By Daniel Hunter

Ground-breaking fashion designer, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Dragon's Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden are to join the Mayor, Boris Johnson’s hunt for tomorrow’s green entrepreneurs as judges for his 2013 Low Carbon Prize.

With a share of £20,000 up for grabs, and the chance to be shortlisted for a paid internship with sponsors Siemens, the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize challenges students from across London to come up with the most innovative ideas to reduce carbon emissions in the capital.

Finalists will have the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges with the winners claiming not only the title but the opportunity to turn their designs into a commercial reality with cash and practical support.

London is already at the centre of innovation for green technologies with the capital’s low carbon and environmental goods and services sector worth an estimated £27 billion. Supporting innovation in this field will not only help reduce carbon emissions from buildings, transport and energy infrastructure but will also deliver jobs and economic growth.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The green economy is booming in London and I want young Londoners to harness their ingenuity and seize their chance to get involved. Help us find the next big idea, not only to slash our carbon emissions but to provide an exciting boost to London's green economy.”

Also on this year’s judging panel will be the director of the Science Museum, Ian Blatchford, as well as world-leading architect Sir Terry Farrell and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith MP, both of whom helped judge last year's prize.

Dame Vivienne Westwood said: “If we want a sound economy we have to have a sound environment. What’s good for the planet is good for the economy. The Low Carbon prize gives young people the chance to engage with this challenge.”

Leading entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor, Deborah Meaden, is also backing the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize. She said: “I am delighted to support initiatives like this that help both people and the environment. The potential of London’s green economy is huge, and it is vital that we seek solutions that reduce London’s wider impact whilst providing jobs for local people. The Low Carbon Prize is open to all sorts of ideas to reduce carbon emissions and exactly what is needed to identify tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said: “Here at the Science Museum we celebrate innovation and the big ideas that help improve and shape our world. As an organisation we are dedicated to supporting climate science and sustainability, and I look forward to seeing how this competition can uncover inspiring new ideas to help reduce London’s carbon footprint.”

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