21-year-old Boyan Slat receives €100.000 for his endeavor to clean up the plastic soup
INDEX: Award for The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup, brainchild of Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat, was awarded an INDEX: Award worth 100.000 euros yesterday in Helsingør, Denmark. The other four awards were for Tesla’s Powerwall, language website Duolingo, eye examination app Peek Retina and Sky Urban Vertical Farming system.
‘Impossible’, was all 16-year-old Boyan Slat got to hear in reaction to his plans for the extraction of plastic waste from the oceans. But Slat held on to his ideas and eventually got support from fellow students and teachers at TU Delft where he had started to study Aerospace Engineering. Now Slat is heading an international team of hundreds of scientists and volunteers preparing to start the cleanup of the garbage patches in the oceans by 2020.
“I really feel the Index in it, a young guy with fire in his belly ready to solve a huge problem – plus all the inventiveness and entrepreneurship,” said INDEX: Award Chairman Mikal Hallstrup, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Designit, about The Ocean Cleanup.
The other INDEX: Awards went to:
Tesla’s Powerwall, a solar-powered, rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will allow owners to store energy generated during the day and use it at night and will revolutionize energy generation
Duolingo, with 70 million users already the world’s most popular language platform, offering a free top-quality language education to anyone with Internet access
Peek Retina, an adapter for smartphones that makes it possible to look inside the eye to identify problems, leading to timely diagnosis for treatment and thus prevention of disabling eye conditions and blindness
Sky Urban Vertical Farming System, the world’s first low carbon, water-driven plot that grows vegetables through efficient and highly sustainable production methods, using minimal land, water and energy resources.
Design to Improve Life
INDEX: Award is the biggest design award in the world worth €500,000. The importance lies in the unique, over-arching theme of Design to Improve Life. A concept enabling design to be used as a tool to address the world’s biggest challenges.