The four Great Britain start-ups, ARBOREA, Bump Mark, Caventou and SteamaCo are among the 25 nominees who are in the running for a final place of the tenth edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016. This is the largest annual international competition in the field of sustainability innovation and is organised by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, a sister company of People's Postcode Lottery. On 15th August, it will be made known which five nominees will move on to the finale, which is to be held in Amsterdam in September and attended by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. The winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016 receives €500,000 to further develop their product or service and bring it to the market, with the runner-up receiving an outstanding €200,000.
The nominees from the UK are:
- Julian Melchiorri, ARBOREA: ARBOREA develops artificial leaves for building facades. The leaves contain algae that photosynthesise CO2 into clean energy and oxygen, all with the view to make a tower block carbon-neutral while freshening the air inside. The pioneering technology can even be applied to existing buildings.
- Solveiga Pakstaite, Bump Mark: Bump Mark creates bio-reactive food expiry labels. It's a consumer-friendly way to cut food waste and the accompanying greenhouse-gas emissions. If the label feels smooth, your food is fresh. If it's bumpy, toss it. This gelatine-based label is calibrated to decay at the same rate as a particular food with a plastic bump layer underneath that can be felt once the gel starts to break down.
- Peter Krige, Caventou: Caventou integrates solar technology naturally into everyday life. The solar cells in their smart "stained glass" windows and table use colour properties to generate electricity for devices and appliances. Embedded energy-harvesting and monitoring technology enhances their effectiveness. They also generate more power over their lifetime than they take to make.
- Harrison Leaf, SteamaCo: SteamaCo's software lowers barriers to providing renewable power for off-grid customers in Africa and Asia. The Steama Platform lets microgrid owners manage their systems over the robust GSM network, take payments by mobile phone, and contact customers by text. It could have a big impact in getting clean energy into hard-to-reach areas.
For the tenth year in a row, the Dutch Postcode Lottery seeks to support new products or services that reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases through the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. A preliminary jury of experts assessed the 292 sustainability business plan submissions sent in from 61 countries. The 25 nominees selected are from the Netherlands, the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, Israel, India and Rwanda.
Margriet Schreuders, Chair of the preliminary jury, said, "This year's longlist reflects the challenges the world is facing in the field of energy demand, food wastage and urbanisation.
"Reading through their business plans give us a glimpse of how they look at the world and it's especially inspiring to see how they think in terms of solutions rather than problems. These entrepreneurs are working on solutions for the world of tomorrow."
Since the competition launched, three startups from Great Britain have scooped the grand prize of €500,000. In 2009, Dean Gregory won with his rooftop turbine called, RidgeBlade, and Nick Christy won with his Recycling Shower in 2011. This patented shower system reduces water and energy use and cost by 70% without impairing enjoyment.
The most recent winner from Great Britain was Arthur Kay's company bio-bean. Bio-bean uses a patented process to upcycle waste coffee grounds into two advanced biofuel products: biodiesel and biomass pellets. These are used for powering buildings and transport systems.