Negavatt’s best green idea is a local, non-dairy milk

08. June 2020 | 16:46

The EUR 10,000 main prize of the Environmental Investment Centre’s (EIC) Negavatt Energy Saving Competition for young people aged 18–30 went to EIMU, a non-dairy milk made from raw materials sourced from Estonia.

According to Andrus Treier, a member of the jury and Director of the EIC, all nine finalists were very strong. ‘The development of the teams was clearly visible throughout the season, and was proven by the quality of presentations in the super final. We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the EIC, and I am glad that we were able to provide a spark to so many young people and their meaningful ideas, which we will hopefully be hearing more about very soon,’ said Treier. ‘Important factors that we considered when it came time to make our decision were solving a specific problem, the ability of the team, and, of course, sustainability’, he added.

The main prize of EUR 10,000 went to the team EIMU, which produces non-dairy milk from local raw materials, such as oats or hemp seeds. Helen Puistaja, a member of the jury and the founder of the online shop Slow, explains that the potential of EIMU to reach a larger target group than only vegans is very high. ‘We can all take small steps for the benefit of the environment and our health, be it, for example, consuming non-dairy milk that provides a taste experience,’ adds Puistaja. ‘The decisive factor in choosing the winner was that the team came to the Negavatt competition with only an idea, and within a few months they had made a significant leap in terms of development. They have considerable partners backing them, and today we were already able to taste a specific product’.

Lithium up, a test device for recycling lithium batteries, placed second, and took home a prize of EUR 5000 for implementing the idea. ‘With their technological approach, they are able to add value to used batteries and thus create a circular economy model,’ explains Madis Tilga, a member of the jury and an adviser on sustainable development to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia.

In order to implement their idea, Clevering, which is developing a detection system for the use of package containers and a fill-level sensor for apartment associations, received EUR 3000. Kristi Klaas, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment, explains that the team is solving a nationally important problem and suggesting a way in which to get more people to sort their waste’.

Lithium up received the Prototron competition’s special award, while the Ajujaht award went to Münt, Ülemiste City gave its recognition to CompAct, and Clevering received the Science Park Tehnopol and the EIC employees’ choice award. In addition to the aforementioned members of the jury, Ragmar Saksing, Head of Green Technology at Science Park Tehnopol, was also a member of the jury.

You can catch-up on Negavatt’s virtual super final here. More detailed introductions of all teams can be found here. 

Negavatt is a green ideas competition for 18–30 year olds, launched by the EIC and the Ministry of the Environment to inspire young people to make the world a better place. This season, the competition received 61 ideas. The sponsor of the 7th season of Negavatt is Eesti Pandipakend. Competition partners are Rimi Eesti, Uuskasutuskeskus, Lindström Eesti, Graanul Invest, Ülemiste City, Tehnopol and the competitions Prototron and Ajujaht.