Thursday, December 31, 2015

UNFCCC COP21 – 2015 INPI environmental trophy nominations

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The following eight contenders for the French patent office INPI Innovation Trophies were nominated for a 2015 environmental innovation award in one of the four trophy categories:  patents,  trademarks, design and research. The Trophies were awarded to the winners on December 7, 2015, during the 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC COP21, held  in Paris from Nov. 30th to December 11, 2015.

Fermentalg (nominated in the patent category) – a cutting-edge clean-tech company that seeks to use the exceptional properties of microalgae in view of producing compounds such as Omega 3 fatty acids, coloring agents, antioxidants and biopolymers for use in various everyday life products. Patented technology also enables to produce hydrocarbons using microalgae for everyday life products, thus bypassing traditional fish-based and petroleum-based methods. Applications are already in production for human nutrition, animal feed, 
green chemistry, cosmetics and green energy.

NA! - Nature Addicts (nominated in the trademark category) – A company that produces 100 % natural food snacks, with no preservatives and only the sugar derived from fruit. The snacks are bite-sized and come in a re-sealable zip lock pouch.  As low-fat, low sugar treats in an attractive white packaging, Na! is very successful in France, five years after its inception. For a country that prides itself on no-snacking… the tide appears to be 
changing… as long as it’s healthy…

LSCE – Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (nominated in the research category) – Nine researchers and professors affiliated with the LSCE participated in the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-recipient with Al Gore of the 2007 Nobel Peace for having alerted the world to problems of climate change. This laboratory works in collaboration with major research institutions such as the French national center for scientific research (CNRS – Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques), the French alternative energies and atomic commission (CEA- Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique) and French academic institutions. The lab’s research agenda covers climate and environmental change, both natural and human-induced, as well as the connections with carbon and carbon dioxide cycles.

LACTIPS (nominated in the patent category) – a start-up company based in Lyon with patented technology for the production of plastic granules using casein, a protein found in cow’s milk.  LACTIPS’ patented technology thus produces biodegradable, water-soluble, compostable  and sweet plastic, ultimately designed as edible packaging, such as for example tea bags.  However, one is left a bit chilled, without information on whether the process through which the casein is harvested, is cruelty-free...

Greenpriz (nominated in the design category) – a company that markets an energy management and optimization solution in both real and delayed time. The company produces connected devices designed to monitor and analyze the use of electricity in large service-oriented buildings, such as schools and other public institutions or businesses. The devices are easily installed, without wiring, and connected to free and proprietary software that analyzes current uses and offers solutions to reduce costs. Results are quantified into approximately 43% savings on average.

ESITC Caen – Ecole supérieure des ingénieurs des travaux de construction (nominated in the research category) – The materials development laboratory at l’ESITC, France’s Elite School for construction engineers, patented a concrete pavement tile using seashells. The advantages of these pavement tiles are twofold. First, they are designed to resolve the issue of recycling 250 million tons of sea shells discarded by the food industry once the pulp is removed. And secondly, the seashell pavement tiles are designed to absorb water, thus reducing the risks of flooding on low traffic surfaces such as parking lots and sidewalks.

Castalie  (nominated in the design category) – a company that markets high flow rate, tap water filtration and carbonation machines for hotels, restaurants, cafés and other business venues. The idea is to replace bottled water (both carbonated and still), which is both costly for consumers and costly for the environment. Bottled water travels on average 900 kms in France and there are 6 billion liters of bottled water consumed per year, 80% of which comes in plastic bottles, only half of which ever gets recycled. The Castelie high flow rate tap water machines are designed to filter, adjust the temperature and the size of the carbonation bubbles!

Canibal (nominated in the trademark category) –The term “canibal” corresponds to the contraction of two French words “canette” (meaning soda can) and “mise en balle” (the bailing compacting process used in recycling).  Accordingly, Canibal is a start-up company that offers a connected trash collecting and recycling solution at the intersection of bin, trash compactor and gaming machine. The Canibal machine sorts, identifies, compacts and quantifies three sorts of recyclable trash (soda cans, plastic bottles and both plastic and paper cups). And, because the machines work interactively like a game, they are also designed to educate users. Each ton of recycled trash means 3 tons less of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere.

COP21 - Paris, France
Al Gore and IPCC – 2007 Noble Peace Prize
CEA – Commissariat à l’énergie atomique
CNRS – Centre National de Recherche Scientifiques
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Cimate Change) Statement on the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
Nature Addicts
LSCE – Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement
ESITC – Ecole supérieure d’ingégnieurs des Travaux de la Construction Caen
Winners of the 2015 INPI Innovation Trophies awarded on Dec. 7, 2015

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