Talking Street Lamps

Problem: Did you know, streetlights in Europe generate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 20 million cars (40 million tons of CO2 annually). At $13 billion, it accounts for more than 40% of the government’s energy bill.

While looking down from a flight, Dutch designer, Chintan Shah, who at the time was a student at Delft University of Technology, wondered how GHG emissions can be reduced from street lighting (Carrington, 2013).

Technology: Smart Street Lighting

Shah developed a lighting solution that uses wireless sensors. The on-demand lighting system only lights up the street when a person, bicycle or car is present. The intelligent system dims the rest of the time. It can also differentiate between people and smaller animals so as to avoid lighting up unnecessarily (Carrington, 2013).

Shah first deployed this technology at the Delft university where he won a campus competition. This was then replicated in two cities in Holland and one in Ireland (Carrington, 2013).

Under the brand name, Tvilight, Shah’s aim is to conserve energy.  The newly designed street lighting system can help reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. Furthermore, it can reduce maintenance cost by 50% due to an integrated wireless sensor that sends out an alert to the central control center when it’s time for the lamp to be serviced (Carrington, 2013).

Currently, the team at Tvilight is working to make the system more human so it can change color and create different designs (Carrington, 2013).

Stakeholders: 

  1. City council
  2. Traffic control centers
  3. Neighborhood citizen groups
  4. University students (Tech/Engineering students)

Implement:

To implement this intelligent lighting system in a new city, Tvilight would need to:

Step 1: First, put forth a proposal to the Mayor and City Council of the identified city

Step 2: Once the proposal is accepted, it would need to meet with the head of the traffic control centre to jointly implement the system

Step 3: Simultaneously, it would need to conduct meetings with the selected neighborhood citizen groups to help them understand the new street lighting system

Step 4: It would need to partner with local universities so as to get tech/engineering students to help spread awareness about the new system

Step 5: It would need to monitor the system and community feedback so as to enhance the intelligent street lighting experience

References:

Carrington, Daisy (2013), ‘Tvilight: The ‘talking’ streetlamp that will lighten your heart (but not your wallet)’, CNN.com, sourced from http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/18/tech/innovation/tvilight-street-lamps-roosegarde/index.html on November 25, 2017

Making Solar Power Accessible To The Poor

Problem: India is home to 400 million people that lack access to an electricity grid. While distributed solar based solutions do exist, high upfront costs make them unaffordable to the poorest of the poor living in rural areas. Lack of electricity hampers the growth of the local economy as well as impedes the education of children.

 

Solution: Addressing Energy Poverty

Technology: A subsidiary of Seattle start-up, Simps Networks, Simps Energy India, developed a portable solar home system that is easy to install. The company provides two to three LED lights, a 30 watt solar panel and a 26 AH batter.

To make it affordable to the poor villagers, the company has deployed a rooftop solar leasing model with pre-paid metering and control technology. Villagers pre-pay via their cell phone based on actual usage with each payment adding up to the total purchase price of the solar home system. Once the system has been fully paid, it unlocks and provides free electricity to the home for the 10 year life period of the product (Simps Energy India, n.d)

How does it work? Simpa follows a 3-step model:

  1. Install: It installs the solar PV system e for a small down payment.
  2. Top up: Customers buy prepaid energy service days from local agents
  3. Unlock: When customers pay the full price, the system unlocks permanently

Impact: The solar-as-a-service model has seen a high demand in rural villages of Uttar Pradesh in North India. They have provided 1,84,093 people with clean power.

Stakeholders: 

  1. MFI’s
  2. Community Head
  3. Companies with energy poverty as part of their CSR strategy
  4. Locally based NGO

Implementation:

Step 1:  Partner with a well established locally based NGO working in identified villages

Step 2: In conjunction with the NGO, hold a meeting with the village head to explain the product and payment model

Step 3: Hold a meeting with the villagers to explain the product as well as to recruit field agents

Step 4: Install the solar system on identified homes

Step 5: Partner with an MFI to help communities pay for system

Step 6: Monitor community impact and payment

Sources: 

Simpa Networks: http://simpanetworks.com/#about

OPIC.GOV: https://www.opic.gov/opic-action/featured-projects/south-asia/simpa-networks-making-solar-power-affordable-rural-india

A Tablet to Diagnose Heart Disease

Problem

Cardiovascular diseases (CV) are most often called the silent killer. 20 million people in the African subcontinent are estimated to have been impacted by this disease. Those at risk have to spend huge amounts of money and travel hundred of miles to be treated as heart specialist given they are located in urban areas.  The Cameroon Heart Foundation found fewer than 40 heart specialists are available to serve nation’s growing CV patients (WHO, n.d).

