Supporting the next generation of STEM innovators who are tackling climate change

Who knew cows loved the salty taste of seaweed?

Based in the UK, a team of students have developed a cow feed that uses seaweed to reduce the amount of methane entering the atmosphere, and facilitating an environmentally friendly dairy industry.

Poppy Newly-Bayliss and her fellow Ecologeco team members never imagined they’d be spending so much time focusing on cows when they started their studies at the University of Nottingham. However, today the team are using their STEM skills to transform the environmental impact of dairy farming.

Ecologeco is a team of eleven students who are building a business concept that will reduce the amount of methane entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. And around 40% of annual methane production comes from the 1.4 billion cows in the world, making cattle farming a key factor in global warming.

The team was formed from Enactus UK, a youth entrepreneurship non-profit, with the ambition to create a cow feed that reduces methane gases from livestock. Through research and product development, the team of students have now developed a seaweed-based eco feed that could reduce cow-based methane by up to 99%.

And who knew cows loved the salty taste of seaweed?!

The group are hopeful their business can facilitate an environmentally friendly range of dairy products - with a major supermarket and dairy producer already keen to stock their produce. The team are using their STEM skills to innovate change that will allow consumers to enjoy good quality dairy with little environmental impact.

Ecologeco Logo

Poppy Newly–Bayliss, from Ecologeco, said: “STEM, in general, is so important to everyday life, especially the problems we currently face. We need STEM and knowledge of science to be able to think of ideas to tackle these challenges. It is also something that as women we are passionate about because on our team we have 50% gender representation and this project is a great way for everyone to get involved in STEM and learn.”


Relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

13. Climate Action
15: Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the goals
Living Energy logo

Pablo Luengo Martin, one half of team Living Energy, said: “We need STEM skills to solve problems like this. If there is no scientific basis to prove our project works then it can’t be turned from idea to product. Everything from data, research, critical thinking is essential in solving problems and these are all STEM skills. The Global Innovation Challenge allowed us to put forward our emerging idea. We like that the challenge also provided you with mentoring, help and resources.”



What if you could turn single-use face masks into clean energy?

An estimated 3.4 billion face masks or face shields have been thrown away every single day since the beginning of the global pandemic, negatively impacting the environment and polluting oceans. And it is this challenge that two medical students from Barcelona are keen to combat.

The team are hoping their innovative STEM business concept will turn our global single-use plastic problem into a clean energy source.

After witnessing the volume of single-use masks used within their medical field they recruited a team of fellow students with STEM skills in economics, finance and biomedical engineering to form the business, Living Energy.

The team have developed an innovative concept that uses microbes to break down single-use plastic and generate electricity, solving plastic pollution and contributing to the clean energy transition.

Relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

6: Clean Water and Sanitation
7: Affordable Clean Energy
11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

What if you could turn single-use face masks into clean energy?

An estimated 3.4 billion face masks or face shields have been thrown away every single day since the beginning of the global pandemic, negatively impacting the environment and polluting oceans. And it is this challenge that two medical students from Barcelona are keen to combat.

The team are hoping their innovative STEM business concept will turn our global single-use plastic problem into a clean energy source.

After witnessing the volume of single-use masks used within their medical field they recruited a team of fellow students with STEM skills in economics, finance and biomedical engineering to form the business, Living Energy.

The team have developed an innovative concept that uses microbes to break down single-use plastic and generate electricity, solving plastic pollution and contributing to the clean energy transition.


Bindu Sancheti, a member of the EcoDabba team, said: “Our campus is based in eastern India, and we saw a lot of people eating out of leaves, using banana leaf and similar plants as plates. We thought if people on the street can make biodegradable containers, why can’t we create a biodegradable product in the food industry space that removes single-use plastic.”


Relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action

Transforming the construction market with a low-carbon alternative

Global cement use is estimated to produce 4 billion tonnes of CO2 every year making it one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters. A team of young entrepreneurs from India have developed a low-carbon alternative that could transform the global construction market.

Cement is one of the most widely used substances on the planet, only second to water, and produces 8% of global carbon emissions.

The climate impact of cement is hard to digest however for a group of five young people from India this was a challenge they wanted to use their STEM skills to address. They've built a social business that they hope will provide a viable alternative to cement.

Through research, product development and testing, Terracarb have developed a water-based Graphene Admixture that could reduce the use of cement by up to 25% and therefore reduce cement-produced emissions. This saving could reduce global carbon emissions by 2% and play a vital role in our journey to net zero.

As part of the Global Innovation Challenge, Terracarb have had access to learning events, an incubator programme and SThree business advisors who have supported them build their concept and competition pitch.

Terracarb logo

Pavithra Gunasekaran from the Terracarb team said: “STEM is how you connect the dots to solve climate change. STEM builds the bridge between environmental impact and technology. Our consumption is exponentials, and we need technology that closes the loop, that can reduce the use of  limited resources in the world.”


Relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action

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