Accelerating the Future...

News Page Banner Image

The wait is over:

We are ready to announce our 2020 Grand Prize Winner!

It seems that having five instead of ten awards categories has not made the deliberations of our Awards Council any easier - with five very different, all very exciting and impactful Category Winners, it was a difficult choice. But now the wait is over, and we are delighted to present you with the Grand Prize Winner of the Katerva Awards 2020:

Desert Control

My alt text

Did you know that we are losing more than 12 million hectares of fertile land to desertification annually?  If that is difficult to get your head around, that’s an area equals three times the size of Denmark - enough land to grow food to feed 100 million people. If that is still a bit difficult to visualise, the world is losing fertile soil worth nearly 50.000 soccer fields per day, which means that appoximately 35 soccer fields worth are being lost every minute. 

Desert Control is a ClimateTech company specialized in turning arid soil and deserts into green and fertile land. Through a patented formulation process using clay and water, Desert Control creates a unique compound called Liquid NanoClay (LNC). Applying LNC to arid soil and desert sand enables and enhances the soil's ability to retain water and nutrients, and can thereby turn deserts into fertile green land.

Liquid NanoClay can enable savings of up to 50% of irrigation water and increase yields with less strain on scarce resources. Restoring and improving soil with LNC enables land areas to withstand the harsh impact of climate change and overexploitation better.

On receiving the news, Desert Control CEO Ole Kristian Sivertsen commented, “Receiving the Katerva award is a great honor. The awareness this shines onto a crucial cause is inspiring. Restoring, protecting, and caring for our planet’s soil is vital to the prosperity of all life on earth.”

Ole and team, well done!


Our other four Category Winners are,

Cities & Mobility: Made of Air, Germany
Made of Air proposes that the materials used to urbanise be disconnected from fossil fuels, and should respond to the IPCC'S call for Negative Emissions Technologies- strategies that remove more CO2 from the air than are emitted. Made of Air is a carbon negative thermoplastic that can replace traditional materials in the built environment, activating our impending urbanisation against climate change.

My alt text

Energy & Environment: Piñatex, UK
Piñatex is an amazing, leather-like material made from the waste of pineapple plantations. Not only does the product make use of material that would otherwise be discarded or burnt, in addition to being a substitute for leather, it also replaces non-sustainable materials such as PU and PVC. Finally, it also creates additional income for farmers in some of the world's poorer regions.

My alt text

Health & Wellbeing: Nitropep, UK
Antibiotics-resistant superbugs in hospitals and the ongoing CoronaVirus pandemic make us acutely aware of how important it is to prevent viruses and bacteria from being passed on via surfaces. NitroPep has developed an approach that bonds antimicrobial actives and disinfectants to both metal and plastic surfaces. Laboratory tests have shown that these surfaces can kill more than 99.99% of bacteria in less than five minutes, including strains of MRSA bacteria that have become resistant to several antibiotics.

My alt text

Education & Human Resources: Livox, Brazil
The ability to communicate is fundamental to thrive in society, which means that millions of people whose disabilities involved an inability to  communicate verbally are doubly disadvantaged.  Livox is a software for Android tablets that enables non-verbal people with disabilities and people with learning impairments to communicate and to learn.

My alt text

What I am really excited about is that our Category Winners are planning to connect, and I am much looking forward what might come out of a meeting of such creative, sustainability focused minds!


Please join me in congratulating all of them, all of them - and help spread the news! The more people are aware of the exciting sustainable disruptive innovations that already exist, the faster their impact potential can be realised.

And as always, if you know of any sustainable disruptive innovations, please don't hesitate to submit them to our awards program - or encourage them to self-submit. Submissions is open 24/7/365.


The official press relase can be downloaded here.

Accelerating the Future...

Copyright 2021. Katerva — Accelerating the Future.