Implantable sand-sized sensors to monitor internal goings-on​ in real time

In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...

Sustainability Problem

Global Health


Scientists have developed tiny wireless sensors they call “neural dust”, which track nerve signals and muscles in real time, opening up a wide array of potential applications that range from checking internal organs to wirelessly controlling prosthetics with your mind.

  • University of California, Berkeley, have managed to squish sensors into 1 mm cubes around the size of a large grain of sand and implanted them into the muscles and peripheral nerves of rats.
  • These cubes house piezoelectric crystals that turn ultrasound vibrations (applied from outside the body) into electricity.
  • This provides a power source for a miniature onboard transistor that rests in contact with the nerve to measure electrical activity.
  • In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used outside the brain not just for monitoring, but also stimulating nerves and muscles to treat things like epilepsy, inflammation or fire up the immune system.
  • Eventually, they hope to develop tinier versions that can be packed into the brain, an advance that could mean big, big things.



  • Human Beings
  • Medical Community
  • Patients
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Doctors
  • Electronics Industry


  • Test and clinical trial
  • Pilot program
  • Doctor education and socialization
  • Hospital implementation
  • Scale

Electroloom Mini 3D clothing printer creates seamless, wearable fabric in under 20 minutes

Sustainability Problem

Water usage and discharge in the apparel industry.

Technology Article

3D Fabric Printing:  Electroloom’s technology relies on a proprietary liquid solution and an ‘electrospinning’ process they have dubbed Field Guided Fabrication (FGF), which allows for the direct conversion of raw material into a finished good, with absolutely zero sewing, and only basic CAD skills required.

  • Users begin by creating a mold of the desired garment
  • The mold can be designed in 3D CAD modeling software, a 2D graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator, or it can even be handmade from just about any fabric
  • The mold is inserted into the Electroloom 3D printer’s chamber, followed by the proprietary liquid solution
  • During the FGF process, the solution is guided onto the mold by an electric field, coating and binding the nano-fibers into a seamless, cohesive, 3D fabric.
  • Can create vibrant colored fabrics without the need for secondary dying, water usage, or post-processing
  • According to the company, garments created with the Electroloom 3D clothing printer use 292 times less water than a traditionally manufactured garment.


  • Electroloom
  • Mills
  • Garment producers
  • Fashion/Apparel Brands
  • Apparel global supply chain


  • Vet technology
  • Test with consumers
  • Partner with centers for sustainability and innovation within apparel industry
  • Identify first movers in apparel 3D Printer
  • Implement technology in pilot facilities
  • Scale


Meet Maxwell, NASA’s zero-emission 14-motor electric airplane

Sustainability Problem: 

Aviation accounts for 12 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions annually


The new X-57 (affectionately called Maxwell) will be the first aircraft of its kind that utilizes electric motors in lieu of traditional technology that produced substantial amounts of carbon dioxide emissions

  • X-57, “Maxwell,” is the experimental aircraft by the US Airforce and NASA researchers
  • “Maxwell” was chosen to honor James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th century Scottish physicist who did groundbreaking work in electromagnetism
  • 12 electric motors on the wing’s leading edge for take offs and landings
  • One larger motor on each wing tip for use while at cruise altitude
  • NASA plans to use Maxwell to validate the idea that distributing electric power across a number of motors integrated with an aircraft will result in higher energy efficiency
  • The plane is believed to be able to travel at a cruising speed of around 175 miles per hour
  • A big deal for the future of aviation

Organizational Stakeholders

  • US Airforce
  • NASA
  • Aviation Industry
  • Customers


  • Validate technology
  • Scale technology to meet commercial specs
  • Educate consumers
  • Partner with airlines
  • Build fleet & deploy

Qmilk – the bio Milk Fibre

Sustainability Problem: 

  • Textile Waste
    • Millions of tons of clothing end up in landfills every year
  • Food Waste
    • In Germany alone 1.9 million tons of milk must be disposed of every year


The Qmilch GmbH has developed an innovative process to produce a textile fiber from milk which cannot be used for consumption. Casein is the main input for the textile and made from raw milk that is no longer tradable and cannot be used as food. This milk still contains valuable ingredients and offers great potential for technical purposes.  Due to its eco-efficient production technology and component ingredients, it has the ability to set new standards in fiber production.

  • For the production of 1 kg of fiber Qmilch needs only 5 minutes and a maximum of 2 liters of water
  • Cost efficiency and ensures a minimum of CO2 emissions
  • 100% renewable resources
  • Biodegradable
  • Naturally antibacterial
  • Ideal for people that suffer from textile allergies
  • High wearing comfort and a silky feel
  • The organic fiber is tested for harmful substances and dermatologically tested for your skin and body compatibility
  • 0% chemical additives

Organizational Stakeholders

  • Apparel companies
  • Textile Companies
  • Consumers
  • Natural Fiber Farmers (i.e. Cotton)
  • Automotive Industry
  • Medical Industry
  • Supply Chain Communities
  • Factories


  • Education/ Marketing
  • Partner with apparel industry governing bodies like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
  • Partner with fiber tradeshows
  • Scale within fashion
  • Scale technology to additional applications


AirDye’s Ecological Dyeing Process Makes the Future of Textiles Bright

Sustainability Problem: 

  • The dyeing process can be a potentially devastating industry when it comes to chemicals, waste, and water usage
    • 1/3 of the world does not have access to clean water
    • Traditional dyeing and textile decorating is the third largest consumer of water in the world


AirDye, a new method created by Colorep for dyeing textiles takes water almost out of the equation, using 90% less water, but also reducing the emissions and energy used by 85%, since extreme heat is needed to dry the textiles after they are soaked in dye (and most fabrics then require a post-rinse and yet another dry cycle).

  • Uses all synthetic fibers for its material, which can be made from recycled PET bottles
  • Uses dispersed dyes that are applied to a paper carrier
  • Uses heat to transfer the dyes from the paper to the surface of the textiles, coloring it at the molecular level
  • All paper used is recycled, and dyes are inert, meaning that they can go back to their original state and be reused

Organizational Stakeholders

  • Supply chain communities
  • Factories
  • Apparel companies
  • Consumers
  • Health/Hospitality industry


  • Education/ Marketing
    • “Spread the word in a brand-appropriate way, creating a viral, buzzworthy campaign that echoed the sustainability message”
  • Partner with apparel industry governing bodies like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
  • Partner with vendors
  • Develop transition plan from old to new technology
  • Sale within fashion
  • Scale technology to additional applications

Chemists shed new light on global energy, food supply challenge

Sustainability Problem: Carbon Footprint, Energy, & Agriculture

  • Nitrogen fixation is an energy-intensive process
  • The Haber-Bösch process currently consumes about two percent of the world’s fossil fuel supply based on a Utah State University Study


A new process which uses nanomaterials to capture light energy.

  • All living things require nitrogen for survival
  • There are only two processes that can break nitrogen’s strong bond to allow conversion to a form humans, animals and plants can consume
    • Natural, bacterial process and the Haber-Bösch process
    • The Haber-Bösch revolutionized fertilizer production and spurred unprecedented growth of the global food supply, however it consumes about two percent of the world’s fossil fuel supply
    • “This new light-driven process could revolutionize agriculture, while reducing the world food supply’s dependence on fossil fuels and relieving Haber-Bösch’s heavy carbon footprint”
    • This light technology allow for a much more energy efficient process
    • This technology is not exclusive to food production, but can help develop clean fuel alternatives for many other applications

Organizational Stakeholders

  • Energy Industry
  • Food industry
  • Clean energy companies


  • Education on the current carbon footprint issue in agriculture and new technology
  • Develop plan to scale new light technology for agriculture
  • Develop transition plan from old to new technology
  • Scale technology to additional applications

Journal Reference:

  1. A. Brown, D. F. Harris, M. B. Wilker, A. Rasmussen, N. Khadka, H. Hamby, S. Keable, G. Dukovic, J. W. Peters, L. C. Seefeldt, P. W. King.Light-driven dinitrogen reduction catalyzed by a CdS:nitrogenase MoFe protein biohybrid.Science, 2016; 352 (6284): 448 DOI:10.1126/science.aaf2091

Identifying Slavery in Supply Chains


Sustainability Problem:

Nearly 20-46MM people are trapped in modern day slavery.  Big data can help consumers/companies identify products that have used/benefited from slavery

Relevant Technology:

Big data using cloud technology to identify, track, and report goods/component parts produced using slave labor

Article:  How Big Data is Driving Sustainability – Identifying Slavery in Supply Chains

  • The United Nations International Labor Organization estimates that over 20 million people are forced into labor (quoted much higher in other reports)
  • Individuals forced into these horrid conditions generate as much as $150 billion in annual revenue for their captors
  • This problem has gone largely unidentified because the scopes of these global supply chains are quite extensive and hard to map directly – especially in apparel
  • Enter Made in a Free World, a nonprofit that uses a global database to track and identify materials and goods associated with slave labor
  • Big data is being used to create an open source database and tracking system to identify materials/goods that are associated with slave labor
  • Can be used for both consumers or enterprises to see if they are purchasing end products or component parts that are tied to slavery

Technology stakeholders:

  • Consumers
  • Corporations
  • Non-profit Community
  • Apparel Workers
  • Apparel Vendors/Mills/Etc.
  • Governments

Process Component of Technology Implementation:

  • Partner with corporation in the apparel industry to encourage voluntary supply chain map transparency for better input data (where available)
  • Work to register vendors in order to identify verified factories vs. unverified (unverified being higher risk)
  • Partner with NGO’s and governments in high risk areas to mitigate necessary issues