Finalists 2017

UK Finalists (6)

The Blue Tap Chlorine Injector (University of Cambridge, UK)
With an estimated 1.8 billion people still drinking from contaminated sources, access to clean drinking water is one of today’s most pressing global issues. The Blue Tap chlorine injector uses the simple principle that as water passes through a pipe of reduced diameter, its velocity increases which, in turn, creates a pressure drop. This drop in pressure creates a vacuum whereby chlorine is automatically injected into the water supply. Having already created a prototype of the design for just $16, the Blue Tap team are developing this technology through 3D printing to ensure safer drinking water for the millions of people around the world that desperately need it.


ThinAir (Imperial College London, UK)
Water is becoming more and more scarce, particularly in regions such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Unfortunately, this has the greatest impact on the poorest individuals on the planet, in undeveloped countries and in refugee camps. One of the main existing solutions is commercial desalination, however this often proves prohibitively expensive and inefficient. Furthermore, current water purification procedures in the Western World are ineffective at removing hormones and fertilisers from drinking water, which are becoming increasingly associated with the onset of neurological diseases. Thus, providing a renewable source of clean drinking water is one of the main global challenges facing humanity. We have designed a biomembrane that uses recombinantly synthesised ice nucleating proteins to condense water onto a topology optimised surface, essentially allowing us to obtain ‘Water from ThinAir’. Computational models indicate that our design will provide a highly efficient and energy free solution, capable of providing huge benefit to humanity. We have the support and funding from top Imperial College Professors who back our innovation.


Captum (University College London, UK)
Captum is a London-based business start-up that is developing a technology to (i) capture the gaseous CO2 at large scale and in-situ at industrial plants, and (ii) convert the captured gas into a valuable solid-state carbon product that could be sold as a raw material to various manufacturing industries. In doing so, we can reduce CO2 emission on a significantly higher scale than is currently possible, and with no cost to the emitting industries. We can do this because of the resale value of the solid carbon output, generating significant profit.


GreenWood (London Business School, UK)
GreenWood has developed a low-cost process that makes use of any type of woody material, including metal contaminated waste wood, to produce bio-ethanol and other bio-based products and materials at a competitive price, helping to meet GHG and waste reduction targets.

The business model consists of selling licenses to use our patented technology, enabling the licensee to use our BioFlex solvent process for the conversion of waste wood into usable products, mainly cellulose and lignin. We intend to sell to large chemical processing companies, producers of bio-plastics and other technology providers of related industries.

Nirvana (Northwestern University, USA)
Nirvana provides revolutionary technology to significantly save procurement costs for tire manufacturers and to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. It can be done using Lingqiao and the team’s patented technology to manufacture and recycle tires. Given raw materials, including natural and synthetic rubber, make up about 10% of the cost of an entire tire on average, the technology can significantly reduce raw material costs, allowing tire companies to sustain competitive growth in this industry.


Safi Sarvi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Nairobi, Bentley University, USA and Kenya)
Kevin and his team use technology to downsize the scale and capital cost of fertilizer production, enabling the process to be profitably deployed in rural villages using local resources, labour, and agricultural waste. This cuts down the long-distance logistical mark-up associated with traditional fertilizers, and therefore the team’s operating cost, providing the sufficient price margin to make their fertilizer high-performance to reverse soil degradation and improve soil nutrient and moisture retention. The team’s product, Safi Sarvi, improves rural farmers’ yields by up to 30%.


UK Finalists will be competing with four finalists from our European affiliates.

Recim’ycle (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) CTC Belgium Winner
A wastewater recycling and valuation technology through salts membrane crystallisation combined with an industrial symbiosis service. Salts have a drastic effect on soils and on groundwater leading to serious environmental issues. The team’s technique has been in laboratory research for two years at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. The team has developed what they call a ‘revolutionary’ recycling process, given in is substantially less energy hungry and requires less volume than other existing methods.


Trashtag: Datacenters Storage Clean-up (MIP Politecnico di Milano, Italy) CTC Italy Winner
Trashtag provides customers a comprehensive solution that identifies duplicated and unused data stored in multiple digital archives. Leveraging artificial intelligence algorithms and deep learning functionalities, the platform suggests users the most effective storage solution, driving real savings and contributing to the reduction of increasing worldwide datacenters energy consumption and related carbon footprint.


Solar Åter: Solar-Powered Plastic Waste Recycling (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) CTC Sweden Winner
This project aims to tackle plastic waste in developing municipalities that lack recycling services and have limited energy availability and thus would benefit from sustainable energy-powered plastic waste recycling. Plastic waste will be recycled without electricity but rather solar thermal energy via a portable sized parabolic trough thermal collector to melt the waste.


PHB=D (Rotterdam School of Management, TU Delft, The Netherlands) CTC The Netherlands Winner
PHB=D believes in the possibilities of bio-plastics. Together with engineers at TU Delft the team has developed an innovative process of making PHB, allowing to cut costs and create a bio-plastic which is truly biodegradable.