A superlight ‘tower of power’ that can be installed on street corners could revolutionise the way cities are built across the globe, its backers claim.
Made from graphene and bristling with features - from wireless internet and electricity points, to electronic billboards and street level air conditioning - the standalone structures could be dropped anywhere thanks to battery power.
Developers say they will make it simple to connect up new buildings, or even refugee camps.
They could also be used in Sheffield to replace ageing power and internet cabling.
The ‘tower of power’ concept is one of two being backed by the Big Investment Project in Sheffield.
Launched last year by the region’s four Chambers, it aims to connect investors in London with local projects.
Jillian Thomas, BiP leader and Chamber vice-president, said the tower plan could create manufacturing jobs in a factory on the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District centre on Sheffeld Business Park.
She added: “It could change the way cities are built and powered in emerging economies.
“I think it’s an absolute corker - so good I would invest my own money in it.
“The team behind it has been working with a telecoms expert to develop the idea and non-disclosure agreements are being signed before we approach utilities and power companies.
“I have already pitched the idea in London and have one definite institution and two possibles who would like to look at this, with a view to investing £750,000.”
The second project with BiP backing is a new automotive IT system.
It also has the potential to “go global” she added.
A prototype is being finalised ahead of pitching to investors in the new year.
Jillina added: “I’m disappointed it has taken so long to get to this point, but we’ve realised the importance of giving maximum support to entrepreneurs through nurturing and mentoring to get projects going.”
The 10-strong BiP team welcomes new ideas. Contact Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.