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Winners SEA 2014

Climate, the Environment & Energy

Ecovative Design (project name: Myco Board), USA

Ecovative Design produces materials from agricultural by-products and mushrooms, which are used as a natural alternative to plastic or wood. At a time of increasing environmental pollution through petroleum-based plastics, this bio-material can be regarded as a thoroughly revolutionary method of producing anything from packaging or construction materials to surfboards. The mushroom materials are not only environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but also stable, versatile in use and of course totally compostable. A highly promising alternative that can drastically reduce the excessive use of plastic.

Information at www.ecovativedesign.com

Mobility & Technological Innovations

Ubitricity GmbH (project name: Ubitricity Mobile Metering), Germany

Behind ubitricity lie intelligent mobile electricity meters, by means of which electric vehicles can be charged anytime, anywhere. In addition, the use of these reduces costs by 90%. Car drivers can obtain their electricity from the supplier of their choice – and thus their desired tariff – and then simply take this with them to the charging point, where they can also be conveniently billed too. New services are thus being created for households with electric cars, the providers of charging infrastructures and energy suppliers. The ubitricity concept even extends to electricity from photovoltaic equipment on the roof being downloadable in future from street lights. Charging electric vehicles is becoming not just smart and cost-effective, but also as simple and possible anywhere as making a call on your mobile.

Information at www.ubitricity.com

Development & Services

Original Unverpackt UG, Germany

Original Unverpackt is the first supermarket concept to entirely do away with disposable packaging. The first supermarket has just opened in the middle of September in Berlin-Kreuzberg and is meeting lively interest from customers. The idea behind Original Unverpackt is aimed at everyone who wants to do without unnecessary packaging and would like to decide for themselves what they buy and how they do it. In the long term, the founders see this being a sustainable alternative when people go shopping, which will protect the environment because it will not only produce less rubbish but will also waste much less food. The way the system works in practice is that foods are offered via disposal systems from which they are manually filled into containers the customers have brought with them, or containers provided by the supermarket against a deposit. Purposeful shopping within bounds – without any packaging.

Information at www.original-unverpackt.de

Urban & Regional Development

Greening the Caribbean, St. Lucia

“Greening the Caribbean” is working to ensure the ecological sustainability and natural beauty of the Caribbean, one island after another. The first island to be “greened” following environmental crises is St. Lucia. The services include the development of recycling programmes, waste management solutions for tourism and the commercial sector, and training for personnel – everything that belongs to everyday environmental damage will be critically analysed and reorganised. This includes industrial materials being taken away from the rubbish tip and added to the value creation chain. The goals throughout include minimising environmental pollution and reducing the risks of environment-related diseases. “Greening the Caribbean” is the perfect example of how we can do something good for the environment and be profitable at the same time.

Information at www.greeningthecaribbean.com

Integration & Social Issues

Celsius Global Solutions, Malawi/UK

The Jompy a lightweight water boiler that allows the user to boil water at the same time as cooking drastically reducing fuel consumption. It is innovative, environmentally friendly and saves resources. Water quality, air pollution and health are all tackled at the same time.
Our incentivised rental scheme in Malawi allows the user to rent the Jompy for a small cost and receive school fee contributions as an incentive. Allowing the communities to help themselves out of poverty.

Whilst this device has a direct effect in developing countries this too has an appeal to the camping and outdoor markets.

Information at www.jompy.co.uk

Lifestyle & Culture

Interface Deutschland GmbH, Germany

Interface is the world’s largest manufacturer and designer of carpet tiles, and with its “net effect” programme it offers a sustainable route for producing tiles out of discarded fishing nets from impoverished communities. Interface has thus established a virtuous circle that counteracts a growing environmental problem, by removing fishing nets from the world’s seas and at the same time turning them into a new product that also attracts customers through its aesthetics, functionality and innovation. This efficient supply chain improves the living standards of fishermen, because by collecting and selling fishing nets they have a new source of revenue that makes them less dependent on falling incomes from fishing.

