New 3D Printed Tire From Biodegradable Materials


Capture d’écran 2017-11-25 à 12.59.13.png

Area : Waste, Energy


75% of tires are made of petroleum (needed for the production of the rubber used). At the end of the products’ life most of them end up in landfills .

Michelin, thanks to a new concept, 3D printed a new kind of tire. The tires are made out of molasse (sugar paste), then turned into ethanol which is used to produce rubber replacing petroleum. Since the tire is only made of natural sources (molasse, bamboo,…), the tire is fully biodegradable.  Although, thanks to the new design of the tires, their useful life should be greatly extended. Indeed, instead of changing tires when a problem arises, the new Vision tire can be modified with a 3D printer.


Stakeholders: Car manufacturers / City officials / Car owners


  • Michelin needs to research markets to find countries/ citis which are early adopters of new technologies;
  • They need to contact the government of this country/city to run some test in the city and have approval of their technology being used
  • They need to find car manufacturers that are also early adopters to pilot their technology

Other article comment: The tiles are also gathering data that can be used for better understanding pedestrians habits and crowd flows . This type of information is useful to commerces but also for cities.




Solar Greenhouses

Sustainability Problem:

  • Solar energy has limited useful capacity.
  • Greenhouses are increasing in number for their farming capacity and that growth is not sustainable.


  • Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a technology that generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems.
  • These greenhouses are outfitted with transparent roof panels embedded with a bright magenta luminescent dye that absorbs light and transfers energy to narrow photovoltaic strips, where electricity is produced.WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing the plants to grow.
  • Plants grow considerably better, quicker and use considerably lesser water than traditional farming methods.
  • WSPV technology was developed by coauthors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers, both professors of physics at UC Santa Cruz, who founded Soliculture in 2012 to bring the technology to market.


  • Greenhouse builders
  • Farmers
  • Local communities
  • Utilities

Next Steps:

  • Experiment with local produce in different regions to check for viability
  • Attempt to scale this technology through quick adoption across diverse markets
  • Take greenhouses off grid completely by adding components of water





Comment on another post:

Drone to Help Pollination



Sustainable Problem: Sustainable Agriculture

Pollinators such as bees and butter flies help produce 75% of the world’s crops by pollination. Unfortunately, many insect pollinators are facing extinction.

Technology:  Drones

Researchers in Japan are testing out drones to be used for pollination. These drones carry pollen from one plant to another allowing them to be pollinated and reproduce without the help of insect pollinators.


  • Farmers
  • Grocery Stores
  • Farmers Markets

Next Steps:

  1. Create awareness about incest extinction and pollination issues.
  2. Continue to perform research on drone capability and technology.
  3. Pilot this technology at local farms, gardens, and parks.
  4. Secure incentives and funding means to produce more pollination drones.


As the world transforms to use more smart technology in their daily lives, this is a important fabric that can analyze data and build databases that help evaluate a persons health.  I believe this technology will change the way people understand their own health and body and move towards a healthier lifestyle with data analytics.

Solar Roadways !!

Sustainable Issue: Energy Efficiency

Technology:  Solar roadways

The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally engineered solar panels that can be driven upon. It replaces all current petroleum based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collects energy to be used by our homes and businesses. Solar Roadways Incorporated is a start-up company based in Sandpoint, Idaho founded by Scott and Julie Brusaw in 2006. The company envisioned in replacing asphalt roads with solar panels. The proposed system would require the development of strong, transparent, and self-cleaning glass that has the necessary traction and impact resistance properties. Their technology includes a transparent driving surface with underlying solar cells, electronic and sensors to act as solar array with programmable capability.

solar roads

There are three layers for the solar roadways –

  1. Road Surface Layer.
  2. Electronics Layer.
  3. Base Plate Layer.

For solar roadways to be successful, the three layers of solar road panels need to work in unison. The road surface layer needs to be clear enough to let the sunlight pass through it to the electronics layer. The electronics layer collects solar energy. It consists of photovoltaic cells which converts this energy into electricity. This energy received is transmitted to the base plate layer and also it keeps the road functioning properly, and the base plate layer determines where the energy is supposed to go and distributes power (collected from the electronics layer) and data signals (phone, TV, internet, etc.) to all homes and businesses connected to the Solar Roadway. Because the road lines on solar roadways are LEDs, the baseplate layer needs to ensure that the roadway has enough energy needed before sending the rest of the energy out towards the grid. Solar cells produce DC energy. Homes and businesses currently use AC energy, so the DC solar energy is converted to AC energy by a DC-to-AC converter or solar micro inverter and then is fed to the homes and other places.

Stake Holders:

  • Manufacturing units
  • Energy Manager
  • Commercial building users
  • Utility Company
  • Federal highway department
  • Engineer

Deployment / Implementation:

Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.

Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.

Step three: Form partnership with utility companies (Solar and automobile industry) that could use this technology to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Step four : Implementation of the technology along with the government.


Response to Another post 

Portable Toilets by Harleen

I think the concept of Portable toilets should be appreciated for their durability, easy to use functionality, and modern design, light weight, easy to wash and move. However, my only concern is about cleaning. Proper knowledge about the cleaning process should be taken from the retailer from where you buy the mobile toilet to maintain healthy hygiene of the users.

Energy producing Honda Homes

Sustainability problem: Energy

-Residences leave no carbon footprint

-Composed of  materials that are nearly 100% from sustainable sources

-Powered by the sun

-The home energy management system (HEMS) is a computer hardware and software that smartens the home by: -pulling power from the grid when it needs it

-charging up the car’s battery

-sending power back to the grid when it produces more than

it needs.

Stakeholders: Department of Energy, homeowners that consume large amounts of energy

Implementation steps: Identify city-specific monetary and environmental benefits of the technology, compare them to the current situation, and promote them to the stakeholders.

Sidewalk Labs takes on health care

Sustainability problem:

Good health and well-being is the third Sustainable Development Goal as outlined by the United Nations in 2015. In the United States, life expectancy remains far behind that of other developed countries. Yet, the US is spending way more per capita on medical treatment. In addition, life expectancy in US cities varies dramatically from zip codes to zip code, per median household income. Cleary, we are challenged by inefficiency and access: communities are not receiving the appropriate care they need.


City Block is a start-up within Sidewalk Labs, Google’s parent company’s urban innovation group. It focuses on providing healthcare to low income communities in urban areas, by leveraging technology to better customize care and follow-up with each patient. Through its Neighborhood Health Hubs set up in targeted neighborhoods, City Block plans to provide hyper localized care by trained providers and connect patients and care professionals through their proprietary digital platform, Commons. Hubs will provide treatments for depression, substance-use disorders, anxiety, and others, including serious mental. Healthcare innovation has typically only reached high income communities. By contrast, City is partnering with Medicaid for coverage.


  • Sidewalk Labs
  • Target low-income communities
  • Medicaid
  • Healthcare providers


  • Roll-out of first clinic in NYC in 2018
    • Finalize and test proprietary data management and communication platform
    • Complete development of care offering and processes
    • Hire and train community health workers
    • Partner with Medicaid for coverage
    • Customer acquisition campaign
  • Expansion to other locations in NYC and other US cities



I enjoyed learning about this leather alternative from pineapple leaves. I’m very interested in fashion tech and especially new textile technologies to address animal welfare and environmental issues. This reminds me of Modern Meadow, a technology company growing leather derived from collagen, the same animal protein found in animal skin.

Could Virtual Reality help us reduce traveling needs?

1.- Climate change is the result of a mix of carbon emission produced mainly by humans. CO2 emissions, are primarily generated from the combustion of fossil fuels, unfortunately, these have risen dramatically since the start of the industrial revolution.

Transportation plays a major role in the green-hous-gas (GHG) per sector, in fact, according to the UN the global car fleet is expected to triple by 2050. GHG emissions from transport are growing faster than any other sector. (UN)

cait-global-emissions-sectorSource: Center for climate and energy solutions

When we analyze into further details the purposes of transportation, not so much regarding items but specifically humans, there is a significant amount of travels for meetings and business purposes. There is a considerable amount of emissions generated by transporting people to the workspace as well as to meetings in different cities or countries.

2.- Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality headsets with antler-like sensors attached to the goggles enables the user to join a virtual-reality environment in which they see digital avatars of themselves moving around a simulated environment. (Wall Street Journal)

Although conference calls have had a great impact on the way we communicate, there are still some shortfalls, such as limitation of hand gestures, and human contact. The novelty of having an avatar that represents yourself and others in a shared common space enables a set of different interactions.

VR meetings will allow for nuanced nonverbal communication—proper eye contact, subtle cues such as interpersonal distance, and eventually virtual touch and smell (when desired),” Prof. Bailenson– founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Virtual-reality systems could replace video conferencing as a common tool for business meetings, that could represent not only time savings but also GHG emission reductions, since traveling for meetings within a city, a country or in the world for meetings won’t be necessary.

3.- The next step to deploy this technology is to improve the internet infrastructure. VR, as well as conference calls, rely on a good internet connection, in many cases is not good enough. Furthermore, enabling VR experiences, through movies and short films can be a compelling start into deploying this technology, by gaining public curiosity and acceptance.

