Wright and others win IDEAS competition, improve quality of life

May 22, 2014

The annual MIT IDEAS Global Challenge awards ceremony awarded $79,500 to 13 student-led teams to further develop inventions and ideas intended to solve pressing environmental and health challenges in developing countries.

CleanData-CleanWater, a $10,000 winner last night, plans to use its earnings to manufacture 1,000 of its sensors, which gather previously unavailable data on water filter usage in developing countries.

The sensors fit on a filter’s tap and track how long the tap stays up or down, measuring the frequency and duration of use. The company plans to integrate the sensors into a new line of ceramic pot water filters being installed across Ghana by the company Pure Home Water, a previous IDEAS winner.

If broadly implemented, the sensors could help inventors and investors gauge the effectiveness of thousands of filters worldwide, said Natasha Wright, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. “We hope to transform the way clean water is delivered across the developing world,” she said in accepting her team’s prize.

Read the article on MIT newsphoto courtesy Yuri Vaysgant

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