World Environment Day: How innovation is restoring and protecting our ecosystems
Every year, on 5 June, the World Environment Day is celebrated across the world to raise awareness on pressing environmental issues such as marine pollution, global warming and human overpopulation. This year’s theme puts focus on the big and most challenging picture and is calling for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. The activities of last years have pushed many forests, peatlands and cities to their limit and restoration actions are crucial to counteract climate change. To mark this date, we sat down with 3 EIC-funded entrepreneurs using innovation to restore the planet and make peace with nature.
Cities: Sensoneo is cleaning cities with a waste monitoring solution
The global waste production is estimated to be around 2.01bn tonnes of solid waste per year. This is expected to rise by almost 70% to 3.4 tonnes in 2050. Sensoneo responds to these trends by providing a smart enterprise-grade waste management solution for cities and businesses to cost-efficiently manage the waste lifecycle and improve the environment and well-being of people. The Waste Monitoring solution from the startup based in Slovakia combines Smart Sensors, Smart Waste Management System and Citizen App. The Smart Sensors use ultrasound technology to measure the fill levels in bins and containers several times a day and send the data to the Smart Waste Management System, a powerful cloud-based platform, via the Internet of Things (Sigfox, NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, GPRS) providing cities and businesses with data-driven decision making, and optimization of waste collection routes, frequencies and vehicle loads, bin distribution resulting in overall waste collection cost reduction by at least 30% and carbon emission reduction up to 60% in cities.
Martin Basila, CEO and Founder of the company, highlighted that Sensoneo solution is making the waste management service more efficient and tailored to the waste from the different cities, providing a waste collection based on real demand. “Our innovation helps municipalities to understand where and how much waste is generated and they can later adapt the infrastructure and the service accordingly”, he said. But even if their monitoring solutions are making waste management easier, Martin believes that the “real change starts in our heads” and that’s his main message for this World Environment Day. “Buy only what you really need, re-use, fix and share, separate your waste and bend for the waste on the street”, he concluded.
Farmlands: Antofénol and its circular economy model in agriculture
The chemicals used in agricultural production can be a big threat to our environment as well as our health. However, we need to protect the grown products from threats, since it is estimated that 80% of food losses are due to fungal contaminations. Farmers lack natural solutions to tackle this issue and rely almost exclusively on chemical products. Antofénol is aiming to change this paradigm, with the development of a chemical-free extraction process – a natural solution to replace chemical pesticides. The French EIC-funded SME, has one objective in mind: to provide farmers with solutions that respect the environment, following a circular economy model.
Fanny Rolet, CEO of Antofénol believes that “the state of mind towards agriculture needs to be changed”. “When I speak with farmers, they want to use more bio-controlled / natural products, but they don’t have the means to do it. The institutions are still not prepared to help farmers in accessing these new greener products”. For this World Environment Day, Fanny leaves an encouraging message for the innovators that want to make a global change in their work areas: “Don’t stop to innovate. We can only fight strong global problematics with high level innovations. Do not hesitate to push your solution to the market and to create your company. We need to be active about these different problematics”.
Forests: Unblur created a top-level technology to protect us from natural disasters
Imagine a first responder answering the call to a wildfire or to a massive flooding, where lives and properties might be in danger. The information they need is crucial. To improve their operations, emergency services are investing in technology, creating an opportunity for innovative companies to develop solutions in this area. Unblur, an EIC-funded company from Spain, works to support front-line emergency services to make faster and safer data-driven decisions during incidents. The company has designed the IRIS Core Software, which is a system that analyses data to deliver directions for first responders on the scene, helping them to make quicker decisions.
Alfonso Zamarro, CEO & Co-founder of Unblur, explains that climate change and its impact on day-to-day is not, anymore, a story of the future and the most recent environmental catastrophes are the existing proof of this need. “Wildfires are a clear example, but we are also seeing that natural disasters are becoming more common and impactful. Preventing wildfires and fighting climate change are of the most importance. Our Emergency Services are the front-line of this response. Collaboration between researchers, emergency services and technology developers is vital to ensure our first responders have the best tools to protect us and the environment”, Alfonso concluded.
The EIC Community calendar marks World International Days on a regular basis, celebrating successful EIC-funded innovations from different topics. If you have an innovation connected to one International Day, share your story with us via our helpdesk (please select the category 'Propose a story/an article).