SRI2022 Idea Market Winners

Do we know what ideas will have the scalability or innovativeness to combat the most pressing issue of our time, climate change? We believe that every idea deserves to be explored and presented to the public to encourage action and spark collaboration.

Every year at Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress, young professionals, and innovators showcase their research, concepts, designs, prototypes, and products in an Idea Market competition. Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress (SRI) is a place to pitch, share and disseminate groundbreaking ideas. Participants are invited to submit ideas in three competing categories: video submissions, posters and carbon removal. This year SRI made a special call to invest its carbon offset funds, included in all 2022 Congress registrations. Thirty submissions came from researchers and innovators in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America. Projects deal with various topics, including education, policy initiatives and technological advancements in waste management and urban planning.

The winner in the video category is Eco Field Schools founded by Ashley Colby in Uruguay. Eco Field Schools is a research and curriculum development project that builds upon the momentum of the Fridays for Future movement to help young people envision a regenerative future. Colby will use the funding to improve Eco Field Schools curriculum and create promotional materials. Colby’s intention is to focus on community involvement. “With the awarded funds I will focus specifically on the issue of seeking community partners: how to identify appropriate partners, how to develop win-win partnerships that are valuable to the partners as well as the community, and how to structure the education that centers local ecological knowledge” Colby said after winning.

The winner in the poster category is the Pondarium project by Kenyan engineers Claudio Kimani and Samuel Otieno. 346.4 million people in Africa did not have access to affordable and nutritious food in 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Pondarium seeks to find a solution for this problem. It is a modern way of raising fish right at home using a specific aquarium technology. This way, many households will gain access to a reliable source of protein. With the awarded money, project developers will improve the prototype and launch the first testing.

Pondarium prototype

The winner of the carbon removal call is Vision 2050: using microalgae based technology for CDR by Wasim Sajjad from Pakistan. Growing algae biomass can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide at a low cost and with low energy consumption. For example, one kg of Frustulia algae can sequester the same amount of CO2 as 300,000 trees do per month. Watch the video presentation for more information about algae-based carbon removal technology. The awarded money will let Wasim accelerate his research.

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