The Earthshot Prize: London 2021

By Ariana Sadr-Hashemi, Trainee Patent Attorney

Having been launched in October 2020, the first ever winners of the Earthshot Prize have now been announced. This prize is a global award, designed to incentivise change and support environmental initiatives in their work tackling climate change and pollution.

The prize has five winners across five categories: protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world and fix our climate. All 2021 Winners and Finalists can be found here.

Protect and Restore Nature Winner: Republic of Costa Rica

The government of Costa Rica have been operating a programme to restore the local forests and ecosystems. As a result, Costa Rica’s forests have doubled in size and the resulting increase in ecotourism has contributed $4 billion to the economy. Support from the Earthshot Prize will allow the programme to expand the programme to urban areas, as well as share its knowledge and practices globally.

Clean our Air Winner: Takachar

The social enterprise of Takachar in India is working to reduce smoke created from the burning of agricultural waste. Takachar has developed a cheap, small-scale attachment to tractors which converts crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertilizer. This ultimately reduces smoke emissions by up to 98%. The Earthshot Prize will help Takachar to scale up the technology, with the potential to cut up to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Revive our Oceans Winner: Coral Vita

Coral Vita are a coral farming enterprise which grows coral on land to replant in oceans, aiming to restore coral reefs destroyed by ocean warming and acidification. Its methods grow coral up to 50 times faster than traditional methods. Winning the Earthshot Prize will help Coral Vita expand their coral production, as well as support their work with educating people on the importance of coral reefs and campaigning for greater environmental protections.

Build a Waste-Free World Winner: The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs

The Food Waste Hubs run by the city of Milan aim to reduce food waste and food insecurity, by recovering food from supermarkets and canteens and giving it to charities which distribute it to the neediest citizens. Today, the city has three hubs, each of which recover 350kg of food per day (which is an estimated 260,000 meals). The city has created a blueprint for other cities to implement the same system, and with the support of the Earthshot Prize the city can share this blueprint globally and expand its own initiative.

Fix our Climate Winner: Enapter

Enapter has created an ARM Electrolyser technology which turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas. This technology can be used to cleanly fuel vehicles, power industry and heat homes. Funding from the Earthshot Prize will help Enapter mass produce their technology and fund further research and development.

What can the Earthshot Prize do for me?

Beyond receiving a global platform and public recognition, each winner of the Earthshot Prize will receive a £1 million prize to support their projects and tailored support including IP advice. IP specialists across the globe, including those of us at HLK, contribute to the Earthshot Prize selection process. If you’re a business or enterprise attempting to solve environmental issues and are looking for additional support, the prize might be able to give you access to the support you need.