For its game-changing solution to extract carbon dioxide from seawater and sequester it in carbonates, SeaChange won over judges at The Liveability Challenge 2021 to clinch the top place at the global sustainability innovation competition.
Emerging out of 450 applications from over 60 countries this year, SeaChange won project grant funding of S$1,000,000 from Temasek Foundation to develop their project in Singapore.
The Liveability Challenge, presented by Temasek Foundation and organised by Eco-Business, is a global platform that hunts for and accelerates the adoption of innovative solutions to some of the greatest sustainability challenges facing cities in the tropics.
In its fourth year, The Challenge features a network of more than 70 partners globally to crowdsource for the most game-changing ideas to improve liveability and sustainability.
Humanity is in the midst of a global climate emergency as carbon emissions must reach net zero by 2050 to keep temperatures within a 1.5°C rise from pre-industrial levels. If global emissions continue at the current rate, global temperatures will overshoot the target by 2040.
Meanwhile, society’s prevalent disposable culture has exacerbated resource scarcity and created a pollution crisis that threatens the natural ecosystems which we need to thrive.
Recognising the double crises that threaten the planet, this year The Liveability Challenge focused on solutions that will help cities accelerate decarbonisation and address their resource challenges.
After a five-month global search for the most disruptive solutions, six teams were shortlisted to undergo an intense e-coaching session to workshop their ideas. Today, they pitched their innovations to some of Asia’s most sought-after in an exciting showdown held at Marina Bay Sands.
SeaChange’s technology, represented by COO Camly Tran and CTO Garav N. Sant, delivers an electrochemical process that extracts CO₂ from the seawater and sequesters it in carbonates, an inert material comparable to seashells that exist naturally in all of the world’s oceans.
“We're thrilled to be selected as the winners of The Livability Challenge. The support of the Temasek Foundation, and our philanthropic and corporate partners around the world is invaluable because it is this nature of sustained support, commitment and ecosystem building that is required to catalyze SeaChange," said Mr Sant.
“Carbon removal is the most daunting challenge that we, as a society, need to address over the coming decades. The SeaChange technology's coupling of electrochemical engineering with the scale of the world's oceans is a transformative direction towards addressing this challenge,” Mr Sant added.
Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, said: “We congratulate Seachange on winning The Liveability Challenge (TLC) 2021. SeaChange joins the growing community of innovators who are stepping up our collective effort to help drive sustainability improvements. We are happy to support their transformational solution to remove carbon dioxide from seawater and a sustainable business model based on permanently capturing carbon in the form of carbonate being produced. The captured carbon can also be used as carbon credits.”
“Temasek Foundation, along with the TLC ecosystem and larger sustainability community, looks to provide support for innovators to realise their green aspirations and for SeaChange in particular, to scale up to achieve gigatonne removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at scale,” Mr Lim added.
In addition, other prizes that were presented to the finalists include:
- A S$100,000 investment by Planet Rise and an additional S$50,000 investment by Amasia were awarded to SEPPURE for its solution of sustainable solvent recovery and reuse using nanofiltration technology.
- A S$50,000 investment by Amasia was awarded to Divigas for its solution of hydrogen membranes used in carbon capture at refineries.
- A S$50,000 investment by Silverstrand Capital was awarded to NEU Battery Materials for its solution to recycle lithium batteries through a patented electrochemical separation recycling technology.
“I continue to be inspired by the quality of ideas that The Liveability Challenge attracts. As sustainability and innovation become increasingly important across the world, TLC provides an important platform to help channel capital into the companies that will help us address the climate crisis and our resource challenges,” said Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director of Eco-Business.
“We will keep nurturing and supporting this growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs and investors and look forward to seeing all the TLC finalists this year continue to grow and be successful," she added.