Technology: Health

24 year old engineer, Arthur Zang, of Cameroon designed Cardiopad, a program aimed at diagnosing cardiovascular disease among the poor. The Cardiopad collects signals  generated from the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the heart via electrodes fixed near the heart. The tablet produces a moving graphical depiction of the cardiac cycle. This is then transmitted over GSM networks to a cardiologist for interpretation and diagnosis (Holland et al, 2012),

Zang designed Africa’s first fully touch-screen medical tablet given people living in the interiors of Cameroon have to travel a distance of over 900KM to see a heart specialist. Cardiopad enables health workers to give a heart examination and send results to heart specialists regardless of their location. The results are sent via a mobile network that can be interpreted within 20 minutes (BBC, 2016).

Zang has already distributed these free of charge cardiopads to hospitals across Cameroon. Patients only have to pay an annual subscription of $29. This technology is also sold to clinics in India, Nepal and Gabon. Last year, that is in 2016, the engineer won the African Engineering Award of $37,000 towards accelerating his venture.

Stakeholders

  • Government Officials
  • Hospitals & Clinics
  • Less privileged communities
  • Community health-workers
  • NGO’s working in less privileged communities
  •  Pharmaceutical companies
  • Venture capitalists (VC)
  • Medical colleges

Implementation

  1. Seek government partnership to expand and scale the product across different communities
  2. Partner with hospitals and clinics to sell the product
  3. Partner with NGO’s working in less privileged communities to mobilize community health workers, arrange health camps and support with monitoring impact
  4. Train health workers in operating the Cardiopad
  5. Raise CSR funds through Pharma companies
  6. Find  VC’s to invest and scale venture
  7. Partner with medical colleges to recruit interns and employees for organization

References

World Health Organization, Cardiovascular Diseases, who.org, sourced on November 5, 2017 from http://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases

BBC.Com (2016), ‘Cameroon’s Cardiopad Inventor Wins African Engineering Award’, BBC, sourced on November 5, 2017 from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36397164

Holland, Mina et all (2015), ‘Africa Innovations: 15 Ideas Helping To Transform A Continent’, sourced on November 5th, 2017 from  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/aug/26/africa-innovations-transform-continentx

Easy Solution to Sourcing Solar at Home

Problem

Every two minutes, a solar array is installed in America, yet 80% of American’s are not able to install solar on their rooftop. A number of households look into installing solar but they find they are unable to. Issues such as home structural problems, a tree covering the home or a poor rooftop orientation prevents them from doing so (Solstice, 2017). Financial reasons such as the inability to pay the installation costs upfront also prevent homeowners from installing rooftop solar.

Technology: Solar

Solstice was initiated with the aim to provide every household in the US access to affordable renewable energy. They initiated the community solar program that allows households to subscribe to a shared solar farm in their area. Those who sign up receive savings on their utility bill and overcome the structural and financial issues (Solstice, 2017). Solstice has 13 projects across New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and DC.

So how does it work? The local solar garden feeds clean energy into the grid. The customer sees the credits on their utility bull based on the energy the allotment produces. The customer receives electricity with no additional charges. Solstice helps consumers save up to 5 to 15% off their electricity bill, help reduce reliance on fossil fuels for energy and supports the local economy given that solar requires local jobs for planning and installation.

Partners

Partner Role
Local communities Interested in subscribing to the community solar program
Solar farm owners Sourcing solar energy
Planners and Installers Help in planning and installing the project
Volunteers Spread the word about community solar
Utility Company Partner in providing community solar

Implementation

Step 1: Find locally based solar farm owners

Step 2: Find planners and installers to help implement the project

Step 3: Speak to utility companies to partner in the project

Step 4: Find communities interested in subscribing to community solar project

  • Take help of volunteers to spread message (door to door campaign)

Step 5: Kick-start the project with households interested in sourcing energy from solar farms

Step 6: Month end, monitoring and reporting

Reference

Solstice (2017), ‘About Us’, Solstice.us, sourced on October 25th, 2017 from https://solstice.us/mission/

Eco-Friendly Toilets For Refugee Camps

Problem: One of the main issues at refugee camps is the limited access to sanitation facilities. Residents of these camps have to walk miles in order to access toilets. This walk tends to be dangerous for women at night given the lack of light. To avoid the risk of being sexually attacked, women avoid going to the restroom at night leading to health issues such as urinary track infections (Baskin, 2017).

