Google, Specialized Bicycles, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners announced the winner of the ‘Innovate or Die’ Pedal-Powered Machine Contest, which challenged participants to create a pedal-powered solution for offsetting climate change.
In a matter of three months, contestants poured in from across the globe, ranging from one-time inventors to students at prestigious universities like MIT. Of the more than 100 qualified entries, ”Aquaduct: Mobile Filtration Vehicle” won based on environmental impact, creativity and design.
Rich Silverstein, founding partner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and one the judges, was impressed.
“It’s up to the next generation to solve the mess we find ourselves in today,” said Silverstein. “The success of the ‘Innovate or Die’ competition gives me confidence that they have the imagination and creativity to succeed.”
“Aquaduct” was the brainchild of five California-based design students who wanted to address the 1.1 billion people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. The pedal-powered machine successfully transports and filters water without burning fossil fuels or wood, which contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
All winners and runners-up will receive Specialized Globe bicycles. Specialized and Google have already partnered to equip Google’s main Mountain View campus with 350 Globes.
“We will continue partnering with businesses, non-profits and city governments to implement bike-share programs with the like-minded goal of decreasing CO2 emissions,” said Specialized Founder and President Mike Sinyard. “Let’s all get out of our cars and onto bikes.”
According to Specialized, when it comes to efficient energy use, the bicycle leaves all other modes of transport in the dust; for the same effort required to walk three miles, a person can easily travel 15 miles by bike.
“The diversity, creativity and potential impact of the proposals was impressive,” said Dan Reicher, Director of Climate and Energy Initiatives for Google.org and former US Assistant Secretary of Energy. “I was interested to see if bicycle powered technologies could help address global problems like climate change and water pollution.
“These proposals convinced me that human brainpower can harness muscle power to help solve some of our biggest environmental challenges,” he added.