A submission for a wave energy conversion device has won two young men who grew up at Greenhills a prestigious national award.

Glen and Shawn Ryan's company Bombora Wave Power Pty Ltd received one of five $100,000 GE Ecomagination Challenge ANZ awards for 2013 at a presentation in Sydney last month.

Their submission was for their Wave Energy Conversion Device (WECD), which takes advantage of Australia’s significant wave action by converting ocean swell into cost effective, zero emissions, green electricity.

Each Bombora device has potential to supply electricity for up to 500 homes, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 3300 tonnes annually. This is equivalent to taking 825 cars off the road.

The award is acknowledgement of Bombora's innovative and entrepreneurial idea. It also provides the company with the opportunity to develop its submission further with potential to access funding under the Challenge's $10million capital pledge which is made available by GE and its partners to invest in promising start-ups and ideas.

The GE Australia and New Zealand Low Carbon Ecomagination Challenge is to encourage businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students with new ideas to help reduce our carbon footprint. The challenge attracted 191 entries from Australia and New Zealand and was a showcase of the region’s clean technology and carbon reduction innovations.

Glen Ryan said, "We are thrilled to have received the award. It is a great honour to have our technology selected as a winner given the strength of the ideas submitted to the challenge. "It is gratifying that the evaluation committee recognised the potential and purpose of our technology. "We can see the economic potential of the technology and its capacity (1.5MW), near shore location, performance and durability, he said.

“The announcement couldn’t come at a better time. “We have been funding the project  ourselves. "This award allows us to accelerate our development schedule to complete the next phase. "We have to raise our first round of external capital and the GE Ecomagination Challenge has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our technology and provided us with invaluable experience, external validation and exposure as well as financial support to move forward,”  Mr Ryan said.

Glen and Shawn are sons of Greenhills farmers John and Jenet Ryan and went to school in York.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE:   Engineers developing the wave energy conversion device, Shawn (left) and Glen Ryan receiving their GE Ecomagination Challenge ANZ award from GE's global    CEO, Jeff Immelt, in Sydney last month.