Winning ideas include converting decommissioned ‘postie bikes’ to low-cost electric vehicles, an Australian Fashion shake-up to debut at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012, affordable urban food farming hubs for the inner city and life-saving surgical light systems for remote areas powered by the sun.
Awarded by the British Council and LQRA, Big Green Idea is an annual competition that provides winning participants with up to $20,000 in seed funding plus access to the expansive British Council and LRQA networks and expertise to turn these projects into tangible products.
‘We were astounded by the quality of the projects and the sheer number of entries submitted. The judges had an impossible job trying to select a winner,’ said Nick Marchand, British Council Director. ‘That said, Big Green Idea is about rewarding eco-innovation, and the four winners stood out with their entrepreneurial thinking and practical solutions that will have a defining impact on countless lives around the world. Ultimately, that’s what this programme is all about.’
‘LRQA is pleased to be associated with these projects and we look forward to fostering them through our expertise, experience and networks to help make them a success globally.’ said LRQA’s Australasian Business Centre Manager, Maurice Laratro.
The four winning applicants are:
Fashion – Nerida Lennon, Melbourne
Nerida is shaking-up the Australian fashion industry to become sustainable. Nerida will work alongside a high profile Australian designer to explore how to create a ‘sustainable’ garment. Documenting the entire process ‘ warts and all ‘ the garment and film will debut at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in 2012.
Food Farming – Stephen Mushin, Melbourne
The Micro Farmers Food Hub Project aims to kick-start urban food production by providing communities with a modular farming and composting system ‘ ‘food hub’. Rolled out from a modified shipping container, the design combines fish, fruit and vegetable production at commercial scales. It provides an economically viable system for local food production for local communities and its modular nature lends itself for roll out in developing countries or those experiencing food security issues, such those in the Pacific islands that face rising seawater tables.
Transport – Will Wansey, Sydney
There are currently 22,000 decommissioned Australia Post ‘postie’ bikes. Will’s project involves converting these recycled Honda CT110 motorcycles into electric vehicles by replacing the petrol motor with an electric drive train. His idea enables electric vehicles to be produced at a reasonable cost so that students and professionals who have short daily commutes have a more sustainable alternative to petrol driven vehicles. Will is also using virtual networks of designers and enthusiasts to further develop concepts explore broader applications of the idea.
Medical Technology – Michael O’Brien, Tasmania
Michael’s idea is the field testing, manufacture and distribution of a solar-powered medical light specifically designed for rural/bush clinics and other isolated medical facilities. The project will enable the feasibility of using renewable technologies to power community health facilities that usually rely on petrol generators.
To find out more about our Big Green Idea winners and their projects, go to wwww.biggreenidea.com.au