Did you know nearly three billion people worldwide cook indoors over open fires or mud stoves, leading to more than two million premature deaths from smoke inhalation? Winners of the 2012 Intel Global Challenge are developing biomass-based cooking solutions that are helping thousands of families breathe easier.
Most of these homes are not well-ventilated, so day after day, families inhale dangerous particles and pollutants arising from the inefficient burning of wood and other solid fuels. The result? An estimated two million premature deaths annually.
India-based Greenway Grameen Infra, the winning team in the 2012 Intel® Global Challenge entrepreneurship competition, is helping people breathe easier with efficient biomass-based cooking solutions. The fledgling company’s Greenway Smart Stove* has a unique air-flow generator that enables clean and efficient combustion of wood, dung, and other biofuels—reducing fuel use by up to 65 percent and smoke by up to 70 percent. Cooks in over 12,000 households across India are already using Greenway Smart Stoves, saving money through lower fuel costs while—more importantly—helping to save their families’ health and the environment through reduced emissions of harmful pollutants.
The Intel Global Challenge motivates young entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that solve real-world challenges in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. Each year, the contest attracts teams from around the world, who receive valuable feedback on their business plans, along with publicity and exposure to potential investors. As the 2012 winner, Greenway Grameen Infra earned $50,000, which team members plan to apply toward building a more robust supply chain and developing new products, including a waste heat-to-electricity converter.
"We were very grateful for the opportunity to meet and discuss our plans with top experts in business and innovation,” says Ankit Mathur of the Greenway Grameen Infra team. “It was also energizing to be able to share our ideas and hear those of our peers—seeing what type of progress is being made in various fields at an international level.”
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