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Water purification filter designed by students wins innovation competition

The winners of the Finnish final of ClimateLauchPad, Europe's largest climate innovation competition, will compete in September in Amsterdam.
The members of the winning team were Fabiano Paiva Brito, Sanna Puhakainen, Tsui-Fan Tseng, Emma-Sofie Kukkonen, Arturs Alsins and Salvador Hernandez Gazga.

The goal of ClimateLaunchPad is to give birth to and scale up the use of solutions to climate change. This will spur onwards hundreds of just-starting-up growth businesses in the development of their products and services. In this way, concrete solutions are formed towards an emission-free society that uses its resources wisely.

The innovation of the Aalto university startup Nanomaji won both the judges vote and the public vote. The team has developed a filter which purifies domestic water in such a way that it is no longer necessary to boil it. Burning coal for boiling water is a significant source of atmospheric emissions in developing countries.

The student project was carried out in cooperation with Ahlstrom. This company has developed filter technology which the students have now adapted for use in low-income markets. Nanomaji was developed as part of the New Global project's IDBM (International Design Business Management) and SGT (Sustainable Global Technologies) masters programmes.

'During the project we have received a lot of special couching and advice from both Aalto professors and investors. The competition phase was intense, but there was significant progress with product development and also with the business model used', explains Emma-Sofie Kukkonen, a member of the winning team.

The other members of the Nanomaji team were Sanna‎ Puhakainen, Jymy‎ Parhiala, Fabiano‎ Paiva Brito, Salvador‎ Hernandez Gazga, Arturs‎ Alsins and Tsui-Fan Tseng.

The prize for making it to the final is a place in the Climate-KIC Accelerator, a European-wide business accelerator

Each team had five minutes to convince the jury and public about their climate solution. To conclude the evening, the members of the jury, comprised of FiBAN (Finnish Business Angels Network) board member Ari Hyppönen, investor and Cleantech Invest founder Tarja Teppo, Hupparihörhö service founder Sami Kuusela, Aalto University Professor in environmental and innovation management Raimo Lovio ja Demos Helsinki CEO Tuuli Kaskinen, chose the three best teams to go forward into the international final.

In addition to Nanomaji, two other innovations will continue the journey to the international finals in Amsterdam in September: Loadbro, which reduces the driving of empty goods lorry, and Tuup, which combines transport options into one application. Participating in the final will be around 80 businesses from 30 different countries. Each finalist receives the prize of a place, worth around €100 000, in the Climate-KIC Accelerator, a European-wide business accelerator. In addition, the winner of the whole competition receives a €10 000 grand prize.

Applying for the Finnish ClimateLaunchPad business accelerator programme in March and April this year were around 50 teams in total. From among these applicants, the jury selected the 10 most promising entrants for the intensive programme, comprised of a 'boot camp' and mentoring meetings.

The winners of the Finnish finals of ClimateLaunchPad, Europe's largest climate innovation competition, were chosen in Gloria, Helsinki's culture arena, on Monday 8 June.

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