May 2009

GoodGuide featured on Bill Moyers Journal

Bill Moyers talks about smart grocery shopping, including using GoodGuide to gauge the environmental and social health of your food.

Watch the interview here.

GoodGuide is an NCIIA-funded Sustainable Vision project that helps people find safe, healthy and green products.

Sustainable Vision success stories and videos

Follow the accomplishments of our Sustainable Vision teams in 2008 and 2009, as reported online from around the country.

'BEST' Battery Certification Program to Reduce Lead Poisoning in Asia (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)

Global Resolve: Reducing Pollution in Ghana Using Smart Business (Arizona State University)

Village Energy: Bringing Electricity to Remote Villages in Honduras (Baylor University)

Affordable Solar Micro-Thermal Generator in South Africa (MIT)

High Efficiency Stove Models Come to Africa (University of Colorado - Boulder)

A Sustainable Irrigation System in Peru (UMass-Lowell)

Deciphering Good Products from Bad is a Phone Text Away with GoodGuide (Berkeley University)


10 ideas changing the world right now

GoodGuide (UC-Berkeley)


Grantee Videos

University Grants Manager Jennifer Keller Jackson had the opportunity to travel to Peru to learn about UMass Lowell's drip irrigation project (2008 grantee):





Grantees, such as University of Colorado-Boulder's Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan team, collaborate with non-profit, for-profit, educational or government partnerto bring socially beneficial products to the poor via an economically sustainable business model (as opposed to traditional philanthropy):








E-Team success stories

Follow the accomplishments of our student teams in, as reported online from around the country.


Rotovirus Thin Film Delivery (Johns Hopkins University)

SMIT: Solar Ivy (Pratt Institute)

Ecovative Design (RPI)


Ecovative Design (RPI): Industrial-strength mushrooms


Top 10 Inventions of the Year (2009)

Ecovative Design


Ecovative Design (RPI): New ingredient for insulation, packing: mushrooms


Voice of America (great pieces!)

March Madness for the Mind 2009

March Madness for the Mind 2010


You're Never Too Young to be a Green Inventor.

Supporting Tomorrow’s Green Ideas with the NCIIA and Lemelson Foundation

Coconuts Project (Baylor University)

SMIT Solar Power Ivy (Pratt Institute)

WaterCycle Malawi Pump (Washington State University)

Greensulate Insulation - Ecovative Design (Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute)

SmarterShade (University of Notre Dame)

DIY Solar Lighting Systems for Developing Nations (Cooper Union)


March Madness for the Mind 2009


Young people who rock 2009

Ecovative Design's Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre


March Madness for the Mind 2009


WUSA Channel 9, Washington DC

March Madness for the mind 2009


Nokia Innovation Series

Sproxil (Dartmouth College)










In the news: The 'sun seat'- a solar sanitation solution

An NCIIA Sustainable Vision team from Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a solar sanitation system for use in developing countries.

Read more about the 'sun seat' at


Ride to Work Week - with 'xtra' spice

This week is 'National Bike to Work Week'.

Ross Evans, inventor and founder of Xtracycle, a former NCIIA E-Team, has managed to find a way to stand out from the cycle commuting crowd - using a single wheel and crutches. Intrigued? Watch the video here.




Former E-Team Modiv Media wins award

Modiv Media, a former E-Team from Babson College, has been recognized by the 2009 AlwaysOn East 100 List. The AlwaysOn East 100 Award is given to private, emerging technology companies creating new business opportunities in high-growth markets.

Read the story here.

Modiv Media, based in Boston, provides the first multi-touchpoint, in-store media network that enables marketers and retailers to boost loyalty and sales, while saving money and time for consumers. The technology is used by a number of supermarket chains on the East Coast. While at Babson, the E-Team was called Vayusa. The team received an E-Team grant from NCIIA in 2002.

Design students demonstrate healthcare innovations

More TV coverage of student projects, this time from the University of Rochester.

Senior design team students talk about projects supported through a 2008 NCIIA Course and Program grant.

The students teamed up with local healthcare and medical companies to come up with creative solutions to real problems:

  • "Operation Respiration," a monitor that works to find early warning signs in newborns, such as decreased oxygen.
  • "Tread Mod," a modified treadmill that allows physical therapists to better facilitate ideal pacing for recovering patients.

Watch the clip.

Renovation for Innovation: designing space to promote creativity

“What kind of renovations might serve programmatic goals to promote creativity, to promote entrepreneurial skills of students?”

A group of designers and innovators recently gathered in Washington DC to discuss 'space' as a critical component of planning and designing facilities for undergraduate learners.

The findings and insights from the discussion are fascinating - read more here.

The event was co-hosted by Project Kaleidoscope and NCIIA, and co-sponsored by Herman Miller.


Catching up with Stanford's Myanmar Sustainable Vision team

A student team from Stanford University's Design for Extreme Affordability program are heading to Myanmar this week to work on their projects with International Development Enterprises-Myanmar (IDE/M). The team's project, funded by an NCIIA Sustainable Vision grant, is to help IDE/M design and implement a new treadle pump manufacturing system, based around local conditions and needs. The team believes introducing an improved manufacturing process for treadle pumps will eventually diffuse to other areas, broadly improving the local metalworking sector.

Follow the team's progress online.


Intelligent Mobility: Re-Cycling to Build Wheelchairs

California Institute of Technology, 2007 - $19,000

There are approximately twenty million people in the developing world who require a wheelchair to be mobile, but only one percent of those people actually have their own chairs. Even these chairs are second-hand most of the time and aren't suited to the rugged, off-road terrain often found in developing countries. As a result, many disabled people rely on their family members for support or resort to begging in order to live.To combat the problem, this team has founded a non-profit, Intelligent Mobility, to produce and distribute safe, durable, and affordable wheelchairs made primarily from old bicycles. The pedal axles on the bike are converted to rear-wheel axles on the chair, the pedals themselves are used for both the footrests and front caster assembly, the x-brace is cut from the metal on the back end of the bike frame, and the handle bars are used as push handles. The team believes this design makes for a less expensive, more durable, and more appropriate wheelchair for the developing world. It also takes less time to make than a standard wheelchair--about one-sixth of the current production time.