Imperial College London

10 ideas to kick-start the green revolution


man crouching in crop field with ipad

Innovators test the water with their ideas to improve the environment.

Ten teams of innovators have been showing off their latest inventions at an event to help them develop green ideas into profitable, sustainable businesses.

The ideas from students and researchers, or alumni of Imperial College London include: energy-generating turbines that clean plastics from the ocean, technology to extract water out of thin air, a green solution for London's housing crisis, and a device to create your own boutique natural fragrances at home.

The event took place at Imperial, as part of the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme at the Grantham Institute â?? Climate Change and the Environment. The Institute is one Imperial's Global Institutes, which facilitates training, research, innovation, and information on pressing issues in the environment.

  • London skyline with homes built on a roof

    Skyroom London, propose building new homes on the 10 per cent of London's building that have flat rooftops that would be suitable to build on. [Image: Skyroom]

  • toilet signs on a wooden board

    WASE's technology would solve the scarcity of treated water, fertiliser and energy in rural Africa â?? by creating them out of processed human waste. [Image: Wouter de Witt / iStock]

  • text overlaid pictures of plants reads: yields, climate, disease, beauty

    Phytoform Labs are accelerating the speed that new climate and disease-resistant plant varieties can be bred for us to grow, eat and enjoy. [Image: Phytoform Labs]

  • Tractor ploughs a dry field

    P.E.S. Technologies heard the UN say that we can only farm for 60 more years unless we replenish the land and are developing sensors to help farmers improve the health of their soil. [Image: Dmytro Shestakov / iStock]

  • cars parked alongside pavement with green glowing circles

    Urban Electric Networks tackle the problem that 43% of people would have nowhere to charge an electric car, with a series of charging points hidden under London's pavements. [Image: Urban Electric Networks]

  • pictures of plants: vanilla, coffee, cocoa, hemp

    Nova Extraction technology would allow customers to create their own bespoke fragrances and flavours from any combination of herbs, spices or other plant material. [Image: Nova Extraction]

  • Boat pushes through plastic waste in water

    Remora Marine aim to turn the tide on plastic pollution with their energy-generating turbines that clean plastic from the ocean as they operate. [Image: Remora Marine]

  • Elizabeth Nyeko presents her idea to a room of people

    Modularity Grid's CEO Power Systems, Business Development & Finance, Elizabeth Nyeko, proposes to aligns utility companies, electricity grid operators, consumers and solar power vendors on a single platform, to improve the reliability and bring down the cost of energy. [Image: Jody Kingzett / Imperial College London]

  • gloved hand holds a translucent mesh

    ThinAir Water's invention captures condensation to create water out of thin air, even in the driest environments. ThinAir will be exhibiting their technology in the Greener Futures Zone at the Imperial Festival on 28-29 April 2018. [Image: ThinAir Water]

  • battery pack

    RFC Power are developing cost-effective large-scale batteries, which can store electrical energy from renewable generators like solar panels and wind turbines, to be used when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. [Image: Supersmario / iStock]

In January, 60 innovators joined the programme that aims to help them develop the next big green idea, awarding them EUR 10,000 per team to kick-start their project, and a further opportunity to win EUR 50,000 per team if they pass certain commercial milestones.

At this event, which took place ahead of Imperial's Enterprise Week, the teams presented their inventions and heard feedback from would-be investors, helping them to hone their business ideas, explore any assumptions they have made about potential customers and expose them to the real-world experience of pitching their ideas.

All the teams moved on to the next stage of the programme, where they will focus on validating their business ideas by engaging with real prospective customers.

In the final stage of the programme, businesses get ready for take-off, finding launching customers, development partners or investors.

Interested parties can join the Grantham Institute mailing list to receive information about upcoming events where they can hear more about the ideas presented by the competing teams.

Two of the teams, Phytoform Labs and ThinAir Water, will be exhibiting their ideas in the Greener Futures Zone at this years' Imperial Festival on 28-29 April 2018, which members of the public can attend for free.

[Header image: NolanBerg11 / iStock]



Simon Levey

Simon Levey
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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