Climate-KIC, the EU’s public-private climate innovation initiative, produced London’s Climathon, which ended on Friday at noon. For 24 hours thirty five students, computer programmers, designers, engineers and others competed in teams to create smart apps, software and business models that could solve intractable and worsening climate challenges in London.
Three partner organizations, The Greater London Authority, The Liebreich Foundation and Energy Unlocked presented challenges facing the capital including harmful air quality, waste and peaking energy demands. The room then broke into groups to find economically viable solutions that could have a rapid positive impact.
Ebrahim Mohamed, Climate-KIC’s Director of Education said:
“Climate change poses a significant threat to Londoner’s way of life and it is important to stimulate the innovation and foresight needed to move the economy in a new direction”
Noted for commendation were PowerShift – a user reward system for turning off electronics at peak times; Susmarque – an idea to monitor and publish fleet emission data and WEEEcycle – an electronics circular economy app.
Two companies split The 5K Liebreich Foundation Air Quality Prize. Pollupa linked published air quality data with large online property search websites allowing users to rate their potential property purchases according to how polluted the area is. By affecting house prices this would immediately incentivise neighbourhoods to take local action on air pollution.
Airbike would gather air quality data from mobile sensors installed on frequently used bicycles and/or other vehicles, enabling a detailed, real-time picture of the city’s air quality to be available on people’s portable devices.
City residents could use this to make informed travel decisions and stay alert to dangerous air pollution events.
Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who was on the judging panel said:
“The two Liebreich Foundation award winners address two core opportunities: Airbike focuses on gathering and managing the massive amount of data we are about to see from mobile sensors; Pollupla focuses on making air quality data relevant for users. I congratulate both teams and look forward to working with them to develop their ideas into businesses whose success will benefit all Londoners.”
Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare from the winning team who works at AMEE said:
“The climathon was a fantastic well organised event with some great inspirational judges. The help at hand in the form of the mentors allowed us to great well rounded concepts and understand how they might work in the real world with scope to take forward and make some real impact.”
Prizes and business support were also offered from several of London’s leading cleantech start ups including Energy Unlocked, Tempus Energy, Open TRV and Carboncoin, and ongoing communications support will be available from International NGO The Climate Group and the UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Molly Webb, founder of Energy Unlocked said:
“It has been inspirational to see collaboration between government, businesses and academic institutions providing the opportunity for innovators to more rapidly match their skills to solving environmental challenges ”
All teams are now invited to join Climate-KIC’s business acceleration programme focused on cleantech commercialisation. Climate-KIC has a successful track record of training, mentoring and funding ventures that address climate change which has been called “the greatest market failure the world has seen”.
- Climathon Cities – In Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia takes part. In Asia, Beijing and New Delhi join the event. In North America, Washington D.C. and Boston join. South America is represented by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil. Oceania takes part from Wellington – the New Zealand capital and Perth, Australia. Europe is represented through Copenhagen, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Helsinki, London, Winterthur and Wałbrzych in Poland.
- About Climate-KIC – Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages national and regional centres across Europe to educate students and professionals, to support start-up companies and to bring together partners on innovation projects to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
- About the Climate-KIC Climathon – Visit www.climate-kic.org/climathon for an overview of partner organisations and the climate change challenges per city
- Climate-KIC UK Climathon Media Contacts – catherine.oriel @climate-kic.org / +44 (0)20 7 594 5855
- Climathon took place at The Hub Westminster
- Images available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/climatekic
- For more information about the event please contact: Matt Mellen -Director – Emergent Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org