The Economist and InnoCentive announce a winner in Reverse Climate Change Challenge

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New York, NY – February 21, 2011 – The Economist and InnoCentive, Inc. today announced the winner of their Reverse Climate Change Challenge. Mario Rosato, founder of Sustainable TechnologiesSL, was awarded $10,000 and presented his winning plan at The Economist’s Ideas Economy: Intelligent Infrastructure Event on February 16-17. The Challenge, which prompted the opening of more than 600 project rooms and received more than 70 submissions on the InnoCentive website, asked participants to identify promising ideas for the biological capture and sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Rosato’s plan involves extracting energy from organic wastes without releasing carbon dioxide emissions, and recovering nitrogen to boost the growth of the giant bamboo, which can replace trees for timber and paper making. Energy can be recovered from organic wastes by a controlled fermentative process called dark fermentation. This yields hydrogen as a final product, which can be used to produce electricity using only water vapour as a combustion product. The sludge and water remaining after dark fermentation contain high amounts of carbon and nitrogen, and act as natural fertilizers for the giant bamboo.

“This Challenge allowed us to identify a new and innovative solution for fighting climate change,” said Vijay Vaitheeswaran, global correspondent for The Economist. “Mario Rosato’s plan could play an important role in the future, and we were pleased that he could join us at The Economist’s Ideas Economy: Intelligent Infrastructure event to explain his plan in further detail and to present it to the larger community.”

“Climate change is a problem that matters to every living creature on this planet.“ said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “In Mario’s solution, we have a powerful new tool to combat this problem, which couples naturally growing and safe materials with attractive economics to put forward an efficient, scalable, and practical approach. We are very excited that through our partnership with The Economist, the solution will actually be seen by the people who can advance the solution.”

The winner was chosen by The Economist-InnoCentive Challenge advisory board which consists of Stewart Brand, co-founder and president of The Long Now Foundation and co-founder of Global Business Network; Michael E. Driscoll, founder of Dataspora LLC and co-founder of Metamarkets; Drew Endy, assistant professor of Synthetic Biology at Stanford University; Allen Norren, vice-president of online marketing at O’Reilly Media; and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, global correspondent for The Economist.


About The Economist (

Edited in London since 1843, The Economist is a weekly international news and business publication offering clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world politics, business, finance, science, technology, culture, society, media and the arts. The Economist has a North American circulation of 813,000, a global circulation of more than 1.4 million and 4 million monthly unique visitors at The Economist online. Because of its international editorial perspective, it is read by more of the world’s political and business leaders than any other magazine.


About InnoCentive, Inc.

InnoCentive is the global leader in Challenge Driven Innovation that bridges the gap between great ideas and actual solutions to drive measureable results. Recognized as an open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer, InnoCentive’s proven methodology, expanding global network of creative and passionate problem solvers, and cloud-based technology platform enable organizations to tap all potential sources of innovation – employees, customers, partners, and InnoCentive’s unmatched Global Solver Community – to accelerate their pace of innovation and evolve into true Challenge Driven Enterprises. Leading commercial, public sector, and non-profit organizations such as Eli Lilly, Medtronic, NASA,, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to help them solve their most pressing problems and challenges. For more information, visit


About the Ideas Economy Event Series

New in 2010 is the Ideas Economy event series. It will bring together journalists from The Economist with top thinkers from around the world to discuss and debate the most important ideas of our time; Innovation, Intelligent Infrastructure and Human Potential, and other issues. The inaugural event, “Innovation: Fresh thinking for the ideas economy,” was held in Berkeley, Calif. on March 23 and 24, 2010. For more information about Economist conferences and the Ideas Economy series, visit


For more information contact:
Amy Jaick
Communications Manager, The Economist


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Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.