October 2011, Press Release Virgin Earth Challenge:
‘All of us at the Olivine Foundation - "Smartstones" are very excited to have been short-listed for the Virgin Earth Challenge this month!’
The Olivine Foundation is among around a dozen remaining groups that emerged from an extensive review process of over 2,600 submissions.
‘We are delighted to be the only group in the Netherlands'.
Launched by Sir Richard Branson in February 2007, the Virgin Earth Challenge is a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialisation of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts.
As of October 2011, the leading organisations in the Earth Challenge are: Biochar Solutions, from the US; Biorecro, from Sweden; Black Carbon, from Denmark; Carbon Engineering, from Canada; Climeworks, from Switzerland; Coaway, from the US; Full Circle Biochar, from the US; Global Thermostat, from the US; Kilimanjaro Energy, from the US, the Savory Institute, from the US and Smart Stones from the Netherlands.
We are collaborating with other groups to help responsibly further the work being done by these organisations," explained Dr. Alan Knight, VEC Director. "There's no silver bullet but each option can do its bit. We are looking at how we can make sure the Virgin Earth Challenge is a useful catalyst for all of the good work out there."
"Beyond the potential of sustainably taking carbon out of the air and keeping it out, each technique has its own potential applications, markets, challenges and opportunities," he added.
The leading organisations bring expertise and solutions from a wide range of areas which includes air capture, biochar, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, enhanced weathering on land, and land management. It is hoped that by finding different ways of collaborating with these organisations, the VEC will provide them with new levels of support whilst advancing the entire concept of carbon negativity and recycling, as well as achieving further traction in the climate change debate.
David Addison, the VEC’s Research Executive, said "Currently all of these concepts have varying hurdles but these issues need to be discussed and explored if everybody's work is to sustainably advance to the full commercial proof of concept stages. It has been a privilege getting to know the leading organisations and VEC are looking forward to working with them further".
“This is a complex issue and one which cannot be solved by a single group. The Virgin Earth Challenge now plans to collaborate with other organisations to further the work being done by the leading companies", said Mr. Nick Fox, a spokesperson for Sir Richard Branson. “The world needs better developed climate change mitigation and adaptation tools. We are exploring how we can help this pioneering work move forward in the near term, and want to encourage others to do the same”.