How do you solve the global water crisis? An innovative hydropanel technology that uses solar energy to turn water vapor into clean, drinkable water could be part of the answer.
Making that technology available to the hundreds of millions of people lacking access to clean, stable water sources, however, is another issue entirely. That’s where a tech accelerator — a fund that give fledgling businesses much-needed capital to scale-up their brilliant ideas — comes in.
A new partnership between Conservation International and Elemental Excelerator, a tech accelerator that funds energy and water start-ups, among others, aims to direct the tech industry’s significant talent and resources toward solving pressing environmental challenges. In an article published in GreenBiz, Agustin Silvani, senior vice president of the Conservation Finance pision at Conservation International, explained the hurry: “If you look at all the climate studies, we have basically 10 years to solve these issues … We need new ideas and innovation to change these trajectories.”
Tech accelerators innovating for the sake of innovation can “create solutions for problems that don’t exist, or solutions in search of problems,” said Silvani. “By partnering with us, we’re able to say, ‘These are the problems that we’re facing, the real-world issues related to how we produce our food or use water, without wrecking the planet. Now use your tech tools to help address those problems.”
Olivia DeSmit is a staff writer for Conservation International.