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2015 Climate CoLab Winners Announced

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In March 2015, the Climate CoLab opened 15 contests on key challenges the world is facing as we confront climate change.

Nearly 400 proposals were submitted and evaluated by the Judges, who then selected 109 Semi-Finalists. The authors had a chance to revise their proposals with the Judges’ feedback before entering a second round of evaluation, where 58 proposals were selected as Finalists and opened for public voting.  Over August and September, the Climate CoLab community grew to over 45,000 members and cast over 11,000 votes to select the contests’ Popular Choice winners.

You can meet and interact with both the Judges’ Choice and Popular Choice winners as they attend and present their work as a part of MIT’s Solve and Crowds & Climate conferences, October 5 & 6th on the MIT campus, where the $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded.

After a year and much hard work from our volunteer Advisors, Judges, Fellows, Catalysts, the Climate CoLab community, and the proposal authors, we are proud to announce the winners and Judges’ Special Commendations for 2015.

Please join us in extending a hearty congratulations to them!  And we will see you at Crowds & Climate!

2015 Winners

All submitted proposals are now displayed on each contest homepage, with the contest Winners, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists recognized.

Energy Supply

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie) & Popular Choice At Large* Winner
Robotic Solar Armada /  Helionauts
Synthetic fuel produced by solar harvesting ships can accelerate the transition to renewable energy by obviating an infrastructure overhaul.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie) & Popular Choice Winner
Distributed Plug & Play Consumer Solar Panels – Add Capacity, Shed Carbon /  InSite Energy, LLC.
Distribute Plug & Play solar panels to home owners, and apartment renters to make clean energy on site where you use it.

Industry

Judges’ Choice Winner
Utilizing Molecularly Imprinted Technology to Selectively Filter Pollutants /  alexkrotz
Molecular Imprinted Polymers present a unique opportunity to make inexpensive materials that selectivly bind to and filter pollutants.

Popular Choice Winner
United States Industrial Collaboration Agency (USICA) /  SolarVibes
Removing inefficiencies of industrial innovation by facilitating collaborations and accelerating R&D solutions toward earlier adoption.

Rural Resilience

Judges’ Choice Winner
China’s rural-urban intensification. Envisioning the habitat of the futuretcatta
Design strategies to improve resilience of China’s rural towns. Envisioning harmonious relationship between the rural and urban environments

Popular Choice Winner
Generation of Biogas energy from animal waste for use in rural areas / asigealex
The use of Biogas energy from animal waste is a sustainable source of energy to meet the domestic energy demands for  cooking and lighting.

Anticipating Climate Change in the Pamir Mountains

Run in collaboration with the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange

Judges’ Choice Winners (tie)
Linking Climate Information to Ecological Calendars: An Appointment With Drought /  mattbarlow
Prepare for climate change and apply regional drought information in the Pamirs by linking climate science with human ecological calendars.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
Biodiversity collections as tools for understanding changes in the Pamir Mtns /  ellwood
Anticipate and adapt to changing phenological patterns in the Pamir Mtns through the use of historical and contemporary biodiversity data.

 Judges’ Choice Winner (tie) & Popular Choice Winner

Recalibration of traditional calendars through participatory data collection /  TedW
Traditional knowledge, participatory science, and modern data analytics to create climate-smart, farm-scale agricultural body calendars.

Atypical Ideas For Carbon Neutrality

Run in collaboration with the City of Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
Sustainable Urban Food Initiative (SUFI) for Climate Change Resilience/  PlaneTiers
SUFI provides an integrated hub that sustainably manages the urban energy-water-food nexus in an era of climate change.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
The Loop Transit System /  SomClimateAction
The Loop transit system is a fleet of fare-based passenger vehicles that travel planned routes within city limits on a continuous schedule.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie) & Popular Choice Winner
CarbonGobbler – Engaging Citizens And Business In Lowering Carbon Emissions /  CarbonGobbler
Manage and Control Carbon Emission biggies, energy use and transportation choices with CarbonGobbler. While saving money too.

See below for proposals awarded with a Judges’ Special Commendation.

Transportation

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
Networking Rwanda’s Air Pollution Problem with Low-Cost Air Quality Sensors /  langleydew
Establishing a low-cost air quality sensor network in Kigali, Rwanda with publicly accessible data empowering the public and policies.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie) & Popular Choice Winner
An economically and legally viable mechanism for internalizing marine emissions /  Ship-Emissions-Levy
Making polluters pay for climate damage caused by maritime emissions by overcoming avoidance, legal, data and global coordination issues.

Adaptation

Judges’ Choice Winner & Popular Choice Winner
Seeding Science Knowledge by engaging local experts /  Geocitizens
Local prioritization and testing of adaptation practices supported by a collaborative mapping tool will out scale lessons learned globally

Popular Choice At Large* Winner
Sand Dams for Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana /  G4CC
The project aims to build six sand dams in the Upper East region of Ghana to capture and store water for domestic and agricultural purposes.

Energy-Water Nexus

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
Tidal Pump /  Robert Tulip
The Tidal Pump, now at proof of concept, aims to shift large volumes of liquid in the ocean at lowest possible cost using new technology.

Judges’ Choice Winner (tie)
SunSaluter: a low-cost, passive solar tracker that produces clean water/  SunSaluter
The SunSaluter is a low-cost solar panel rotator which boosts efficiency by 30% and produces four liters of clean drinking water each day!

Popular Choice Winner
Nualgi – Diatom Algae – Oxygen /  Nualgi-Diatom Algae
Diatom Algae produce about 20 to 25% of all Oxygen in the world. All the oxygen required to treat sewage can be produced by Diatoms.

