Congratulations to all teams who participated in our Healing the Planet accelerator program and of course to the pioneering winning projects.
1st Place: Project Vesta: Olivine-Accelerated Coastal Enhanced Weathering
2nd Place: SystemicAgri: Improving Ag to Avoid Excess Carbon
3rd Place: CT Fusion: High Energy Fusion Energy Proof of Concept
Large-scale Passive Carbon Sequestration via Engineered Porous Materials
After focusing on fostering theoretical research via our yearly technical competitions on molecular nanotechnology for medicine and energy, the time was ripe this year to select the very top of early-stage projects on climate amelioration and accelerate their impact in the world through our Healing the Planet Accelerator. In this 4-week online accelerator, top projects were mentored by experts such as Nobel chemist Stanley Whittingham, Google X co-founder Tom Chi, ARPA-E Program Director Isik Kizilyalli and Schmidt Futures Scientific Director Tom Kalil.
The winning projects are astounding and will receive financial support and ongoing guidance from Foresight Institute.
Watch all accelerator videos and projects presentations in this playlist & read more on on the participating project, their next steps, and remarkable humans leading them just below:
Project Vesta’s plan to make radical progress to heal the planet is to further the science of enhanced weathering and galvanize global deployment of green sand beaches. The non-profit organization exists to prove the science of Coastal Enhanced Weathering (CEW) in an ocean environment, in order to develop CEW as a mature solution for climate change, opening the way for deployment to be scaled for large-scale carbon removal. Once scaled, Project Vesta plans to remove gigatonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, in a permanent, safe, and cost-effective way. The process captures 20 times more carbon dioxide than the extraction and transportation of the olivine. If deployed on just 2% of global shelf seas, CEW could capture 100% of annual human emissions. As next steps, Project Vesta is beginning their first pilot experiments, with the team arriving onsite this month, and continuing fundraising in order to resource the work being done through beach experiments.
More about Project Vesta:
Shanee Stopnitzky – https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanee-stopnitzky-b86681168/
Francesc Montserrat – https://www.linkedin.com/in/francesc-montserrat-a490316/
Tom Green – https://www.linkedin.com/in/abcdefghijkl123/
Eric Matzner – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericmatzner
Kelly Erhart – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-erhart-56bb0415a/
Desiree Tavera – https://www.linkedin.com/in/desireetavera
The farmers often come across with various possible solutions to optimize farming, though, those solutions often might be either high-priced, lacking regional socio-eco-economic specifications or revenue management. Farm Foresight App, SystemicAgri, delivers affordable and sustainable development strategies for desired time frames to small farmers using the visualization of scenarios and impact assessment.
After filling general farm characteristics and investment expectations, SystemicAgri provides understandable infographics, reports and maps of systemic solutions for ecological regeneration in agricultural landscapes. At least three scenarios are provided, where regionally based good farming practices, return on investment, current and upcoming land use policies and network opportunities among consumers, authorities and producers are included. Ultimately, SystemicAgri empowers generations of farmers both economically and socially and creates better futures.
SystemicAgri screenshots illustrating two scenarios, business-as-usual (farm today) and future farm, where forecasted sustainable farming optimizations are also accounted monetary.
Validating and building the SystemicAgri App will be our next steps, meaning that we are open to welcome new team members and accept suitable funding. If the project excites you, especially, if you are an app developer, please contact at [email protected].
Alevtina Evgrafova, PhD, is a soil specialist, who has over eight years of professional experience in environmental sciences gained through both academic and industrial projects. Her interdisciplinary interests encompass sustainable development, social impact assessment, policy-making, and technologies. Currently based in Berlin, Germany.
Creon Levit is an applied physicist and software engineer who spent over 30 years at NASA. Since 2015 he has been Chief Technologist and Director of R&D at Planet Labs, a private remote sensing data company that has designed, built, and operates more Earth observing satellites than the rest of the world combined.
Fusion is a commercial fusion energy company based in Seattle, WA. It seeks to make fusion energy affordable and fully commercially viable by 2031. Fusion is the process that powers stars. It can provide highly power dense, firm, carbon free electricity or industrial process heat with zero risk of meltdowns, no long-lived waste and only minimal land requirements.
To equitably deliver these benefits around the world, CTFusion seeks a broad coalition of investors and supporters from energy and engineering companies, philanthropists, non-profits, and environmental organizations. It is fundraising for its next four year project, a proof of concept machine that will demonstrate the physics necessary for a later net electric pilot plant.
Dr. Derek Sutherland, CEO – Plasma physicist and nuclear engineer with experience in multiple public and private fusion ventures. Ph.D. University of Washington, B.S. MIT Nuclear Engineering & Physics.
Dr. Aaron Hossack, CTO – Lead experimental scientist with 10 years with fusion prototypes. Ph.D. University of Washington, B.S. UW Physics & Astronomy.
Mr. Chris Ajemian VP Business development and Regulatory affairs. Corporate lawyer, Software CEO, PNNL nonproliferation analyst, foreign policy planner. J.D. University of Washington, M.A.I.S. UW, B.A. U.C. Berkeley.
Dr. Kyle Morgan – Research Scientist with experience in Plasma & High Temp Physics, 10 years with operational systems for fusion prototypes, computational modeling of plasmas relevant to magnetic confinement fusion. Ph.D. University of Washington, B.S. U.W.
We are working on developing a novel porous material to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere (called direct air capture, or DAC). To return the atmosphere to 350 ppm CO2, we need to remove about 1100 Gt (gigatonnes) CO2 from the atmosphere–more if the world doesn’t very aggressively attempt to eliminate all fossil fuel emissions. The size of the new DAC industry required to accomplish this much CO2 removal will need to be the cumulative scope of the entire petrochemical industry for the last 30 years. By developing materials specifically to optimize DAC, we are hoping to make this enormous undertaking as feasible as possible.
Our next step is to computationally analyze the broadest possible range of materials and processes in a search for improved materials.
Chris Wilmer is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and has previously spun-out two startups from his research, NuMat Technologies (www.numat-tech.com) and Aeronics (www.aeronicsinc.com), both of which focus on difficult gas storage/separations problems.
Paul Boone is a software engineer in residence and researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. He formerly managed both Software Engineering and Corporate Finance departments in the startup scenes in both Silicon Valley and Venice Beach, but is now focused on researching and developing solutions to help remove historically emitted CO2 from the atmosphere.
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