Technology: Energy, Water, Safety, Health

To address the limited access to sanitation and electricity in refugee camps, students at the University of the West of England in Bristol collaborated with globally renowned aid agency, Oxfam, to design a toilet that uses urine to generate electricity (Mis, 2015).

This technology uses live microbes that feed on urine. These microbes then convert the urine to power. This technology does not use any fossil fuels. It depends on waste products such as urine to generate electricity (Mis, 2015).

The cost of this technology is pegged at approximately $900 to set up as one microbial fuel cell cost around $1.50 to make. The prototype of this toilet was successfully piloted near the University in 2015. Students found this technology could help power a light bulb (Mis, 2015).

Partners

  • UNHCR
  • Logistics company
  • Investors
  • NGO outreach partners

Implementation

The steps to implement this technology in a refugee camp are as follows:

  1. Partner with UNHCR to pilot this technology in one of the refugee camps
  2. Partner with a logistics company such as DHL
  3. Partner with investors for funds
  4. Partner with NGO partners for outreach and training

Sources

Mis Magdalena (March, 2015), ‘Green’ toilet could light up refugee camps’, The Christian Science Monitor, sourced on October 12, 2017 from https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2015/0312/Green-toilet-could-light-up-refugee-camps

Baskin Kara (January, 2017), ‘For Refugee Camps, A Waterless Toilet to Improve Health and Safety’, MIT Management Sloan School – Newsroom, sourced from October 12, 2017 from http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/articles/for-refugee-camps-a-waterless-toilet-to-improve-health-and-safety/

 

Is Salt Water the Answer to Energy Poverty?

Problem: The issue of energy poverty is not new. Of the 7 billion people on our planet, 1.3 billion lack access to electricity (Lindeman, 2015). To address this issue, the United Nations declared access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, n.d). In countries such as North Korea, Cambodia and Burma, 70% of the population lives without energy. 600 million in sub-saharan Africa and 300 million in India live without electricity (Lindeman, 2015).

The question is what are the solutions?

Technology: Energy

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 11.54.18 AM.png

One of the solutions devised by Greenpeace activist, Aiso Mijeno, is a lantern powered by salt water. Aiso devised this lamp to serve the people living on the 7,000 islands in the Philippines that have limited access to electricity. The Islanders make use of kerosene lamps that is both harmful and not environmentally friendly (Salt.ph, n.d).

The SALt lamps are activated by the salinity of the ocean water. It is based on metal-air technology. The key components of the lamp include salt and water, air and metal and light.

  • Salt and Water: The salt water is critical for the activation of the lamp. It can be replenished by the users from time to time
  • Air and Metal: The air that passes through the system reacts with the metal and salt water
  • Light: The combination of the air, metal and salt produces electricity that powers up the LED light

The  non-toxic saline solution makes it safe to use compared to kerosene lamps. All one needs to do is store ocean water in bottles and replenish the water in the lantern from time to time. Each lantern can provide light for up to 8 hours a day with an estimate lifespan of 6 months. It’s easy to use, does not emit any harmful gasses and has a low carbon footprint (Salt.ph, n.d).

Limitation: There are certain limitations to the product. It can only be used by those who have access to salt water. The poor living in arid desert regions cannot use this product. Thus, the target audience is limited.

***Also, it is important to note, this product is in production stage and hasn’t been manufactured on a large scale***

Stakeholders: The key stakeholders include:

Stakeholders Role
Investors Capital investment for mass production
Corporates CSR funds for the provision of FOC lanterns to less privilege communities
NGO partners Help with community outreach & monitoring & mechanism of sale/impact
Community leaders Permission to sell products at community fairs
Community Youth Training in maintenance and repair so they can act as SALt Champions on the ground

Implementation: The following steps need to be taken to implement the product:

Step 1: Find investors to infuse capital to enable mass production of lanterns

Step 2: Tie up with companies working in the space of energy poverty for CSR funds

Step 3: Partnership with NGO’s for support with community outreach and monitoring of outcome/impact

Step 4: Meeting with community leaders: Seek permission to sell lanterns at community fairs

