Three win innovation challenge to reduce pollution in Delhi

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) The University of Chicago and the Delhi government on Friday announced three winners in the first-of-a-kind crowdsourcing competition “Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi” that looked for innovative ways to reduce pollution in the capital.

The winners include Chakr Innovation Pvt Ltd which will pilot their device that captures more than 70 per cent of particulate pollution from diesel engines and converts it to black ink and paints.

The second winner, Climate Foundation and Tide Technocrats Pvt Ltd, will employ devices that turn rice straw into biochar to enrich agricultural soil and prevent the heavy air pollution from rice straw burning.

The third winner, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, will deploy cool roofing solutions in Delhi slums to bring down indoor temperature and allow dwellers to conserve energy and improve their productivity and quality of life.

“With three promising winners chosen, the Delhi government now looks forward to collaborating with the talented academic minds at University of Chicago to carry out these innovative ideas to improve environment and the lives of our citizens,” said Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who felicitated the winners.

The winners of the challenge — a project of the Tata Centre for Development that is supported by Tata Trusts — together received over Rs 2 crore, a statement said.

They will now use the awards money to work with the University of Chicago Urban Labs’ Energy & Environment Lab, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India) and the Delhi government to implement and test their ideas.

“We believe the projects will reduce pollution in Delhi and hope to prove how successful such innovative partnerships can be at generating evidence-based programs that work,” added Anna Agarwal, Senior Manager, the Challenge for the University of Chicago-India.

The winners were selected from among nearly 250 students, researchers, entrepreneurs, non-profit and for-profit organisations and citizens from across the country and around the world.

–IANS

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