Open Innovation Competition Seeks Innovative Urban Food Solutions

The cities of Malmö, Lund, Oskarshamn and Bjuv and private partners in Sweden are holding an Open Innovation Competition looking for innovative solutions to convert waste heat into urban food or other biological production. They plan to use this residual heat to produce fish, vegetables, and other biological goods (such as floriculture) in production units located in each municipality. The competition is supported by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency.

Residual heat comes from diverse sources – anything from appliances to industrial production facilities – and is difficult to capture, transport, and utilize.

Three challenge areas have been identified:

  • Technical challenges – the vision is to collect the waste heat at source and transport it – most probably as warm water – to the site where it can be used to heat facilities and equipment for production. Steps in that process include the identification and capture of waste heat, maintenance of water temperature, and handling supply fluctuations;
  • Biological production challenges – identifying the optimal temperature, lighting, ventilation, soil and PH values, designing the optimal mix of cultivated plants and fish and aquatic livestock, and selecting appropriate and sustainable fish feeds and plant fertilizers; and,
  • Business challenges – economic factors such as production volume and the price elasticity, job creation, and potential social benefits to the communities.

As the final project would be in an urban environment, it could not have huge area requirements, be located a substantial distance away from the community, nor significantly rely on heavy transportation.

The competition manual, proposal template and further information about the sites is available for download here.