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Winning ideas of the ECOnomics Environmental Business Plan Challenge Award


May 28, 2006

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May 29, 2006 The ECOnomics Environmental Business Plan Challenge provides a US$50,000 award for the business plan that best combines environmental innovation and profitability. Created by General Electric and The Wall Street Journal, the four finalists and winner of the award were recently announced and the quality of the ideas validated the exercise, with Robert Wright taking the gong for his Heated Air Spray Evaporation (HASE) Watervap technology (top of main pic) that will help solve the most universal human need: potable water. Another of the finalists, LiquidPiston, (bottom of main pic) was also a finalist of the prestigious MIT $50K Entrepreneurship competition. LiquidPiston is a novel internal combustion engine architecture, which is claimed to offer double the fuel efficiency of existing engines while drastically reducing pollutant emissions. The engine is based on a patent-pending "High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle" (HEHC) thermodynamic cycle, borrowing elements from Otto, Diesel, Atkinson, and Rankine cycles. The finalists of the competition can be found here.

Outright winner Robert Wright is a registered professional engineer and a diplomat member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He has more than 40 years of experience related to the fields of water and wastewater treatment. Mr. Wright also has held executive or management level positions in several major U.S. consulting engineering firms and is the author of more than 20 technical publications. Currently he is one of three partners in Watervap LLC.

"For nearly fifty years I have been interested and involved in protecting the environment," Mr. Wright noted. "I am concerned about the many world wide environmental problems such as rapidly depleting water supplies and industrial pollution." His continuing interest and dedication to help solve these problems inspired him to develop a new technology and business devoted to serving mankind and protecting the environment.

The winning business plan clearly demonstrated the following: 1) an innovative business idea that benefits the environment, 2) a clear path to profitability and 3) a persuasive and logical presentation. Each candidate submitted an original idea for a new profitable business plan that has a positive impact on the environment.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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