Future solutions for some of the most pressing sustainability topics were on full display during the announcement of the winners of the 2023 Cross-Campus Innovation Challenge — a student competition led by the Easton Technology Management Center within the UCLA Anderson Schools of Management, and co-sponsored by the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.
The initiative — pairing UCLA Anderson School of Management students with students from other disciplines across campus — aims to cultivate multidisciplinary student teams and identify business ideas that address pressing societal issues. The challenge has two main tracks: sustainability and health. In the former track, business meets sustainability, as teams are encouraged to find ways of creating groundbreaking green venture technologies. Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Executive Director Cassie Rauser served as one of the judges.
“Taking the role of a judge was very exciting,” Rauser said. “We were fortunate to have a pool of truly groundbreaking applications. Solution-oriented programs like the Innovation Challenge are crucial for creating a sustainable Los Angeles.”
The 2023 sustainability track winners ranged from residential building projects to green energy technologies. The first prize of $15,000 was awarded to So Gel Solutions — a project that creates transparent insulation for energy efficient windows in commercial and residential buildings. Second place and $10,000 was won by MOFicient, for using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to efficiently capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas, achieving low cost CO2 capture. Third place, and $5,000, was awarded to HelioHite — a clean technology project developing a solution to sustainably produce high-purity synthetic graphite and green hydrogen.
The Cross-Campus Challenge was created as part of UCLA’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis and creating a more equitable and livable world for all Angelenos and beyond. Students were encouraged to use their business skills for creating sustainable projects, to learn from industry leaders, meet and collaborate with like-minded students across campus and receive guidance from subject matter experts to propel their ventures to the next level.
Image Source: UCLA Anderson School of Management
Learn more at the Innovation Challenge home page.