London air quality start-up scoops 2nd place in global climate hackathon

Young entrepreneurs from London have claimed second place in a cleantech innovation competition in Paris that saw teams from 20 major cities around the world create solutions to local climate change problems.

Climate-KIC’s ‘Climathon’ was a global 24-hour hackathon, established back in June, to seek out some of the world’s best new cleantech ideas.

The AirPublic team from London was pipped to first place by a river protection scheme in Ethiopia but scooped 2nd place for its air quality data-collection initiative.

The AirPublic idea seeks to build networks of mobile air sensors producing real-time information on air quality reflecting the everyday movements of people in London. By attaching sensors to Boris bikes and other bike hire schemes, data can be collected from around the city.

 “There’s a real hunger to succeed and a desire to have impact that we have so far seen with the Climathon contestants, said Ebrahim Mohamed, Climate-KIC’s education director.”

“This really highlights the unprecedented opportunity we have to create a prosperous zero carbon future, driven by innovation, jobs, and investment.”

“Climate-KIC is seizing the zero carbon opportunity for Europe, but we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re reaching out to innovators around the world. We need to feed organisations around the world with disruptive, scalable, commercially-viable ideas to address climate change.”

The London team won the national edition of the Climathon back in June and will now begin work to turn the concept into a commercial reality.

The young innovators, from countries as diverse as Australia, China and Ethiopia, were invited to COP21 to present their ideas in front of leading sustainable business representatives. Climate-KIC ran the competition to educate and inspire the people that they believe will be the next generation of climate leaders.

Bronze medal

The UK has also secured another ‘podium finish’ after it was named as the third highest producer of climate mitigating technologies, after a new report found that the number of inventions in sustainable technologies worldwide increased almost fivefold between 1995 and 2011.

Conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the report found that six countries – Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Spain – account for more 80% of all European inventions in sustainable technologies.

Back in March George Osborne announced £60m funding to help UK companies develop and commercialise new energy technologies.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie