Technologies for aquaculture and textiles win MIT Water Prize

A membrane technology for textile manufacturers and a recirculating aquaculture system have been announced as joint winners of the MIT Water prize. Student-led teams SiPure and Symbrosia will share the US$35,000 prize with Volta Irrigation, a social enterprise focused on resource optimisation in agricultural small-holdings.

Written by: editorial / Envirotec

The MIT Water Innovation Prize is a start-up competition run by MIT Water Club network for water research and innovation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Up to $35K in innovation grants is awarded annually to teams from across the world.

The winners will also benefit from a consultation with an expert market analyst from sponsor BlueTech Research and gain access to BlueTech Research intelligence resources that will provide competitive landscape mapping and market insights in their field.

SiPure has developed a patented membrane technology capable of purifying textile wastewater while drastically reducing capital and operational costs. With enhanced performance and significantly extended lifetime over its competitors, the SiPure team says its membrane has the potential to reduce global textile industry water demand by 500 billion litres per year.

Symbrosia’s recirculating aquaculture system facilitates the cultivation of the red macro-algae Asparagopsis taxiformis in symbiosis with whiteleg shrimp. Replacing 1% of cattle feed with A. taxiformis can lead to a 99% reduction in cattle methane production – addressing global climate change and food security.

Volta Irrigation is a revenue-generating and environmentally restorative social enterprise focused on increasing the profitability of smallholder farmers. Through a focus on optimisation of resources, especially water, Volta says it is creating positive environmental impact.


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