2020 Finalists for Virtual Environmental Innovation Challenge

Judges selected 23 finalist teams to compete April 2 in the live round of the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. College students from across the Pacific Northwest stand ready to tackle some of the largest environmental problems facing the world today. Judges selected 23 finalist teams (detailed below) to compete April 2 in an all-virtual version of the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The student teams represent nine colleges and universities from across the Cascadia Corridor—from the University of Washington to as far away as Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia.

Cleantech entrepreneurs, environmental leaders, and innovators will serve as judges in the online virtual competition and award more than $35,000 in prizes. The money isn’t the only benefit, even with the competition shifted to an all-online experience for 2020. Each student team will still receive valuable feedback from judges through online portals and the scoring process in addition to what they received during the initial Screening Round. This year, the teams of students from UW alone represent more than 30 majors and departments across the Seattle campus.

Good luck to the 2020 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge finalists:

Aquagga, an impact-driven B-Corp, uses advanced manufacturing to produce bolt-on water treatment platforms that destroy toxic water contaminants, such as PFAS, via the unique properties of supercritical water. 

  • University of Washington-Seattle, University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Mechanical Engineering, Engineering)

Arogya is a low-cost, electricity-free, modular water-saving washing machine and dryer designed for low-resource areas. It provides a discreet way to clean and sanitize clothing while reducing the transmission of pathogens and promoting health.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Bioengineering, Psychology)

BioArchos proposes the deployment of modular, wall-mounted, easily operated carbon sequestration devices that directly address the issues of poor air quality in a manner that is more energy and cost efficient than current ventilation-based methods.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Mechatronics)

This project uses cocoa beans to synthesize light emitters and develops a low-cost and eco-friendly solution for the current lighting and display industry while also minimizing negative impacts on humans and the environment without scarifying performance.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Materials Science and Engineering, MBA)

ElectroSolar Oxygen
Our goal is to make a mid-sized, sustainable oxygen concentrator that can be deployed in underdeveloped nations or in areas affected by natural disasters.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Chemical Engineering)

Green Matter
We are designing and optimizing an automated bioreactor to grow edible microorganisms, emphasizing resource recycling, food safety, and energy economy, in an effort to develop practical sustainable alternatives to conventional protein sources.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Chemical Engineering)

A water quality monitoring system that helps protect human health and wildlife by reducing the barriers to data collection and accelerating the discovery of water quality issues.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Marine Affairs, Public Administration, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy and Governance, Computer Science and Engineering, Environmental Science and Resource Management)

We have created an energy-efficient solution to enable microbreweries to malt their own barley in-house rather than sourcing their malted barley from energy-intensive mass-producers of malted barley.

  • Eastern Washington University (Management of Information Systems, Mechanical Engineering)

Moment is creating sustainable energy storage from used electric vehicle batteries to provide clean and reliable power to remote communities.

  • Simon Fraser University-British Columbia (Engineering, Mechatronic Systems Engineering)

We are producing disposable plastic products that naturally degrade into fertilizer in order to eradicate plastic waste in developing and underdeveloped countries.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business Administration, Computer Science, Public Health, Biology)

Nostos AI
Nostos AI is a design tool that allows urban planners to incorporate rich nature interaction into our sustainable megacities of the future.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Social Environmental Science)

Permanink Produce
Permanink Produce strives to create a sustainable and affordable alternative to the PLU stickers found on produce.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Human Centered Design and Engineering, Biochemistry, Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences, Finance, Computer Science)

SENSOL Systems
Our product is a modular crosswalk composed of a 3D printed substrate holding LEDs that light up as pedestrians move across it, creating a radius of illumination.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Landscape Architecture, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Informatics, Interactive Design)

SLW Paper Manufacturing
Strong, Light, and Water-resistant linerboard made from 100% from recycled fibers product that will meet the demand for more packaging while reducing the amount of trees cut per year.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Bio-Resource Science Engineering, Chemistry, Economics, Law, Society, and Justice, Finance)

SnapSort! is a smart waste sorting assistant that help people sort their waste properly.

  • Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) (Global Innovation Exchange Technology Innovation)

Submersible Pot Recovery System
The Submersible Pot Recovery System prevents shellfish pots from breaking away marker buoy lines and losing them to the ocean.

  • Olympic College, University of Washington-Seattle (Mechanical Engineering, Information Management)

Supercritical Performance
We enable the rapid mixing of materials in the supercritical phase to eliminate toxic waste and optimize chemistry kinetics on an industrial scale.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Mechanical Engineering)

Sustainability on Tap
Our interdisciplinary team aims to streamline beverage packaging for grocery stores and businesses by introducing reusable, standard bottles in place of existing disposable packaging that customers can fill and refill from a tap bar of beverages.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Environmental Science and Resource Management, Communications, Political Science, and Environmental Studies, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Marketing)

Terran Material Resources
Terran Material Resource (TMR) is a low-cost, environmental service company that recycles industrial and commercial lithium-ion batteries.  TMR also resells the recycled batteries raw materials to manufacturers and commodity markets.

  • University of Oregon (Sustainable Business Practices, Advanced Strategy and Leadership)

The 2050 Company
The 2050 Company makes an instant smoothie mix that reduces waste at each point of the produce life cycle.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship, Business Administration)

The Subline
The Subline provides a platform that decreases time spent managing inventory by restauranteurs while simultaneously decreasing capital lost to operational waste. Our goal is to help decrease the 45B lbs and $25B of food thrown out by restaurants each year.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MBA, Bioengineering)

Trash to Gas
The Trash2Gas Education kit is an interactive way to teach students anaerobic digestion and reducing food waste while creating a usable product. This will be an authentic STEM experience so students can learn to lead sustainable lives in the future.

  • University of Idaho (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Marketing, Biological Engineering)

Modular battery and charge delivery system that gives Electric Vehicle drivers the power to park anywhere, anytime, and for as long as they want.

  • University of British Columbia (Electrical Engineering, Integrated Engineering, Materials Engineering, Business, Mechanical Engineering, Accounting)

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