Step 5: Meeting with community youth: Select youth to train as SALt Champions who will help with maintenance and repair on ground

Sources: 

  • SALt, (n.d), ‘Product’, SALt.ph, retrieved on October 5th, 2017 from http://www.salt.ph/#product
  • Lindeman Todd (2015), ‘World without Power’, The Washington Post, retrieved on October 5th from https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/world-without-power/
  • United Nations, (n.d), ‘Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’, Sustainable Development Goals, retrieved on October 5th, 2017 from http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/energy/

 

Medical Supplies & 3D Printing

Sustainability problem: 

The perpetual conflicts coupled with the economic downturn has limited the source of medical supplies in Gaza. To bring such equipment through neighboring countries such as Israel and Egypt is another mammoth task. Doctors have to make do with scarce medical resources, while NGO’s such as Medecins Sans Frontieres take on the responsibility to help with medical care (Rushabh, 2017).

Sustainability Technology: Health

To address the issue of medical supply scarcity, the Glia Medical Project was initiated by Dr. Tarek Loubani in 2012. Glia uses 3D printers to create medical equipment. The 3D printable equipment is made from ABS/PLA plastic. It is provided free of cost to the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Glia strives to make high quality low cost medical equipment’s based on the free open source philosophy. The first device developed was a 3D printed stethoscope (Rushabh, 2017). This equipment that cost $0.30 cents works better than the $200 equipment that is traditionally manufactured (Molitch-Hou, 2014). 3D prints were also used to make components for air ionizers and ozone generators. This medical hardware helps remove airborne bacteria and sterilize surgical instruments. To make these products, a 3D printer was built from spare parts by one of the members of the project. (Rushabh, 2017).

3D printing is said to be a sustainable technological solution to the traditional form of manufacturing given it can be done locally. It cuts out the waste generated from traditional manufacturing as well as the energy and materials consumed in transportation and packaging. Additionally, the material used in 3D printing, thermoplastics, can be reshaped into new objects, which eliminates the need for end of life treatment required for other products (Phansey, 2014).

The medical supplies made from 3D printing by Dr. Loubani and team not only addresses the medical supply shortage in Gaza but also provides an environmental friendly solution to manufacturing medical equipment’s locally.

Key Stakeholders

Stakeholder Role
Local government Permission to set up business/seek licenses
Investors Investment in business
Hospitals Key customer for sale of equipment’s
Healthcare companies Funding partner for R&D

CSR funding partner to provide medical supplies free of cost to NGO/low cost medical facilities

CSR funding partner for vocational training program to teach less privileged youngsters to make medical equipment’s from 3D printing

NGO’s focused on healthcare Community outreach partner
Media PR
Public Champion to raise awareness
Technology/Healthcare educational institutes Partnership for interns/new recruits to work on developing new medical prototypes from 3D printing

Guest lectures to teach 3D printing of medical equipment’s

Waste management audit firm Conduct annual waste audit

Implementation

Phase 1: Business Development

  • Seek permission and licenses from government to set up 3D printing business
  • Once permissions are sought, set up 3D printing medical equipment business
  • Seek investor support
  • Partner with healthcare companies for R&D support
  • Partner with hospitals & NGOs working in healthcare for sale of products
  • Train hospital medical staff and NGO staff on how to use the equipment
  • Raise awareness through media and public campaigns
  • Partner with educational institutes for guest lectures/recruitment of interns
  • Monitor: sale of products, feedback on equipment usage, footfall in hospital post usage of new equipment’s, material usage, material recycled/saved through this model

Phase 2: Community Outreach Efforts

  • CSR partnership with healthcare companies to fund vocational training programs to train less privileged youth in developing 3D medical equipment’s
  • Seek government partnerships for infrastructure support
  • Partner with NGO’s for community outreach efforts
  • Monitor: number of youth trained, number of youth employed in 3D printing business, number of youth enrolled to further study medicine/waste management/engineering

Sources

Haria Rushabh (2017), ‘Self-Assembled 3D Printers Produce Essential Medical Supplies in Gaza, ‘3D Printing Industry, sourced from September  25th, 2017 from https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/self-assembled-3d-printers-produce-essential-medical-supplies-gaza-120900/

Glia (n.d), About us, Glia Equal Care, sourced on September 25, 2017 from https://glia.org

Phansey Asheen (May 2014), ‘How 3D printing can revolutionize sustainable design’, Greenbiz.com sourced on September 25, 2017 from https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/05/29/3d-printing-revolutionize-sustainable-design

Medical Supplies & 3D Printing

Sustainability problem: 

The perpetual conflicts coupled with the economic downturn has limited the source of medical supplies in Gaza. To bring such equipment through neighboring countries such as Israel and Egypt is another mammoth task. Doctors have to make do with scarce medical resources, while NGO’s such as Medecins Sans Frontieres take on the responsibility to help with medical care (Rushabh, 2017).

