The 2009 competition
A solar-powered cardboard cooker which aims to transform the lives of hundreds of millions of villagers in developing countries is the winner of our global competition for innovation to tackle climate change.
The Kyoto Box is targeted at the three billion people who use firewood to cook and has the potential to deliver huge environmental and social benefits. The $75,000 prize will fund large scale trials in 10 countries.
“We’re saving lives and saving trees, “ says Kenya-based entrepreneur Jon Bøhmer. “I doubt if there is any other technology that can make so much impact for so little money.”
We launched the Climate Change Challenge with three aims:
- to raise the profile of green innovation and demonstrate that there are solutions and money can be made from them;
- to find the best low-carbon innovations from around the world and help them find funding by showcasing them to a global business audience; and
- to help the winner immediately with a $75,000 prize to develop its project and bring it to scale.
The competition has generated worldwide interest. We received nearly 300 entries from around the world and the five finalists came from four continents. They included: a feed additive which reduces the methane produced by cows and sheep; hollow tiles cooled by evaporation which can replace air conditioning systems; covers for truck wheels which reduce fuel use by cutting drag; and a giant industrial microwave which fixes carbon in organic material as charcoal.
Some 23,000 people visited the competition site, registering almost 120,000 page views. Thousands voted for the winner, which was chosen by combining the public vote with the assessment of our eminent panel of global business leaders, innovators and climate change experts.
To read more about the winner, click here.
Why are we doing it?
Climate change is widely acknowledged as mankind’s most pressing challenge and what we do in the next few years will determine whether we can avoid serious impacts.
There’s an urgent need for new approaches, new products and services, to tackle climate change, so Forum for the Future teamed up with The Financial Times and HP to unleash the power of innovation by launching this global competition.
The FT Climate Change Challenge aims to seek out and showcase the most exciting innovations - practical ideas which will reduce emissions and make us more resilient to the change ahead, and which can be developed, brought to market and scaled up to achieve maximum impact.
The winning project will receive $75,000 – sponsored by HP – to help get it up and running more swiftly.
But all the best ideas will reach a global audience of business leaders through the pages and website of the FT, and in this way the competition aims to help a range of projects to attract the support they need to scale up and maximise their ability to tackle climate change.
How does the competition work?
The competition aims to find the most promising innovations to tackle climate change. The winning entry could be a technical advance in reducing emissions or a social innovation helping individuals become more resilient to the local impacts of climate change.
We want ideas that will work. The key requirement is that the innovations will have moved off the drawing board and demonstrated their feasibility, but will not yet be commercially sucessful. They will have been piloted or prototyped and might have attracted seed financing or gained recognition locally. Entries must specify how they would use the prize money to develop and extend the product or service.
Innovations which have been developed by large companies or which already have major financial support will not be considered.
Entries will be judged according to four criteria:
- Contribution to tackling climate change. Will it have a significant and tangible impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
- Innovation. Is it a small incremental improvement, a step change in approach or does it offer a radical system change?
- Scalability. How easy is it to roll out the idea on a larger scale and is the potential size of the audience limited in any way?
- Broader sustainability benefits. Does the idea address climate change in a way that also encourages sustainable behaviour?
Forum for the Future reviews all the entries and selects a longlist of the 12 most innovative. The shortlist is selected by our eminent panel of judges. The winner is voted on by readers of the FT in conjunction with the judges.
In 2009 our judges are:
- Lionel Barber
- Sir Richard Branson
- Eileen Claussen
- Mark Hurd
- Sir Terry Leahy
- Dr Rajendra K Pachauri
- Jonathon Porritt
- Leon Sandler
(Profiles of the judges can be accessed here)
BBC, Prize for 'Sun in the box' cooker, 9 April 2009
Forbes, Solar-powered cooker wins $75,000 climate prize, 9 April 2009
FT, Solar cooker wins climate contest, 9 April 2009
Sky, Cardboard oven wins £50,000 green contest, 9 April 2009
Designweek.co.uk, Climate change innovation products face public vote, 23 March 2009
BusinessGreen, Five clean tech start ups awarded spot in the "shop window", 20 March 2009
Financial Times, Innovation for the low-carbon age, 18 March 2009
BusinessGreen, Climate entrepreneurs invited to compete for $75,000, 13 November 2008
Financial Times, Good business sense, 7 November 2008