many innovators, NGOs and policy makers to get the job done and drive action despite the structural, political and vested interest barriers; Outrage that even in the face of overwhelming evidence, it seems to me that countries, companies and individuals will still act in their own short term financial interests. COP made an impression and progress but if you compare the response to that of the global Covid response - and the climate crisis is more serious - it allows us to view the results from a clearer perspective.

In the UK alone Bank of England figures show £150 billion in quantitative easing has been provided to and through banks since June 2020 to help the economy. The total financial ask from the global south at COP was $100 billion per year and has not been met. It’s simply not good enough or fast enough…

What was the most valuable lessons that you have learned?

Deliver what you promise. Build a good team and trust them. Be aspirational and communicate the vision clearly to the team, directors and partners.

How do you relax?

We have a new puppy, Monty who is loads of fun, and spending time with the family and cooking . I really enjoy North-African/Middle Eastern cuisine.