Sustainability Technology: Health

To address the issue of medical supply scarcity, the Glia Medical Project was initiated by Dr. Tarek Loubani in 2012. Glia uses 3D printers to create medical equipment. The 3D printable equipment is made from ABS/PLA plastic. It is provided free of cost to the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Glia strives to make high quality low cost medical equipment’s based on the free open source philosophy. The first device developed was a 3D printed stethoscope (Rushabh, 2017). This equipment that cost $0.30 cents works better than the $200 equipment that is traditionally manufactured (Molitch-Hou, 2014). 3D prints were also used to make components for air ionizers and ozone generators. This medical hardware helps remove airborne bacteria and sterilize surgical instruments. To make these products, a 3D printer was built from spare parts by one of the members of the project. (Rushabh, 2017).

3D printing is said to be a sustainable technological solution to the traditional form of manufacturing given it can be done locally. It cuts out the waste generated from traditional manufacturing as well as the energy and materials consumed in transportation and packaging. Additionally, the material used in 3D printing, thermoplastics, can be reshaped into new objects, which eliminates the need for end of life treatment required for other products (Phansey, 2014).

The medical supplies made from 3D printing by Dr. Loubani and team not only addresses the medical supply shortage in Gaza but also provides an environmental friendly solution to manufacturing medical equipment’s locally.

Key Stakeholders

Stakeholder Role
Local government Permission to set up business/seek licenses
Investors Investment in business
Hospitals Key customer for sale of equipment’s
Healthcare companies Funding partner for R&D

CSR funding partner to provide medical supplies free of cost to NGO/low cost medical facilities

CSR funding partner for vocational training program to teach less privileged youngsters to make medical equipment’s from 3D printing

NGO’s focused on healthcare Community outreach partner
Media PR
Public Champion to raise awareness
Technology/Healthcare educational institutes Partnership for interns/new recruits to work on developing new medical prototypes from 3D printing

Guest lectures to teach 3D printing of medical equipment’s

Waste management audit firm Conduct annual waste audit

Implementation

Phase 1: Business Development

  • Seek permission and licenses from government to set up 3D printing business
  • Once permissions are sought, set up 3D printing medical equipment business
  • Seek investor support
  • Partner with healthcare companies for R&D support
  • Partner with hospitals & NGOs working in healthcare for sale of products
  • Train hospital medical staff and NGO staff on how to use the equipment
  • Raise awareness through media and public campaigns
  • Partner with educational institutes for guest lectures/recruitment of interns
  • Monitor: sale of products, feedback on equipment usage, footfall in hospital post usage of new equipment’s, material usage, material recycled/saved through this model

Phase 2: Community Outreach Efforts

  • CSR partnership with healthcare companies to fund vocational training programs to train less privileged youth in developing 3D medical equipment’s
  • Seek government partnerships for infrastructure support
  • Partner with NGO’s for community outreach efforts
  • Monitor: number of youth trained, number of youth employed in 3D printing business, number of youth enrolled to further study medicine/waste management/engineering

Sources

Haria Rushabh (2017), ‘Self-Assembled 3D Printers Produce Essential Medical Supplies in Gaza, ‘3D Printing Industry, sourced from September  25th, 2017 from https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/self-assembled-3d-printers-produce-essential-medical-supplies-gaza-120900/

Glia (n.d), About us, Glia Equal Care, sourced on September 25, 2017 from https://glia.org

Phansey Asheen (May 2014), ‘How 3D printing can revolutionize sustainable design’, Greenbiz.com sourced on September 25, 2017 from https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/05/29/3d-printing-revolutionize-sustainable-design

Molitch-Hou Michael (August 2014), ‘Doctors Bring Low Cost Medical Supplies to Gaza with 3D Printing’, 3D Printing Industry, sourced on September 25th, 2017 from https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/doctor-brings-medical-supplies-to-gaza-with-3d-printing-55635/