During the final in Amsterdam yesterday, Sofie Allert, CEO and founder of Swedish Algae Factory - the only company in the world to cultivate a microalgae for use in solar panels - pitched the innovative business to an international jury of experts and was awarded the top prize.
In dark and cold seas, diatoms - algae that develop a shell with unique properties to survive in this dark environment - grow. The material naturally absorbs light and can be used to make solar panels more efficient.
"We are so happy and honoured to win this prize. This win helps us reach more personal care and solar clients and increase our production capacity faster. Algica reduces CO2 with 200 tons/kg per year when applied on solar panels and replaces harmful and less efficient ingredients in personal care. Algica is contributing towards a more circular and bio-based industry!"
Sofie Allert, CEO and founder, Swedish Algae Factory
The runner-up prize of €200,000 euros went to nuventura, which has developed an alternative to switching installations that use the extremely harmful greenhouse gas SF6.
The other three finalists included Field Factors, TEXEL Energy Storage and British-based Desolenator, which were awarded €100,000 each to grow their businesses.
Desolenator, based in London, is working to tackle the water scarcity crisis around the world, focusing on providing a solution for developing countries. It has developed a technology that uses the residual heat from the solar panel to heat polluted or salt water. The condensation from the distilled water vapor is then collected, creating drinking water.
In addition to the prize money, the five finalists receive six months of support and coaching during the Green Challenge DeepDive, which will help them to accelerate the growth of their businesses.