Dilmah, the well known Tea Brand, last week announced an attractive package of financial and other awards to inventors and innovators focusing on solutions for sustainable packaging, resource efficiency and waste management.

“In the backdrop of COVID-19 and the race towards limiting global warming to 1.5-degree Celsius, the world needs sustainable ideas and inventions to solve its looming problems. Therefore, Dilmah has brought back Ecovation awards for its second run. Themed “Sustainable Environmentally-friendly Packaging and Resource Efficiency”, Ecovation 2021 focuses on generating solutions for sustainable packaging, resource efficiency, and waste management,” a company news release explained.

It said the Awards present a perfect opportunity for anyone with a non-mainstream eco-innovation concept or working prototype to gain financial support and resources to take their innovation from concept to market or further develop their prototype into a commercial product.

“They will further receive legal support to protect their intellectual property. Another bonus is that winners will have an opportunity to introduce their innovations and ideas to the patron and general members of Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL), comprising of blue-chip companies in the hopes of finding potential investors,” it said.

The overall prizes of the awards are valued at over 2 million. Due to COVID-19, the award rounds will take place in a virtual format, the news release said.

Submissions are open to anyone with a passion for sustainability and resource efficiency – including schoolchildren, undergraduates, postgraduates, grassroots organizations, academics, scientists, artists and, designers, it added.

Short-listed applicants will be given two months to build their prototype or present their concept. The final stage of Ecovation 2021 is slated for December and will be an exhibition where the winners will be chosen by an eminent judging panel.

The panel comprises Dr. Ilmi Hewajulige, Additional Director, R&D ITI, Ms. Padma Abeykoon, Director, Operational Focal Point Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Jeevan Gnanam, Founder/Group CEO of Saksglobal, Ms. Savera Weerasinghe, Ms. S. Yasarathne, and Prof. A. de Alwis.

The Ecovation award was first launched in 2016. This inaugural event showcased many Sri Lankan innovators. The top award recipients were B. G. Harsha Abeywardana (prototype winner) and K. K. L. Madusanka (concept winner). The former created a prototype of an eco-friendly method of using tea refuse from tea factories to produce items such as paper, cardboard, brick, pots, etc. The latter conceptualized a purified tank to clean invasive plant species infested waters. Category award winners were also chosen under blue economy, waste, water, and energy. 

Ecovation Awards, a platform where budding eco-innovators can be empowered and recognised, is the brainchild of Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando. He believes that Sri Lanka is home to many talented innovators who just need the right support and guidance to help them maximise their potential.

“As a sustainable brand that constantly seeks solutions for solving local environmental issues at large, Dilmah, through Ecovation Awards, aims to promote and strengthen eco-innovations in Sri Lanka, the release said.

Ecovation Award 2021 application form now at https://www.dilmahconservation.org/eco-innovation-award-2021/ or email awards@dilmahconservation.org or call 011 482 2490 for inquiries.

This article was taken from The Island

This article was also published in The Sunday Times

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