Sustainability consultancy Carbon Footprint debuts new challenge prize, as Boeing launches next phase of green R&D programme
A new competition launched this week is set to reward the next great leap forward in sustainable flight, offering a cash prize expected to be in the millions of pounds for the first zero carbon transatlantic passenger flight between London and New York.
Launched by sustainability consultancy Carbon Footprint, the Freedom Flight Prize is open to manufacturers, researchers, and inventors to design and fly a 100+ seater passenger aircraft powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.
The plane must complete a return trip between London and New York, with each leg of the trip taking under 10 hours, while the return leg must be finished within 24 hours of starting out on the round trip, the organisation said.
"The Freedom Flight Prize puts 100 per cent renewable flights right in the spotlight in order to address the climate emergency we face," said John Buckley, MD of Carbon Footprint. "The Prize does not accept the compromise that long haul travel produces a high carbon footprint - in fact it recognises that the technologies to power flights solely on sustainable renewable energy are available."
Carbon Footprint is inviting businesses, organisations, philanthropists and the general public to support the project through a range of promotion, sponsorship, and donation opportunities.
Elsewhere in the drive for low-carbon aviation, ATI Boeing Accelerator this week opened applications for the second cohort in its programme bringing together investors and sustainability start-ups.
The initiative launched last year, with its inaugural cohort securing £6m in investment and engaging organisations such as Rolls-Royce and Chevron Technology Ventures, the firm said.
Among the programmes it supported was Circulor, a startup that helps businesses demonstrate responsible sourcing through supply chain traceability, which raised £3.5m form Volvo Cars Tech Fund and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures.
This year's programme will focus on three main areas, the firm said: industry 4.0, lifecycle and resilience, and energy. Successful companies selected to the programme may receive £100K equity investment from Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures, and first-hand access to strategists, technical experts, and advice from partners ATI, Boeing, and GKN Aerospace, the firm said.
"Aerospace looks very different as we head into the second year of our programme," said Gabi Matic, programme director at ATI Boeing Accelerator. "COVID-19 has had a big impact on the state of air travel, and we have seen unprecedented change. This provides an opportunity for startups developing technology that can make a huge difference to aerospace businesses and related industries, and gives them a chance to really grab the attention of sectors looking to innovate."
Eligible seed and Series A startups have until 27 September to apply, the firm said.
The latest moves follow an eventful summer for the fledgling green aviation sector. The French government recently announced a multi-billion Euro green aviation R&D programme as part of its bailout package for the airline sector, while the UK government launched a new Jet Zero Council to bring together experts from across the industry to advance efforts to develop a zero emission transatlantic flight. The unveiling of the advisory council was followed by the launch of a £400m FlyZero R&D programme, which is bringing together public and private funding to accelerate the development of low and zero emission aviation technologies.
Want to find out more about the prospects for zero emission flight? Join us at the world's first Net Zero Festival from September 30th.
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