11 Nov 2015

The Circular Economy down the Green Alley

By Glen

Last week we went to Berlin to help pick the winners of the Green Alley Award, Europe’s first start-up competition focusing on the circular economy – recycling, upcycling, and making use of outputs that would otherwise be considered waste.

BGV has been proud to be partners with the Green Alley Award this year, I was one of the judges and Vicky came along to do some mentoring.

Reducing waste and improving resource efficiency are key themes for us, so it made sense to help support this scheme, alongside Landbell, Green Alley, Seedmatch and the European Recycling Platform

The judging day started off at 10am with networking and included meetings between an excellent range of mentors and each of the six finalists.

The teams represented a broad range of ideas around sustainability – including:

  • Binee – a smart technology that knows what goes into the bin so that it can be reused effectively
  • Entocycle – taking human food waste and converting it into organic protein (in the form of black soldier flies) as animal feed
  • InFarm automated pods for growing fruit and vegetables inside cities
  • Solstrom Furniture – turning used solar panels into furniture that generates its own electricity
  • Votechnik – automating the process of recycling LCD flat panels, which is currently almost completely manual, expensive, and dangerous to workers
  • Adaptavate – a breathable product which works just like plasterboard, but uses organic inputs (meaning it is compostable), provides moisture control in countries like the UK, and has a significant insulation value.

All six of the teams gave excellent pitches, and the judges considered that they were all worthy projects. Together, they will undoubtedly generate massive diversions away from landfill and towards a healthier planet.

Unfortunately though, there could only be one winner of the prize – €20,000 in cash and in-kind services. The judges felt that Adaptavate could benefit the most from the support and prizes on offer.

We wish them all the best!