Meet the winners of the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge

korvata444The sixth annual University of Washington Environmental Innovation Challenge took place Thursday in Seattle, with 23 teams competing with new technologies that re-imagined alternative fuels, recycling, solar power, water treatment and more.

Here’s a look at the six winners of the event, chosen by a field of more than 170 judges from the community, with descriptions from the UW.

$10,000 Grand Prize

Korvata (University of Washington): Korvata has created a cutting edge alternative energy product that allows companies to mitigate their environmental impact by replacing the use of nitrous oxide as a whipped cream propellant.

$5,000 Second Place Prize and $5,000 Clean Energy Prize

NOVA Solar Window (Western Washington University): NOVA Solar Window combines the power producing capabilities of a solar panel with the utility of a traditional window. The utilization of transparent solar energy technology allows solar windows to provide renewable energy where traditional solar panels cannot.

$2,500 Honorable Mentions

Loopool (Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Seattle Central Community College, University of Washington): Loopool is reinventing the garment industry business model by creating a closed-loop supply chain, transforming reclaimed cotton garments and textiles into high-quality, bio-based fiber.

Salon Solids (University of Washington): Salon Solids reduces the amount of plastic waste and hazardous chemical consumption that occurs with most hair products. Its six-ingredient shampoo and conditioner comes in solid form, eliminating the need for the preservatives necessary for a product with water in it, and its packaging is recyclable, biodegradable and does not contain plastic, further reducing waste.

Ionometal Technologies (University of Washington): Ionometal Technologies has created a metal plating technique that allows for precise metal-on-metal deposition which can be used to repair gold test boards. The Ionometal printer prints metal plates that are smaller than can be seen with the naked eye.

Previously on GeekWireCan these startups save the world? Cooking-oil kiosks and more innovations from UW Enviro Challenge

  • Mike Mathieu

    Interesting tidbit — Starbucks reported that when they did the analysis, the single biggest contribution to climate change from their global retail operations is the nitrous oxide from serving whip cream. The prize winner might have a bigger market than you’d expect.