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Bike air pollution device wins sustainability competition

Bike air pollution device wins sustainability competition

A scheme to fit bikes with a device to clean polluted air as people pedal around cities has won the annual WBS For the Future Prize.

The GreenBike Filter is the brainchild of a team of six undergraduates who beat off 106 other groups to win first prize after students were asked to develop an innovative proposal to solve humanity’s grandest challenges by addressing a combination of at least three connected of the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sean Marr, 19, of Switzerland, Varun Kasisomayajula, 20, of Abu Dhabi, Nikolina Cholakova, 20, of Bulgaria, Silin Yin, 20 of Chengdou in China, Sandro Fichaux, 21, of France, and Batrisyia Arsil, 22, of Malaysia, won after a panel of judges assessed their proposal via a five-minute video with the lockdown halting the usual in-person presentations.

The World Health Organisation estimates seven million people die each year across the world because of air pollution. The GreenBike Filter ionises the air as bikers pedal and the team believe the device, which can be made out of recyclable material, would cost just £16 to produce. If it was attached to the 18,000 rental bikes in London it would add just 10p per minute to the price while cleaning the capital’s air.

Sean commented: “It is not only the prize which we value. Through participating in the process, we have been able to develop vital entrepreneurial skills, allowing us to demonstrate that through hard work, determination and vigour, simple ideas can quickly become tangible solutions to real-world problems.”

The WBS For the Future Prize is the culmination of the second year core undergraduate module Global Integrative Project, and includes students from the BSc International Management, BSc International Business, and BSc Accounting & Finance as well as BSc Management cohorts.

Competition organiser Frederik Dahlmann, Associate Professor of Strategy and Sustainability, said: “GreenBike Filter is a great idea and a beautifully simple solution that could greatly benefit cities across the world. The students presented the solution in great detail and with a sound argument to back up their proposal.

“Air pollution is a huge problem and one of the grand problems that the UNs SDGs aim to tackle, but this innovation will also encourage people to bike around the city, as they can clean the air as they go."