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Solar energy India: India’s solar tech venture finalist in Prince William’s Earthshot Prize 2023


A solar-powered tech venture that is combating food waste in India is among 15 worldwide finalists competing for the GBP 1 million 2023 Earthshot Prize, founded by Britain’s Prince William and dubbed the ‘Eco Oscars’. S4S Technologies, founded in 2013 by seven university friends Nidhi Pant, Vaibhav Tidke, Swapnil Kokte, Ganesh Bhere, Shital Somani, Tushar Gaware and Ashwin Pawade, is shortlisted in the “Earthshot Prize to Build a Waste-Free World” category as the finalists were unveiled by the royal during a visit to New York on Tuesday.

S4S, which stands for Science for Society, made the cut for its work in tackling food waste, rural poverty, and gender inequality by helping smallholder female farmers preserve and market surplus produce.

“The organisation provides rural communities with cheaper solar-powered conduction dryers and food processing equipment to prepare their crops on-site, rather than using cold storage or other more expensive methods of conventional industrial food preservation,” notes the Earthshot Prize.

With a focus on supporting female farmers, S4S also supports its entrepreneurs in using the preserved waste to produce and sell valuable food products, such as ketchup. S4S creates a market, connecting commercial buyers to these products and returning most of the profits to the farmers who made them.

“Food waste, rural poverty and gender inequality are deeply intertwined challenges for the people of India. S4S’ innovative solution combines cutting-edge technology with the practical support and training needed to ensure women farmers can thrive and improve their livelihoods for themselves and their families,” added co-founder Nidhi Pant.

The Prince of Wales announced the 15 finalists at the second Earthshot Innovation Summit, held alongside the UN General Assembly in New York to celebrate and champion innovators focused on solving our most pressing global climate challenges. The 15 innovators shortlisted represent six continents and were chosen from more than 1,100 nominees. Each of the finalists will be in the running to receive one of the five GBP 1 million prizes awarded at the third annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Singapore on November 7. Founded by Prince William in 2020, the Earthshot Prize aims to discover and help scale the world’s most innovative climate and environmental solutions to protect and restore our planet. The prize is centred around five “Earthshots” of Protect & Restore Nature; Clean Our Air; Revive Our Oceans; Build A Waste-free World; and Fix Our Climate.

In addition to their eligibility for the GBP 1 million prize, all finalists receive mentorship, resources, and technical support from the Earthshot Prize Fellowship Programme, a year-long programme for each cohort of 15 Finalists to accelerate the growth of their groundbreaking solutions.

That support includes access to the prize’s robust network of influential businesses, investors, and climate experts, including the Earthshot Prize’s Global Alliance of Partners, comprised of some of the world’s largest businesses, donors, investors, and environmental organisations committed to climate action.

The five winners of this year’s prize will be selected by Prince William and the prestigious Earthshot Prize Council, a global body of activists, experts, and influencers.


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