The Kyoto Box won the FT Climate Change Challenge, a global competition with a $75,000 purse aimed at finding the best innovations to address climate change. The inventor, Kenya-based entrepreneur Jon Bøhmer, will use the prize to fund large-scale trials of the solar cooker in 10 countries.
More than 300 entries were submitted to the contest. A combination of public votes and assessments from a panel of business leaders and climate change experts chose the winner. The Financial Times, HP and Forum for the Future teamed up to create the contest.
The Kyoto Box holds the potential to help an estimated three billion people who use firewood to cook, while improving the health of millions of children who lack access to clean drinking water and suffer from smoke inhalation, Bøhmer said.
Bøhmer, the owner of design firm Kyoto Energy, can replicate the solar cooker with corrugated plastic for the same cost for a longer-lasting cooker. He'll conduct trials with 10,000 cookers in 10 countries, including India, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.
He hopes to use the data from the trials to apply for carbon credits, which could produce an annual profit of up to 30 euros (US$39.47) per stove. He'd use the excess funds to launch other solar products, such as a plastic bag that heats and cleans water, a smokeless cooker to burn biomass and a solar-power torch.