June 19, 2007

Marubeni Sponsors Europe’s Only Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Business Accelerator Company

Marubeni Europe plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation, Japan, has entered into a sponsorship contract with LIFE, the Sheffield-based business accelerator which develops low carbon and renewable energy technology companies in order to realise their market potential.

This sponsorship will enable Marubeni to join LIFE’s Technology Advisory Board and be involved with LIFE’s accelerator programme for emerging companies. LIFE offers technical and commercial support as well as access to funding to help companies develop new technologies from the invention stage through to commercial production.

LIFE has an impressive track record of enabling these companies to grow, including Voller Energy and ITM Power’s AIM flotations and one Toronto stock exchange float.

Marubeni Europe plc is the second company to become a Foundation Partner of LIFE, joining E.ON UK, which signed a sponsorship contract in 2006.

Graeme Francis of Marubeni’s London office said: “This sponsorship supports LIFE’s aim to expand its centre of excellence in the field of new renewable energy and low carbon-related technologies.

“It also gives Marubeni early access to a portfolio of exciting technology companies whose products have applications in industries worldwide.”

LIFE chief executive Philip Johnson said: “By welcoming Marubeni onboard, LIFE is forming a strong partnership with one of the world’s most successful trading companies.

“A sponsorship of this nature demonstrates the scope for cooperation with Marubeni, who both support what we are already achieving, and see great potential from a future relationship that will bring many new products to market.

“We provide a proven system to guide fledgling concerns towards producing marketable projects and business plans. The companies with which we are already working intend to develop fuel cells, utilise wind, wave and solar power, and exploit a whole range of energy sources for the future.”

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