Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, has announced that Dutch start-up aQysta has been named Europe’s most innovative clean-tech venture by a jury of esteemed entrepreneurs, financiers and business people in its Europe-wide Venture Competition. aQysta will receive €40,000 worth of investment, access to business tutoring and media support to further develop its hydro-powered floating irrigation system that can increase crop yield up to 5 times and replace diesel-powered systems.
aQysta’s product is designed as a sustainable, low-maintenance, low-cost irrigation pump for rural communities. aQysta’s pumps do not require any external source of energy like fossil fuels or electricity to operate and can be assembled locally – also in developing countries.
Although the Barsha pump (Nepalese for "rain pump") is a new product, it's based on a very old design – it has its origins in ancient Egypt.
The pump itself is essentially a water wheel on a floating platform, that's moored in a nearby flowing river. The moving water rotates the wheel, that in turn utilizes a spiral mechanism to compress air. That air drives water through an attached hose and up to the fields.
Energy-saving Nordic Power Converters from Denmark took second place with €20,000. The audience award went to UK-based Reduse’s revolutionary ‘unprinting’ system that lets you reuse office paper several times before it gets recycled. Reduse picked up the third prize of €5,000.
The competition was held as part of Climate-KIC’s annual Festival of Innovation which took place in Valencia, Spain this year. The competition showcases and rewards the innovation and enterprise happening on the European climate change scene. The 18 finalists were drawn from the winners of national competitions hosted across Climate-KIC’s 12 European hubs.