Nosco + Carbon Footprint Challenge 2018

In an effort to create positive social and environmental impact, industry leaders including Bühler, Belimo, Covestro and Danfoss have joined forces once again to bring students, businesses and innovation together under one roof. Students from across the world competed to pitch their most innovative ideas to fight global warming and climate change.

Through this innovation challenge, companies were exposed to top talent within innovation and new venture opportunities.  While students had the opportunity to win prize money for their new business idea and a chance to collaborate with industry experts. This year nearly 150 teams participated, with 6 teams progressing to the final round.

At Nosco, our mission is to make innovation everyone’s business. We were thrilled to help students develop their own business opportunities, but most importantly, create impact.

Ideas from the finalists

Coir Wood: turning coconut waste into a material that resembles wood, serving as an alternative to Medium Density Fibre (MDF). This new material can be used for construction as well as furniture eliminating the need for carcinogenic chemicals originally required to bind coir. Utilizing the outer shell of the coconut not only reduces food waste, but also provides a viable substitute to wood. The current demand for wood results in high levels of deforestation across the world, destroying animal habitat and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

pv²: transforming salt water to drinkable water while generating energy for Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS). Ultimately allowing remote islands to produce their own energy, food and freshwater without importing resources or burning fossil fuels that contribute to pollution. The purpose of pv2 is to make self-sufficient communities that not only build the technology using local products, but also maintain it by providing the community adequate training to ensure long lasting and sustainable use of the solar power system.

Fresh Tag: freshness indicator for perishable food in Asia in order to reduce food waste within the marginal food supply chain. Remaining days of freshness are determined based on the temperature where the produce is stored, alerting farmers when immediate action is required. Since freshness of produce is not visible to the naked eye, fresh tag helps farmers to make educated decisions about their produce in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from food waste and prevent the sale of spoiled foods to unsuspecting customers.

Behind the scenes

  1. Team Assembly: Nosco’s platform allows users from all over the world to connect and assemble teams. Those who hold a certain skill set/knowledge can match with users who have already developed an idea while participants with an existing idea can find team members within the platform to assist in the advancement and perfecting of their own idea.
  2. Submission & Evaluation: Ideas are submitted by participants and then evaluated by the judges through Nosco’s platform. Evaluation criteria include whether or not the idea solves a real problem, the potential in carbon/environmental footprint and/or waste reduction and whether or not there is a promising business opportunity among other factors. By analyzing a heat map generated from the judge’s evaluations, the top 6 teams are selected to move onto the final round.
  3. Coaching: Through Nosco’s workshops, the 6 finalist teams received coaching from Jesper Muller-Krogstrup, Nosco’s CEO and partner. The purpose of the workshop was to help students fine tune their ideas and prepare each team for their pitch to Bühler, Belimo, Covestro and Danfoss.

See you next year!

2018 has been another successful year for the Carbon Footprint Challenge hosted by ETH University in Zurich. We would like to further extend our congratulations to Fresh Tag, the winning team and thank the remaining teams for their participation and passion for innovation and impact. We look forward to the impact these ideas create and the many carbon footprint challenges to come in the future. For more information, please visit