Information at www.interface.com

Knowledge & Education

Polycular (project name: ÖkoGotschi), Austria

ÖkoGotschi is a location-based augmented reality computer game about sustainability and ecology. Abstract information on the topic of ecology and sustainability is easily explained and conveyed in an entertaining way. The aim is to fully exploit the potential of computer games to spread knowledge and achieve a valuable purpose. ÖkoGotschi is a form of sustainability Tamagotchi that accompanies its users on their mobile phones and allows 8- to 16-year-olds in particular to take a critical look at our lifestyle. As the young people of today are the decision makers of tomorrow, the innovative computer game could make a major contribution towards getting young people to change the way they think.

Information at www.polycular.com

Health & Medicine

discovering hands®, Germany

discovering hands® uses the superior sense of touch of blind and visually handicapped people to improve tactile diagnosis for the early detection of breast cancer. This innovative concept not only creates a high level of reliability in terms of detecting changes in the breast, but also allows women to experience a pleasant examination situation where a large amount of attention and time is devoted to them. Blind and visually handicapped people are trained as Medical Tactile Examiners on a 9-month theoretical and practical training course at recognised vocational training centres for people with disabilities. The course consists of a 6-month theoretical part and a 3-month work placement. Once they have gained their qualification, they are employed at medical practices and hospitals, where they undertake validated, standardised and quality-assured tactile examinations lasting at least 30 minutes for up to 9 patients a day. In Germany 17 practices currently offer this innovative service.

Information at www.discovering-hands.de

BEST PROJECT

Interface Deutschland GmbH, Germany

Interface is the world’s largest manufacturer and designer of carpet tiles, and with its “net effect” programme it offers a sustainable route for producing tiles out of discarded fishing nets from impoverished communities. Interface has thus established a virtuous circle that counteracts a growing environmental problem, by removing fishing nets from the world’s seas and at the same time turning them into a new product that also attracts customers through its aesthetics, functionality and innovation. This efficient supply chain improves the living standards of fishermen, because by collecting and selling fishing nets they have a new source of revenue that makes them less dependent on falling incomes from fishing.

Information at www.interface.com

BEST IDEA

ARCHITECTS (Project 3D House), Netherlands

DUS Architects creates public architecture – design that influences everyday life. The company’s area of activity ranges from coffee mugs to houses, but the product focus always contains a personal note and unmistakable recognition value. The most recent project is the 3D-printed canal house, with an entire house being printed in 3D from recycled waste as a research project. This concept creates new types of housing and offers new residential solutions for slums or refugee areas.

Information at www.dusarchitects.com

SEA of EXCELLENCE

BARACK OBAMA & THE OCEAN CLEANUP
There are two fantastic winners in this category this year: Barack Obama for his efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and Boyan Slat with his excellent concept to ‘clean up’ the oceans.

Barack Obama, The President of the United States of America

Barack Obama, The President of the United States of America

“We could speculate that Hurricane Sandy, the most severe drought for decades and the devastating forest fires in some of the states in America are purely a matter of chance. Or we could believe the scientific judgement and act before it is too late,” said President Obama. In 2013, Obama announced a range of measures to reduce carbon emissions, prepare the USA for the effects of climate change and encourage international efforts to combat global climate change.
Barack Obama’s national leadership in this sector and the measures announced in the interests of the global community are unprecedented and deserve international recognition.  In presenting the SEA of Excellence to Barack Obama, we would like to reward him for his commitment to highlighting awareness of climate change as a global issue and thank him officially for this work.

Information at www.whitehouse.gov

Boyan Slat, THE OCEAN CLEANUP, Netherlands

Millions of tons of plastic have already found its way into the oceans. Even if we were to stop producing plastic now, this would still not offer any solution for the world’s seas that are already polluted. 19-year-old Boyan Slat, the founder of “The Ocean Cleanup”, has set himself the task of resolving this problem, and with his team he is working to free the oceans from plastic again. Plastic floats in the top 3 metres of the oceans, and always collects in places where there is a natural barrier. The aim of “The Ocean Cleanup” is to install a barrier in the ocean that works in just the same way as these natural barriers: a V-shaped construction with two arms that passively collects all the plastic floating around in the sea, and then moves it along these arms to a platform where all the waste is bundled together. This method does not catch sea creatures or harm the environment. In addition, the concept offers a method which is 33 times cheaper and 7,900 times faster than traditional collection methods.

Information at www.theoceancleanup.com