4.- Finally, I see this technology being primarily deployed in the private sector by companies. This could have also a great beneficial impact in terms of cost savings since work travels are expensive, therefore there is a clear incentive for companies to adopt it, and put some effort in the public acceptance. An example of a company working on VR meetings is tvTime.

u-Children Safety System in Seoul

1. Sustainability Problem: Children and people with disabilities do not feel safe and secure in large cities when moving between their home and work/school.

Category: Safety

2. Solution:


Click to access T23010000190001PDFE.pdf

  • u-Seoul Safety Service has been in operation since April 2008, utilizing state-of-the-art Location Based Services and CCTV technologies to notify authorities and family members of emergencies involving children, the disabled, the elderly, and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Seoul has developed a smart device dedicated to this purpose and when its holder leaves a designated safe zone or pushes its emergency button, an emergency alert is sent to guardians, police, fire departments and CCTV Control Centers.
  • To make use of the u-Seoul Safety Service, citizens are required to register with mobile carriers specifically designed for this purpose. Supporting low-income households and especially vulnerable groups, Seoul often provides emergency-alert devices free of charge or at significant discounts, aiming to reach 50,000 registered users by 2014.
  • “U-Children Safety System” provides ‘children safety zones’ using a multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) wireless infrastructure mesh network. Real-time CCTV networks and children’s smart devices allow Seoul to make use of wireless networks in locating missing children as quickly as possible.

3. Organizational Stakeholders: City Administration, Public, Cell service providers

4. Next Steps:

  • Educate children and other users about the technology
  • Update cell services to meet the device requirement
  • Update emergency service personnel about the changes

5. Comment on another blog:

Biodegradable Fabric From Methane-Eating Bacteria

1) Sustainability Problem: Fast Fashion & Global Warming

The fast fashion industry encompasses many problems: water use, labor issues/human rights, textile waste, and microfibers that end up contaminating the oceans due to breakdown during washing being a few.

Additionally, greenhouse gases, such as methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas, are causing global warming.

2) Technology:

  • Microbes feed on waste methane and are then forced into a substance that serves as the feedstock for the bacteria.
  • Once the bacteria grows denser the PHA is harvested. It comes out in the form of a powder that then can be turned into the end product, polymer pellets.
  • The resulting fabrics created from the Mango Materials yarn are biodegradable. For example a light t-shirt would fully degrade in a month in a compost pile. If fibers end up in the ocean they would also dissolve.
  • This material reduces the amount of methane in the atmosphere and creates a biodegradable textile without the water use, labor issues, waste and ocean pollution of the textile industry.

2017-MM-Cycle-v1-1.3-twu3) Stakeholders:

  • Methane Producers
    • Wastewater treatment plants
    • Farms
    • Landfills
    • Anaerobic digesters
  • Eco-friendly fashion and textile companies who want to use the fabric

4) Deployment/Implementation

  • Increase efficiency of process for turning bacteria into a polymer
  • Test more applications of the fabric and the time to breakdown
  • Expand production sites and/or license the technology to methane producers



Comment on Smart Fabrics – no wires or batteries:

This is an interesting technology but will only really work if all fabrics have this embedded technology. If someone buys this shirt but has an emergency on any day they are not wearing the shirt the benefit is gone.

Smart Fabrics – no wires or batteries


Sustainability Problem: Real time data on workers, reduce injuries

For first responders information on victims and types of injuries are vital in order to determine the necessary procedures to perform.  As a result, speed is vital and decisions are made in seconds.  Information is not always readily available to first reconsiders  when they arrive to an emergency scene. Every year, thousand of people are misdiagnoses and/or treated incorrectly due to lack of information on the injury and/or the victim’s medical history.

Most smart fabrics are not sustainable because they require electronics and  batteries.


Sustainable Technology: Smart fabric

  • Researchers at the University of Washington developed a smart fabrics that holds magnetize text that can store small amounts of data readable by a magnetometer.
  • The fabric can interact with storage devices without the need for onboard electronics or batteries.
  • Individual’s emergency medical history can be stored on the fabric.
  • First responders can scan a victim’s clothing to gather vital statistics – e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, allergies, etc.
  • This fabric is more sustainable since it doesn’t require any electronics and / or batteries.
  • Fabric maintains magnetic field after washing, drying, and ironing.
  • Fabric can be encoded with security information to access secure locations (e.g., home, office building, etc.. )

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology:

  • Researchers at U. of Washington (Justin Chan, graduate student)
  • Prof. Shyam Gollakota, U. of Washington
  • U. of Washington Networks and Mobile System Lab

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology:

  • Continue testing fabric and weather proof
  • Increase longevity of magnetic field (declines over the course of a week)
  • Increase data storage capacity.



The technology mentioned below can be used in natural gas / oil pipelines to monitor leaks. Every year, there are thousand of leaks in gas / oil pipelines. The majority of the leaks go undiscovered for days and/or weeks before discovered.