Buildings

Judges’ Choice Winner & Popular Choice Winner
3D Printing Hempcrete – The People will know what they want once they see it… /  AFMPPA
Build a full size 3D Printed Hempcrete Structure to demonstrate Hemp/3D Printing as a sustainable alternative to traditional construction.

See below for proposals awarded with a Judges’ Special Commendation.

Waste Management

Judges’ Choice Winner
fulFILL: A delivery service for household products without wasteful packaging /  fulFILL
fulFILL aims to combat the waste epidemic by revolutionizing the way we consume common household products.

Popular Choice Winner
Nualgi – Diatom Algae for Sewage Treatment /  Nualgi-Diatom Algae
Using Nualgi to grow Diatoms is the most economical and sustainable solution to sewage treatment,growing fish and fuel and sequester carbon.

Popular Choice At Large* Winner
GHG Rescue; Buying Waste from Households and selling it to Recycle Companies /  G4CC
The GHG Rescue Project seeks to buy segregated waste from households in Accra, Ghana and sell it to Recycling Companies.

Energy Solutions For Latin America

Run in collaboration with the MIT Sloan Latin America Office

Judges’ Choice Winner
Electricity at the lowest societal cost: holistic optimization /  EMERGE
Electricity at the lowest societal cost by optimizing techno-economic, environmental and health impacts of electricity infrastructure growth.

Popular Choice Winner
Establish Local Energy Interaction Strategies (LEIS) as driver to GHG reductions /  G4 Energía
Highly replicable solution for Latin America reality based on local energy interaction strategy to create a win-win network to GHG reduction.

Urban Energy Efficiency

Run in collaboration with the World Bank’s Negawatt Challenge

Judges’ Choice Winner & Popular Choice Winner (tie)
Making every watt count: An intelligent demand side management system on phones /  Energy-Save  (Esave)
A smart energy audit on consumers’ phones displaying their real time electricity consumption, wastage sources n tips to reduce energy use.

Popular Choice Winner (tie)
Pedal power /  New Latin America
An initative thar reduce green house gases emissions; while you generate electricity, get a healthier life and reduce vehicular traffic.

US Carbon Price

Popular Choice Winner
The Little Engine That Could: Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend /  CitizensClimateLobby
A revenue neutral, steadily rising fee on GHG emissions will steer the economy to a clean energy future and establish US climate leadership.

See below for proposals awarded with a Judges’ Special Commendation.

Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock

Judges’ Choice Winner
Integrating REDD+ and Green Economic Growth for sustainable forest landscapes / charlesehrhart
Using green economic growth to create scalable, replicable financial incentives for the sustainable management of forest landscapes.

Popular Choice Winner
Bamboo Air Purification /  Joseph5Chepsoi
Bamboo grows in most soils, environments, climate with minimal tillage, input, care and naturally purifies the air we breathe.

See below for proposals awarded with a Judges’ Special Commendation.

Shifting Public Attitudes & Behavior

Judges’ Choice Winner
Unleash the energy of millions by making climate action simple, relevant and fun /  Dylan H + Quentin  P
It’s 2050 and your granddaughter, Ohno, is suffering. Your climate action today will change her world and transform her life for the better.

Popular Choice Winner
National campaign in India aimed to create a network of young Energy Ambassadors /  Vijnana  Bharati
National level campaign on energy conservation and renewable energy in Indian schools, aimed at building a network of Energy Ambassadors

*The Popular Choice At Large award was given to proposals which received over 40% of the total votes cast in that contest.

Judges’ Special Commendation

Buildings

OpenControl Building /  Group OpenControl
We will leverage the market for demand response to enable widespread adoption of home energy management systems

Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock

Vertical Hydroponic Farms feed urban communities while reducing carbon emissions /  Green Guys
Via numerous extremely efficient urban farms, community members gain access to local fresh food while reducing their carbon footprint.

An online management and finance platform for sustainable forestry projects. /  OpenForests
An online platform for finance and forest management will be further developed to facilitate private investment into sustainable forestry.

The Eyes of Virunga: From Poacher to Protector /  Virunga Heroes
Come help us transform illegal charcoal makers into solar powered park rangers in the Virunga National Park in the DR Congo!

YES! /  A. Semeniuc
On 2012, the Vorniceni Village Council, Moldova, approved a decision for the purpose of arranging of a square.

Atypical Ideas for Carbon Neutrality

Most cost-effective and/or Best technical solution
Just Green It – Purchasing Electricity from Renewable Sources for Somerville /  IdeatingGreen
Harnessing the power of choice through community engagement to support green electricity

Most creative 
Urban Wood: Somerville’s Wood Construction Legacy and Future Carbon Neutrality /  Team Urban Wood
Modify the building codes to allow wood construction for tall buildings and more use types to decrease Somerville’s carbon footprint.

Most community-oriented
CarbonGobbler – Engaging Citizens And Business In Lowering Carbon Emissions /  CarbonGobbler
Manage and Control Carbon Emission biggies, energy use and transportation choices with CarbonGobbler. While saving money too.

Best idea from the Somerville community
The Loop Transit System /  SomClimateAction
The Loop transit system is a fleet of fare-based passenger vehicles that travel planned routes within city limits on a continuous schedule.

U.S. Carbon Price

The Little Engine That Could: Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend /  CitizensClimateLobby
A revenue neutral, steadily rising fee on GHG emissions will steer the economy to a clean energy future and establish US climate leadership.

Sweeten the Carbon Deal /  billferree
Build a climate fix coalition by cutting taxes on wages. This is the sugar. Medicine is the fee on carbon.

Novel Strategy On Private Sector’s Internal/”Shadow” Carbon Pricing /  kathoh
Surprise: many companies already have internal/shadow carbon pricing! Here’s how to use leverage more carrots & sticks to make it universal.