One of our PhD students - Anna Vilajeliu - and one of our scientific collaborators - Dr Daniele Molognoni from University of Pavia (Italy) - are the leading members of “Smart Water”, one of the 16 finalist teams that have participated in the final of the Decarbonathon competition being held in Paris on 14-15th January.
Launched on the occasion of COP21, the Decarbonathon is an international competition open to all where talented thinkers from around the world can offer innovative solutions to limit global warming by reducing CO2 emissions in cities. The initiative is being co-launched by ENGIE, a world leader in energy headquarted in Paris, NPL, the British National Physics Laboratory, Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, and INPI, the French patent office, and their international network, and is backed by the Young Global Leaders and Shapers Communities of the World Economic Forum. More than 30.000€ prizes are up for grabs in this challenge: electric bikes, eco-friendly trips, Apple Watches… and even the possibility of entering a “Start-up acceleration program” that covers R&D, patent costs and technological assessment to deploy the solution.
The 16 finalist teams were selected from 245 candidates. After a 3 weeks online mentoring stage, they were invited to Paris on 14 and 15 January to prototype their solution in the form of a 48-hour physical hackathon. At the end of the hackathon, the teams had to submit online a final file containing an exhaustive presentation of their project and explain it in the form of a 10 minute pitch followed by 5 minutes of questions. The final Jury is responsible for ranking the four (4) winning teams on the basis of this presentation. A fifth Team will be selected via a public vote through the Decarbonathon website. This fifth Team shall be the Team whose deliverable has received the most “likes”, and shall also receive a prize.
Anna Vilajeliu and Daniele Molognoni’s project “Smart Water” aims to shorten the chain of drinking water production and distribution to individual end-users, by recovering and treating household side-water-streams that have not been in contact with pollutants sources (e.g. condensed water vapour from air conditioners, rainwater, cooking water, etc.). This could limit the (often expensive) use of bottled water, and reduce the water and carbon footprints of cities and (in general) human settlements.
Link to the Smart Water presentation: http://decarbonathon.agorize.com/en/juries/41/votables?votable_id=276