Artificial Photosynthetic Foam wins Earth Awards 2010
17 September 2010: Revolutionary artificial foam which captures and converts the sun's energy more effectively than living organisms, has won The Earth Awards 2010.
The Photosynthetic Foam won the $50,000 prize after being selected from over 500 entries from around the world. The team pitched to an audience of leading CEOs and investors at a Dragon's Den style Summit held in partnership with the Financial Times at Marlborough House, London.
University of Cincinnati Professors David Wendell's and Carlo Montemagno's Photosynthetic Foam is a more land efficient means of producing biofuels because it is not reliant on soil as it is a synthetic material.
The UC Professors' manufactured system of photosynthesis means that all captured energy is converted to sugars, unlike natural plant photosynthesis where a large amount of energy is used to maintain the life of the organism. In short, the foam is a far more efficient and versatile energy production platform, presenting new opportunities for developments in the field of renewable energy.
Professor Wendell explains: "The great aspect of Artificial Photosynthetic Foam is that it can practically contribute to a better tomorrow - which is exactly what the Earth Awards is about. Whether it's the environment or the economy, this process has the potential to transform humanity's approach to energy production and make an immediate positive contribution to reducing harmful carbon emissions."
The Earth Awards, which identifies viable ideas from fashion to architecture and consumer products, and marries them with investors to provide a real solution to improving quality of life, is the only global innovation awards where the aim is to give the designer the means to enter the worldwide consumer marketplace.
Earth Awards judge Richard Branson adds: "The world's population is united through the huge environmental and social challenges we face. Real innovation is needed if we are to discover products and technologies which can tackle these head on. The Earth Awards brings together people from all walks of life, who share the same objective - to challenge us to rethink the way we live today and present solutions to improve the world of tomorrow."
Nicole Ting Yap, Founder of The Earth Awards, concludes: "The Earth Awards is about providing an aspirational platform for consumer-driven ideas, which can challenge designers to build a new economy. Artificial Photosynthetic Foam is a fantastic technological development which has real potential to drive positive change."
Selected finalists are being showcased at HRH The Prince of Wales' Start initiative to inspire people to build a better future. They are appearing at Start's ‘A Garden Party to Make a Difference', at Clarence House, Marlborough House and Lancaster House gardens until 19th September 2010.
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Notes to editors
About The Earth Awards
The Earth Awards is an aspirational platform for consumer-driven ideas that challenge designers and innovators to build a new economy. It is the only truly global awards dedicated to identifying viable designs which have the potential to improve our quality of life and build a new economy.
The Earth Awards Selection Committee is made up of world-leading entrepreneurs, designers and thinkers, making the awards the very best in class. They all share the Earth Awards' belief in building a new economy founded in innovation and design. Their task is to identify those innovations with the greatest potential and then present them to world industry leaders who have the means to bring them to market.
The Earth Awards 2010 Selection Committee comprises:
- Paola Antonelli, Curator for Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art
- Yves Béhar, Founder, Fuseproject
- Sir Richard Branson, Founder and CEO, Virgin Group
- Graydon Carter, Editor-In-Chief, Vanity Fair
- Majora Carter, President, The Majora Carter Group
- Tony Chambers, Editor-in-Chief, Wallpaper* Magazine
- Alexandra Cousteau, Founder, Blue Legacy International
- David de Rothschild, Founder, Adventure Ecology
- His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa, Spiritual Leader, The Drukpa Lineage
- Rick Fedrizzi, President and CEO, United States Green Building Council
- Julie Gilhart, Fashion Director, Barneys New York
- Dr. Jane Goodall, Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
- Scott Mackinlay Hahn, Co-founder, Rogan and Loomstate
- Peter Head, Director, ARUP
- Graham Hill, Founder, Treehugger
- Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO, Mubadala Development Company
- Yang Lan, Chairwoman, Sun Television
- Ira C. Magaziner, Chairman, Clinton Climate Initiative
- Bill McKibben, Writer, Environmentalist
- Barry Nalebuff, Professor, Yale School of Management
- Sergio Palleroni, Co-founder and Director, BaSiC Initiative
- Karim Rashid, Founder, Karim Rashid Inc.
- Jonathan Rose RIBA, Principal, AECOM and Masterplanning Practice Leader
- Cameron Sinclair, Founder, Architecture for Humanity
- Werner Sobek, Founder, Werner Sobek Engineering + Design
- Philippe Starck, Founder, Starck Network
- Diane von Furstenberg, Founder, DvF
- Dilys Williams, Director, Center for Sustainable Fashion
- Ken Yeang, Principal, Llewelyn Davies Yeang
The six finalists were:
- Sustainable Shells Michael Ramage, Peter Rich Architects & John Ochsendorf, England - BUILT ENVIRONMENT
- Polli-Bricks by Arthur Huang, MINIWIZ Sustainable Energy Development Co, Taiwan - PRODUCT
- Kayu Sunglasses by Jamie Lim, Kayu, USA - FASHION
- AskNature by The Biomimicry Institute. Represented by Megan Schuknecht, USA - SYSTEMS
- Artificial Photosynthetic Foam by David Wendell, University of Cincinnati, USA - FUTURE
- The Butterfly Houses by Andreas Grontvedt Gjertsen, TYIN Tengestue, Norway - SOCIAL JUSTICE
Tickets for A Garden Party to Make a Difference are available at www.startuk.org