From Building Waste to Building Gardens Awarded EU Environmental Prize

In connection with the initial phases of the project From Building Waste to Building Gardens, it was necessary to apply for funds from the EU for further development. An application was therefore sent to Climate-KIC, which supports projects in the field of climate innovation.

In connection with the assessment of the submitted application, Stakladen at Aarhus University set the frame for an evaluation conference in 2017. Here, so-called seed funding was to be distributed to various projects, all of which contributed to climate solutions.

A total of 20 proposals were presented at the conference, each of which were introduced with one minute long pitches at the start of the day, where after sparring and evaluations were facilitated in small workshops. Here, participants could come up with ideas for each other’s projects, answer questions from interested parties and create collaborative partnerships.

Later in the afternoon, there was another pitch round, this time lasting three minutes, where participants could elaborate on their ideas and answer questions from the jury, which consisted of Pan Pan, vice president of Climate KIC-Switzerland, Lars Gjølme, entrepreneurship- and innovation coordinator at Climate-KIC Nordic, Henrik Søndergaard, Nordic Innovation Pipeline Manager at Climate-KIC Nordic, and Susanne Pedersen, director of Climate-KIC Nordic.

Professor Marianne Thomsen and PhD student Daina Romeo, both from Aarhus University, presented the From Building Waste to Building Gardens-project. The crux of the presentation focused on the fact that food in the future must be produced locally with the least possible climate impact; the materials in which cultivation takes place must affect the climate as little as possible. PVC construction waste such as pipes and gutters, which are designed to come into contact with water, was suggested as suitable for use in urban gardens. The fertilizer must come from food waste and the water from the increasing amounts of rain. In this way, several systems are integrated, paving the way for food production that is not harmful for the climate.

The jury found the idea so interesting that funds were allocated to continue the project.