Inspirational appetizers on unusual startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

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Incremental development

New beaches are being made from old glass bottles, while egg shells morph into tiles for home. Now an LA startup is using recycled plastic to create houses with up to 80㎡ of living space. Polymers, 60% of which come from plastic bottles and food packaging, are processed to form a mass which is 3D-printed into a simple shape....

Self-sufficient removal

Self-driving electric haulers could soon be hitting railway tracks. Meanwhile, an American startup has developed a system which removes CO2 from the atmosphere during rail traffic. Air flows in through an aperture on top of a container car stationed in between track vehicles. The CO2 is extracted and stored within a chamber, with clean air flowing out through the...

Healthy home

In hospitals a good night’s sleep is key to recovery. In order to keep bees healthy meanwhile, a US startup has developed a smart home for up to 24 colonies. The solar-powered apiary is equipped with a camera, sensor technology and a robot arm. It controls the climate inside, monitors and removes pests without chemicals and provides food. Predictive...

Natural spin

Willow- and banana plant fibres are already making their way in the fashion industry. Now, a Dutch startup is using some of the 72 million kilograms of human hair waste produced in the EU each year to make textiles. First, hair collected from salons is sorted and washed. Next it’s spun into yarn on traditional spinning wheels from which...

Stabilising solution

Solar module dust can be removed as if by magic. But storage is key to expedite clean energy use. Now, an Australian startup is using the research findings of its professor founder to make batteries more sustainable and cost-effective. Unlike other water-based electrolytes, the batteries’ conductive liquid doesn’t dissolve into its inactive components at voltages of 1.2 or more....

Connecting experience

Birds are already benefiting from cross-border collaboration. Now a Berlin startup is using virtual reality to help firms remove barriers within teams. A training exercise based on artificial intelligence and research findings allows employees to test scenarios from a variety of perspectives. A pair of VR goggles, and users can experience life through the eyes of people of different...

Expanded access

Hairdressing salons are finding new clients thanks to this app created in Toronto. Meanwhile, international startups offering technology-based solutions and looking to expand their business into North America can get assistance from this Toronto-based non-profit-organisation. Startups are eligible as long as they are financially stable and willing to relocate to Canada. First step is to establish whether there is...

Realised reduction

Biodegradable jeans decompose fully within 6 months. And now, two parents from Oregon have developed baby shoes that dissolve in boiling water. Like these founders before them, their startup aims to reduce textile waste. The soft shoes are suitable for babies up to 1 year old, and are made from silk fabric coated with biodegradable plastic. Sturdy and machine-washable...

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