Global 100 Eco-Tech Award Winners Selected at 2005 World Expo

Global 100 Eco-Tech Award Winners Selected at 2005 World Expo

The Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition has completed selection of 100 global technologies that "contribute significantly to the resolution of global environmental issues and to the creation of a sustainable future for humankind and the Earth." Called the Global 100 Eco-Tech Awards (co-sponsored by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.), this is an official award program of EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan.

236 global environmental technologies nominated by EXPO 2005 official participants (including foreign governments and international organizations), Japanese local governments and screening committee members were examined by a 13-member screening committee of experts (chaired by Dr. Jiro Kondo, professor emeritus of The University of Tokyo). The 100 selected technologies, which will not be ranked, will receive a 1 million yen cash prize each. The award ceremony will take place on September 1 in Nagoya City.

The breakdown of the 100 technologies was 56 from Japan and 44 from 23 overseas countries. Overseas winners were from around the world, including Europe, which is a region that is advanced in environmental technologies, as well as Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and North, Central and South America.

The award-winning technologies can be divided into eight major fields: technology to prevent global warming and secure sustainable energy (22 technologies), technology for effective use and recycling of resources (17), technology to lead to new development for sustainable society (16), technology for preserving drinking water and water resources (12), technology for conservation and recovery of nature (12), technology to utilize forest/wood resources (9), technology to utilize biomass resources (7), and technology for countermeasure against environmental pollutant (5).

Winners in the field of technology to prevent global warming and secure sustainable energy, which is one of the urgent environmental issues faced by the world, accounted for about one-fifth of the 100 awards. There were many winners in this field from universities and leading companies in Japan, including Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion being developed by Saga University, which is a method of generating electricity by utilizing the thermal difference between the ocean surface and deep water, and the Toyota Motor Corporation's hybrid system, which combines two power sources: a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Furthermore, with 11 selected, winners from abroad also accounted for half of those selected in this field, and included technologies, such as a new type of solar cell in which the panels are in strips in order to expand the surface area that was developed by Origin Energy Solar of Australia. It was a sign that there is much interest in this field both in Japan and overseas.

The field with the second highest number of award-winners was technology for effective use and recycling of resources. A wide range of technologies, such as the production of fuel oil from waste plastic developed by Shin Dae Hyun of South Korea, and Eco-Park Hartberg, a new industrial park in Austria where 20 companies on a 15-hectare site constitute a network to provide environmentally-friendly products and services to each other, received awards.

Technology for conservation and recovery of nature and technology to lead to new development for sustainable society are fields that contribute to sustainable development in developing countries. Many overseas technologies and undertakings were also selected in these two fields. One example is the use of coconut shell fibers, which are normally incinerated or disposed of as agricultural waste, as a geotextile net used to prevent landslides and protect sloping ground surfaces. The net also decomposes naturally when trees, etc. are planted on the slope, promoting reforestation. This technology developed by Dr. Justino R. Arboleda of the Philippines is currently on exhibit at the Philippine Pavilion.

Others award winners included a technology to monitor fires in the Brazilian rainforest (National Institute of Space Research (INPE) of Brazil), and the Kinkiizi Electricity Generating Stove (Arnold Ahimbisibwe of Uganda) which uses charcoal or firewood for cooking or boiling water while generating electricity at the same time.