Eight projects supported by the Derek and Maureen Moss Student Climate Innovation Grants 2021
Following on from COP 26, we are excited to announce the innovative student projects that have been selected to receive one-off financial contributions.
Student Climate Innovation Grants 2021
The Derek and Maureen Moss Student Climate Innovation Grants are one-off financial contributions made to support student-led initiatives that aim to address and mitigate the climate crisis.
Following a shortlisting process with key stakeholders, a total of eight projects have been selected to receive £1,000 of grant funding each. The student projects will be completed by November 2022.
A total of 15 applications were received.
The grants are coordinated by the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, in collaboration with Development and Alumni, with support from the Edinburgh University Students’ Association and Edinburgh Innovations.
Promotion of the grants started in September with applications being accepted until the end of October.
Successful student project applicants
Grant funding will support the creation of three more tree nurseries and support capacity building in communities in Kenya.
Dophia Agroforestry is a Community Based Organisation in Kenya that works with 150 partner farmers to plant high-value, multipurpose trees to increase farm productivity, improve livelihoods and improve climate resilience.
They work with small-scale farmers by building capacity in agroforestry as a way of improving the quality of soils and crop productivity as well as a source of fruits, firewood, and legumes for livestock. They also encourage natural regeneration through tree planting on fallow slopes and degraded land to reclaim these lands and restore soils, making them more suitable for crop production.
The project addresses the climate crisis by improving soil health, increasing carbon sequestration by planting trees, reducing encroachment into natural forests, and encouraging diversification and consumption of local farm produce.
Grant funding will support the production of reusable cloth-based menstrual pads and support capacity building in communities in India.
Sanitree is a project founded by students from the University of Edinburgh to tackle period poverty in India by employing women from vulnerable backgrounds to sew reusable cloth-based menstrual pads at the Her Shakti Centre, a workshop and community centre.
The project also facilitates education on sexual and reproductive health and puberty. Led by Sanitree’s Jaipur-based partner NGO and supported by the Edinburgh team, the project focuses on promotion, campaigning and fundraising to support production costs, enable the free distribution of pads, and assist the aforementioned education and overall works towards the sustained empowerment of their beneficiaries.
The project addresses the climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions through eradicating waste, due to the pads being organic, biodegradable, plastic-free and lasting up to two years. Through community outreach, the project will raise awareness of sustainable behaviours and promote climate justice by providing employment to local women who are often more at risk of the impacts of climate change.
Apple Action for Climate Change
Grant funding will support the development of educational resources and the procurement of apple trees.
The aim of the project is to enable positive action for climate change that is achievable, demonstrable and impactful through the development of educational resources for primary schools on the climate crisis and grow apple trees in a local primary school in the Edinburgh region with young people at the heart of the change.
Following the planting of 26 trees after COP 26, we have a programme of activities, workshops and online sessions on topics related to climate change and the apple trees to inspire the next generation of scientists, writers, artists, engineers, and business leaders to take positive action for the climate.
The output of the project will be collated as a package for Education Scotland National Improvement Hub with guidance, worksheets and case study videos to enable other schools to learn from and to be inspired to take similar action.
Grant funding will support plans to build capacity and expand services to clients, as well as provide training for more students who want to get involved.
Six Degrees is a student-led think tank and environmental consultancy founded in 2018 in Oxford. During the past years, more branches have been founded among Russell Group Universities including the University of Edinburgh.
The aim of the think tank is to bring together the brightest and most passionate scholars from Russell Group universities to generate and advocate new pathways to sustainability. Over the last year, students have provided pro-bono support to organisations and delivered high impact sustainability projects for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Scotland who typically do not have the funding to bring in consultancy.
The project aims to support SMEs by identifying opportunities to address the climate crisis through what they do, as well as providing students with experience of working with SMEs.
A study of algae-derived biochar and bioenergy using pyrolysis
The grant funding will support the costs of carrying out the research.
The aim of this academic research project is to explore the promising opportunities for integration of co-production of algal biochar and bioenergy into algal biorefinery using pyrolysis, making it possible to achieve a net-zero carbon balance or even become carbon negative.
Such an algal biochar-bioenergy system offers solutions to address the climate crisis, such as atmospheric carbon capture and storage, products for sustainable agriculture and environmental management, offering a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution aligned with net-zero and circular economy concepts. The University’s Schools of Engineering and Geosciences will be supporting this research.
Ecopoetry - Anthology
Grant funding will support plans to bring together content from the University’s creative community, as well as supporting editing and publication costs.
The aim of this project is to make people listen and care about the climate crisis and environmental changes through the art of poetry. It is hard to make people listen by merely stating the facts, and it has been proven that people are keener to consider the world-changing via art.
This project will give artists the opportunity to voice their concerns in a creative way and therefore contribute to both the art world, environmental science and politics. The project will reach out to artists, creatives, poets and writers from across the University staff and student community, bringing together a collection of poetry for publication.
The project will highlight the importance of the creative arts in addressing the climate crisis.
Grant funding will support the development of new sustainable packaging solutions and expanding learning opportunities for students in ReSave’s leadership and research programmes.
ReSave is a start-up company that has created a packaging composition that is 100% recyclable and compostable.
Students involved want to create a circular economy within the consumer products industry. ReSave promotes sustainability in the industry as currently, only 2% of the industry is using 100% recyclable and compostable packaging solutions.
This solution utilises AI and digitalisation to track each ReSave bottle purchased, supporting the packaging industry reduce its carbon emissions and environmental impact through reducing waste.
Easy Green Energy
Grant funding will support the further development and launch of the tool to the wider public.
Easy Green Energy have created a flexible energy simulation that dynamically considers all components and parameters of a household’s energy environment. Based on this, the students leading the project want to offer a tool and website where consumers can enter their details and in turn receive tailored suggestions on their green energy options, with a detailed assessment of the economic and ecologic impact and comprehensive information.
The project aims to support consumers and society move towards a low carbon society, by providing accessible information on low carbon energy options.
More opportunities for students and staff
The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability offers many ongoing opportunities for staff and students to take action on the climate crisis and social issues, including more funding opportunities.