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Wanted: EU Offers €3 Million Reward For Air Pollution Solution

Photo: mongione/Shutterstock
Photo: mongione/Shutterstock

The European Commission has offered a €3 million cash reward for an innovative solution that will help reduce air pollution.

According to the Commission, around 90 per cent of the population in Europe’s cities is exposed to particulate matter pollution levels that exceed WHO air quality guidelines.

The €3 million will be awarded to the most affordable, sustainable and innovative solution that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas around Europe.

Reduced Life Expectancy

Particulate matter is the air pollutant that has the most severe impact on health and originates from  motor vehicles, industrial facilities, residential fire places, wood stoves and activities such as power generation and agricultural burning.

The European Union offers the reward because inhaling particulate matter pollutants can cause asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and premature death – reducing quality of life for millions of Europeans and putting a strain on national health systems.

Shockingly, average life expectancy in the EU is almost nine months lower due to the exposure to this type of air pollution. Particulate matter can also have problematic effects on climate change and local ecosystems, the European Commission says.

The Challenge

The Horizon Prize is a scheme set up to reward effective solutions to key challenges facing Europeans. As part of the prize, a special ‘materials for clean air’ challenge has already been announced – but you can only apply as from 26 January 2017. In other words, you’ve got plenty of time to get ahead of your competition!

The application period will close one year later, on January 23 2018. Once applications close, entries will be evaluated based on whether you have a working prototype, if you can demonstrate a reduction of particulate matter, sustainability and affordability. You can get the full, detailed rules here.

Don’t want to wait until 2018? Climate-KIC could help you commercialise your air pollution solution, find out how.

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