The Ideas to Impact programme is pleased to announce the winners for the Cylinder prize as part of the Energy Access theme, managed by GVEP International and IMC Worldwide with prize design help from InnoCentive. The prize offered cash incentives to find high value alternative uses for substandard LPG cylinders when they are withdrawn from circulation. The Cylinder Prize attracted a lot of interest, with more than 180 solvers from 40 countries proposing solutions. Among all those proposals, seven solvers received an award for five different ideas.
The idea of turning substandard cylinders into improved cookstoves was presented by a number of solvers and was selected as the winning innovation by the judges. Three solvers, Shikha Sharma, Mike Mackay and consultancy firm MCA Ingénierie each won part of the first prize award for submitting that idea. Each submission presented some particularities which made their solution unique and complementary to the others either because of a technical innovation or because the business model was innovative.
“The market for efficient, cleaner cooking technology is immense. Poor indoor air quality causes significant morbidity among the world's disadvantaged.” Prize winner Mike Mackay said.
“It's an appliance that's cheap to make, easy to use, and important for daily life. What's not to love?” he added.
“The proposed solution – the Skoon Stove – has the aim of reduction in air pollutants, saving a number of lives in developing countries at the same time addressing the worldwide issue of global warming. The business model is highly sustainable as it involves the development of stoves using local material, recycling of waste and will also result in employment generation” Shikha Sharma said.
MCA Ingénierie said that the strength of the solution is that cookstoves already have “an existing market”.
Other winning ideas involved included converting LPG cylinders in to construction materials, such as steel rebar and pile foundations, water filtration systems and as a low cost absorption refrigerator.
Bryony Everett, the team Leader of the Ideas to Impact Programme says “we are really pleased with the response. The prize has demonstrated the power of open innovation to bring in new solvers to development problems, now we must continue our hard work in partnership with governments and private sector to bring the ideas into use”.
Ideas to Impact is a research action programme, funded by the Department for International Development