A global green energy competition with a £400,000 prize will be launched in Scotland's capital today.
Sir Richard Branson is supporting the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable business ideas and inventions.
The winner will receive £400,000 to develop and create their product within two years and Sir Richard is calling on all entrepreneurs to enter the online competition.
"A great British idea could be the next thing to shake up the way we do business and help tackle climate change.
"We want as many UK entrepreneurs to enter as possible - the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about showcasing sustainable invention and ideas, sharing expertise and knowledge."
Dean Gregory won the competition in 2009 for his RidgeBlade MicroGeneration design, a rooftop turbine which harnesses wind power to produce renewable electricity for homes.
|Dean Gregory (left) with|
Stewart Stevenson MSP
at Royal Botanic Gardens,
"To have reached the finals and receive feedback and encouragement from a panel that included Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype, was fantastic.
"To go on to win the top prize has given us the freedom to spend time refining and developing the product and we are now at the stage where we are ready to bring the product to market."
Entrants can submit business plans online for products or services which are able to directly reduce CO2 emissions.
The Scottish Government is supporting the project, which is now in its sixth year, as it continues towards meeting its own green energy targets.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
"With a strong history of invention and innovation in our country, I'm sure we'll see more entries from Scotland in this year's challenge - and perhaps even a Scottish winner."
A panel of business leaders will select the finalists to present their ideas at an international conference in Amsterdam in September.
Entrepreneurs can download an application form at http://www.greenchallenge.info/.
Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said:
"Scotland has an amazing history of inventing things, and this is a great opportunity to showcase our creative talents to come up with new solutions to help tackle climate change.
"In the week that WWF published its health check on the planet, its biennial Living Planet Report, it is clear we need to act urgently to slow down our plundering of the earth's natural resources.
"We hope the Postcode Lottery's Green Challenge inspires people throughout Scotland to come up with the ideas that will contribute to saving our wonderful planet."