Mario Alejandro Heredia Salgado wins the “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry Award” which has been granted by the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) for the first time in 2019 as part of the Elsevier Foundation ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. Heredia has developed a process to produce biochar from agribusiness biomass wastes to improve stressed soils. The prize consists of a cash award of 25,000 EUR plus the onboarding at the ISC3 Global Start-up Service and was awarded on 6 May 2019 at the 4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference in Dresden in Germany.
The new ISC3 Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry award highlights scientists with entrepreneurial spirit in the field of sustainable chemistry. The jury of international experts selected innovative ideas terms of market potential, business models, technological innovation and impact. With the award, ISC3 intends to inspire the scientific community to bring sustainable solutions to the markets. The award is an integral part of the Challenge partnership between ISC3, the Elsevier Foundation and Elsevier’s chemistry journals with two additional 50,000 EUR 1st and 25,000 EUR 2nd Prize awards to be announced on May 8th for sustainable chemistry solutions to energy, medicine, water, waste reduction, and agriculture challenges in the developing world.
Biochar from agrobusiness waste to improve soil quality
Mario Heredia Salgado from Ecuador is the first winner of the ISC3 Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry. He created his start-up "Andes" based on his academic thesis where he developed a process to produce biochar from agribusiness biomass wastes for soil improvement. The energy required for the char production is taken from the very same process. The product itself then can be used to restore degraded land and increase crop yield. The innovation convinced the jury because the concept embraces multiple sustainable technical approaches from the fields of waste management, renewable energy production and harnessing biogenies sources. In addition, Salgado’s innovation has shown technical feasibility and he has already built a network of partners. Supported by the European Committee for Training and Agriculture, the prize winner is currently a Ph.D. student at Aveiro University in Portugal.
Friedrich Barth, Managing Director of ISC3 announced that, "ISC3 is proud to hand over the first Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry to a project that has internalized the idea of sustainable chemistry on various levels. With his start-up, Mario Alejandro Heredia Salgado can make an important contribution to improve tropical soils, one of the most vulnerable resources of this climate region.”
Dr. Alexis Bazzanella, Co-Director of the ISC3 Innovation Hub: "We are looking forward to onboard the winner into our Global Start-up Service and support Mario Salgado and his next steps with his young company". The ISC3 Global Start-up Service (GSS) is the world’s first programme providing holistic support to sustainable chemistry changemakers globally.
The prize winner was selected out of 44 candidates by a jury of three international experts: Prof. Henning Friege, Professor at the Leuphana University, Prof. Joel Tickner, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Director of the ISC3 Regional Hub in the US, and Dr. Claudio Cinquemani, Director of Science and Innovation at ISC3 in Bonn.
Besides the idea of Mario Salgado, the jury members were also impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the second nominee, Mohammed Aourach from Morocco, who developed a substance to replace conventional pesticides with natural extracts.
4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference 2019
The award was handed over at the 4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference from 5 - 8 May 2019 in Dresden, an annual high-level scientific conference that discusses and puts forward green and sustainable chemistry in a unique interdisciplinary manner. The conference is organized by Elsevier in cooperation with the Leuphana University in Luneburg and the ISC3. It brings together international participants from academia as well as from the private and public sector, to share the latest developments in the fields of green and sustainable chemistry.
Elsevier Foundation - ISC3 Awards for Green and Sustainable Chemistry
The Elsevier Foundation, Elsevier and ISC3 are partnering to collaborate on the annual “Elsevier Foundation - ISC3 Awards for Green and Sustainable Chemistry”. The purpose of this Awards collaboration is to promote capacity and community building in the field of green and sustainable chemistry in developing and emerging countries, addressing challenges focusing on energy, water, waste reduction, agriculture, and medicine.