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In this sixth year of the Katerva Awards over 500 nominations were received across the ten award categories: Energy & Power; Food; Environment; Transportation; Smart Cities; Economy; Materials, Resources and Water; Behavioral Change; Gender Equality; and Human Development.

After the 100 Finalists, 10 per category, were identified through human interaction and machine evaluation, the global network of experts set to work to identify the 10 Category Winners. In a final step Katerva’s prestigious Awards Council identifying the 2017 Katerva Award Grand Prize Winner: Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE). SHE has developed an environmentally sustainable menstrual pad with a scalable business model that uses agro waste readily available in developing countries.

Upon notification of the awards SHE28's Director of Strategy, Connie Lewin, commented: "We hope that our holistic model of local sourcing and local production with our SHE28 initiative will serve as a catalyst for new and sustainable approaches to tackling taboo and overlooked health problems across the world. The Katerva prize is global recognition that our innovative use of banana fiber into an essential health product is more than a novelty; it's a transformative solution that delivers real impact on communities globally."

Below the full listing of Finalists and the Category Winners of the 2017 Katerva Awards

Behavioral Change:
Category Winner: APOPO is a non-profit organization that trains giant African pouched rats, nicknamed ‘HeroRATs’, to save lives by detecting landmines and tuberculosis by using their impressive olfactory skills.

Finalists: Beat the Microbead, Capsula Mundi, Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen, DeathLAB: Perpetual Constellation, Economics for the Anthropocene, Green Apes, Mobile Diagnostic Kit for Pulmonary Diseases, Precious Plastic, Tostan

Category Winner: Mobisol offers easy-to-use solar home systems for low-income people. These plug’n play systems are quickly installed by locally trained and certified technicians (which furthers employment). An innovative pay-as-you-go scheme allows the customer to pay off the installation, up to over 36 months, using mobile banking services.

Finalists: Agrarian Trust, Banqer, Cultivando Futuro, Olakusibe Famuyibo / Innov8 Coffee ltd, SolarTurtle, Taking Root, TransactiveGrid, UCAPTURE

Energy & Power:

Category Winner: Gallium nitride power conversion by GaN - Gallium nitride has a very low on-resistance, superior fast-switching capabilities, and zero reverse recovery losses which allows for a very efficient power conversion, achieving 98 to 99% efficiency. Applications include electric cars, solar, wind and smart-grid, and high-efficiency power supply.

Finalists: Acoustically Driven Magnetized Target Fusion, Ductor, Hydrogen Capturing Material, Micro Wind Turbine, Ocean University of China in Qingdao, Plant-E, Stanford Aluminum BatteryThe Silent Revolution, SunCell

Category Winner: CarbonCure concrete production - The technology enables concrete to permanently capture carbon dioxide (CO2), while enhancing concrete’s strength and value, upcycling waste CO2 sourced from final emitters such as refineries or fertilizer plants.

Finalists: Carbon Capture Membrane-Nano sponge, De-coating by No-Coats, Glatt Stove, HomeBiogas, Illinois River Project, KTK-BELT, O'right, Project subCULTron, Seawater Greenhouse

Category Winner: Evaptainers are electricity-free mobile refrigeration units which run at low-cost. Utilizing the phenomenon of evaporative cooling, rather than more energy-intensive vapor compression refrigeration, they are ideal for use in off-grid rural areas with low relative humidity.

Finalists: FarmBot, Flying SpArk, Hargol FoodTech (formerly Steak TzarTzar), Jellyfish Barge, Kulisha, Phresh, Neem-oil based biopesticide by Terramera, Tal-Ya, The Sexy Plant

Gender Equality:
Category Winner: Sustainable Health Enterprises - To affect social, environmental, and economic change, SHE28 utilizes a comprehensive market-based model to manufacture and distribute locally sourced eco-friendly pads, driving job creation and tackling the status quo.

Finalists: 1 Million Women, ASHRAY, invi, Promundo (co-coordinates MenCare campaign), SWEEP, Frontier Markets

Human Development:
Category Winner: Bibak has developed CANNY, a modular pod of sensors that contains a metal detector, a georadar and a sensor for vapors from explosives which is a breakthrough combination in the detection field, able to locate even plastic and wooden landmines. It includes a landmine marker, a first-aid kit that meets international demining regulations and water to fight the number one problem of deminers: dehydration.

Finalists: Hablando con Julis, In2Care BV, Jack Andraka, Lucky Iron Fish, Point-of-Care Zika Detection Device, Rapid, Low-Cost Detection of Zika and beyond, The Autism Glass Project, The Mosquito Killer Billboard, University Of Buffalo

Materials, Resources & Water:
Category Winner: MIT Thin Film Solar Cells - the world’s thinnest solar photovoltaic cells are so light they can sit on a soap bubble and are able to get 400 times more power per weight than silicon-based cells.

Finalists: Airlite, IBM's Breakthrough in Fighting Viral Diseases, Ingestible origami robot, Light-up stretchy skin, Nanoflotation Technology for Fluid (Water Treatment), Recycling technology by Pyrowave, StretchSense, Wang Group Flexible, Warka Water "Every drop counts"

Smart Cities:
Category Winner: eLichens - provides unique miniaturized pollutant sensors and cloud software services that can detect, monitor and predict air quality which allow it to benefit from Smart City services that are emerging for managing city’s green spaces & infrastructure, energetics footprint, pollution sources, traffic management and carbon budget.

Finalists: Green Junkie, Jet Capsule, Living Architecture Systems Group, Mountain Forest Hotel, RegenVillages, Smart Floating Farms, SmartLight, The Great Urban Challenge, V2T Technology

Category Winner: ElectRoad - ElectRoad is paving the way for future clean and safe e-mobility solutions with a unique Dynamic Wireless Electrification System for electric transportation. ElectRoad’s revolutionary technology x removes the energy source (ie. NO battery, chemicals) from the vehicle and powers it wirelessly via minimal infrastructure located under the driving lane.

Finalists: BioSealcoat, Cloud-based Traffic Network Management - Data insights for more efficient traffic routing, Commuters ridesharing Netlift, GreenQ, Ogo Technology, Pouncer, Traveler app, WayCare

In addition to the kudos of being associated with the Nobel Prize for Sustainability, as Reuters have called the Katerva Awards, Finalists benefit from what we refer to as ‘Winners Circle’, a group of organisations who donate their services for a certain number of hours over a certain period of time either to just the Grand Prize Winner, the 10 Finalists, or even the top 5 or 10 in each award category. Past members of the Winners Circle have included Edelman, Ernst & Young, Frog Design, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Ipsos, Korn Ferry and TrustLaw.

For more information contact Katerva’s Director of Awards Program, Dr Bettina von Stamm (

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