Mark Simmers |

Mark Simmers is CEO of Celtic Renewables, a start-up business in the renewable energy sector. Celtic Renewables' innovative technology converts low value organic wastes and residues into high value chemicals and other products, providing industries with a complete residue disposal solution by producing high value commodities from sustainable and low value inputs. Celtic Renewables Ltd was established in 2011, as a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University, and the initial focus of the company's patented and innovative fermentation process is the by-products of malt whisky production (draff and pot ale) which can be converted into high value products: Biobutanol (a direct replacement for petrol); Acetone; Bioethanol; and high-protein animal feed. The company has plans to build the first large scale bio-refinery in Scotland in 2014/15, which will herald the development of a sustainable biobutanol industry in Scotland. The potential market in Scotland alone is worth over £100m, and the technology has global potential. Celtic Renewables had an incredibly successful and award winning first year of operations in 2012, winning The Shell Springboard Award and the Best Innovation Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards. Widely regarded as one of the most innovative new renewables companies in Scotland Celtic Renewables has, in a relatively short existence, generated an exceptional global profile and awareness for sustainable biofuel innovation in Scotland.

Mark is a natural leader and an entrepreneur with global experience in commercialisation, sales, and project management. In July 2011, Mark graduated as a Saltire Fellow, having completed the 12 month Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme. This involved a fast-track entrepreneurial MBA course at Babson College in Boston, an internship with Shaw Pipeline Services in Houston, Texas, and finally a start-up project with Edinburgh Napier University, which led to the creation of Celtic Renewables.

Prior to the Saltire Foundation, Mark spent 20 years in the Sports Marketing sector. Mark started his career with IMG, managing and commercialising the international golf event properties of IMG, which were staged in Europe, the Asia Pacific region, the US, and Africa. Mark then worked for J. A. Tonge a niche event service company, where he helped to build and grow the Loch Lomond World Invitational tournament from its inception, as well as generating significant business growth for the company. In 2001, Mark founded his own Events and Promotions business in Glasgow, and operated that successfully for 6 years building up an impressive list of clients and event projects. Finally in 2007 Mark took on the role of Chief Executive of the British Ski and Snowboard Federation with responsibility for managing the elite end of the two sports in the UK.

Mark is married with three children and lives close to Loch Lomond. Mark enjoys playing or watching most sports, but particularly skiing, golf, rugby and cycling.