The storage of electricity is a hot topic, which is why we’re in desperate need for innovations that can replace lithium-ion, which is used for – among other things – the batteries of electric vehicles. Lithium-ion is limited at scale considering the scarcity of both lithium and cobalt due to the considerable increase in demand for batteries.
Besides that, several storage concepts focus on the increased focus on balancing. Balancing enables better up or downscaling of electricity consumption or production, such as peak shaving.
Finally, sustainable energy production (renewables) remains a trending topic. Not only innovations for renewables themselves, such as solar panels, wind or water-driven turbines, but also for maintenance and sharing interesting solutions around renewables.
Circularity: reducing waste or the use of inputs
Among the BTA concepts, the ones focusing on circularity enable the industry or consumers to re-use plastics, textiles, building or organic materials – or even better, to not use harmful resources at all. Moreover, several innovations use by-products to turn these into good use, such as the reuse of waste heat. Both heat from datacenters as well as from wastewater have shown to be great assets to sustainable heating!
Human behavioral change
We see a lot of concepts that revolve around challenging the current ‘normal way of working, like ‘renting or sharing’ over ‘owning’ and ‘local’ over ‘global’. These concepts deliver sharing solutions for individuals, communities and businesses, from community-owned assets to locally provided goods to prevent transport and packaging costs.
Also, a lot of innovations are emerging around offering transparency in the true costs of production, or whether all single supply chain elements meet sustainability requirements. Which products are produced carbon neutral? What are the better sustainable alternatives?
Innovators track the climate impact on consumption, give consumers opportunities to choose for lower-impact alternatives or compensation for the remaining impact they have. Moreover, consumers are often rewarded for more sustainable choices. We see these products and ideas evolving on all levels: from your daily groceries, to mobility options, to applications that optimize your household energy consumption!
Obviously, all innovations related to climate are also linked to our sub-theme ’next-gen environment’. In this sub-theme, however, we see a clear focus on plastics and the damaging impact on marine life. As most plastics do not biodegrade, they will remain damaging for many next-gens.
Some innovations therefore focus on cleaning up waste as their main service. For example, by actively searching for waste or plastic in waterways, and re-using these plastics as resource for new products (circular again!).
Moreover, several BTA innovators focus on agriculture and food innovations. To give some examples, we’ve seen concepts that offer more eco-friendly fertilizers or monitor plant sap flows, while others make use of vegan/vegetarian food crops such as seaweed.
Finally, we see new potential applications of satellite monitoring: from the number and type of trees to possible wildfire hotspots!
So, we’ve seen many promising and important innovations in this year’s Climate portfolio! Get inspired by their work, pay their websites a visit or meet up to improve the world together. Needless to say, we’re highly looking forward to the Finals!
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