Catalyst Program

Each year the BFC program awarded resources and support to an additional 40-60 projects through our Catalyst Program (including semifinalists, finalists, and the winner). The broader Catalyst Program group included projects that represented the top 20% of the entry pool. Benefits of the Catalyst Program included opportunities for additional funding, pro-bono legal services, fast-track access to accelerator programs, mentorship opportunities, and international press coverage.

In 2013, we created a Catalyst Program in order to extend the resources and support to more projects. Catalyst Program entrants typically constituted the top 20% of the entry pool, and were vetted by the review team. While these projects did not necessarily fulfill the BFC criteria to the degree that the semifinalists did, they were projects that excelled in their particular discipline or problem space.

Benefits of the Catalyst Program included opportunities for additional funding, pro-bono legal services, fast-tracked access to accelerator programs, mentorship opportunities, and international press coverage. In total we were able to extend over $750,000 in additional funding and support to qualified projects.

For example, In 2013 and 2014, select applicants were the recipients of additional funding procured through BFI. In 2015 and 2016, the BFC staff vetted Catalyst Program projects to receive grants from the World Centric giving program. Over the years, the Catalyst Program pool served as a source of rigorously vetted projects for other award programs, and our projects were recognized by the Autodesk Foundation, the World Habitat Awards, the World Design Impact Prize, The Roddenberry Foundation, the INDEX: Award, the Biomimicry Institute, and more. In some cases, as with the Katerva Awards, the BFC program served as a global spotter, and projects from our entry pool were automatically nominated.

Qualifying NGOs and social enterprises benefited from pro-bono legal assistance via BFI's referral process with the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global TrustLaw program. Up to two Fuller Challenge entrants had the opportunity to be selected from the general entry pool for nomination as Echoing Green Fellows each year in fulfillment of the BFC's Fast Track partnership with Echoing Green. Qualifying innovators were referred for inclusion in dMASS Inc.'s depository of innovations, which facilitates the relationship between resource performance leaders and investors. Qualifying solutions were also referred for inclusion in Technology Exchange Lab's depository of appropriate technology solutions for issues of poverty. Select entrants were invited to present their work at future Bioneers conferences.

Additional opportunities to present work at events organized by BFI included Greenbuild, Architecting the Future symposia, Black Mountain College International Conference, The Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design lectures, and other international symposia on Buckminster Fuller, sustainable culture events, design conferences and social entrepreneurship gatherings.

One Dollar Glasses
2016 Catalyst Program

LOCATION: Active in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Benin, and Bolivia, with system being set up in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Mexico

Perpetual Constellation
2016 Catalyst Program

We all die. Given increasing urban populations, rapidly depleting city cemetery space, and the acute environmental toll of casketed burial and cremation, DeathLAB is re-conceiving the infrastructure of urban mortuary practices. Our "Perpetual Constellation" projects advance social, spatial and environmental potential through elegant, ecologically positive funerary and disposition practices.

Reinventing the Law
2016 Catalyst Program

Self-organized social collaboration commoning-- is unleashing enormous participatory creativity in eco-friendly resource management around the world, but these solutions are often stymied by conventional law. This initiative will build upon diverse hacks on the law and catalyze a new field of legal inquiry and activism, Law for the Commons.

Rising Canes Bamboo City
2016 Catalyst Program

Architecture and the construction process are a major contribution to our global environmental pollution. Our initiative promotes an ecological alternative of growing our cities. All elements are locally harvested and produced in one local ecosystem, with the least amount of impact on the environment or on the materials itself.

Sanitation Social Enterprise
2016 Catalyst Program

LOCATION: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

SUMMARY: This project wasevaluated as a highly impactful, integrated model amongst other sanitation solutions. Sanitation Social Enterprise is simultaneously: improving sanitation in Dar es Salaam; recycling human waste into fertilizer; creating job opportunities; and educating the public.

SCRAP LAB
2016 Catalyst Program

SCRAP LAB is a mission, aiming at using scientific discoveries, art and design to combat wastes creatively and collectively. 9-steps upcycling-process was developed and applied to manufacturers, communities and building-contractors throughout Thailand to upcycle wastes into new products and supports them with Upcycle-certification-scheme (world's first) to verify their reduced carbon-emissions.

SERES
2016 Catalyst Program

LOCATION: Central America

Smart Floating Farms
2016 Catalyst Program

Implement a series of non-pollutant Multi-layered floating platforms at a local and potentially global level, which can bring healthy food production closer to dense populated areas based on clean energy. These could be located specially in areas with food-risk associated problems, lack of land ,arid regions, water scarcity, massive food imports or monsoon floodings.

SmartLight
2016 Catalyst Program

SmartLight is a new, smart-phone controlled lighting system that incorporates a thin film of small electrofluidic prisms applied to portions of glazing that redirects sunlight on demand from a building's facade to spaces deep within with any surplus light diverted to centralized photovoltaic harvesting.

SPOUTS of Water
2016 Catalyst Program

LOCATION: Uganda, with potential to replicate in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo

SUV 900
2016 Catalyst Program

ORGANIZATION NAME: Atom Solar

LOCATION: Maharashtra, India

The Alternative Edutainment University
2016 Catalyst Program

The Alternative Edutainment University (AEU) is a creative residential educational campus designed as an alternative to prison for troubled males ages 14-21. The mission of the AEU is to prepare adjudicated youth for success by fusing education with entertainment to enhance the nation's Creative Economy, starting with Arkansas's human capital.

The Great Urban Challenge - Cebu
2016 Catalyst Program

The Great Urban Challenge is a multi-stakeholder approach to urban revitalisation via city-wide pocket park strategy. It aims to combat urban decay through the collaborative work of the youth, private and public sectors for cities who face economic constraints on building public spaces.

The Pollinator Pathway
2016 Catalyst Program

The model by which humanity has designed the ecosystems of the planet has produced global-scale domestication, fragmentation, and extinctions. The Pollinator Pathway imagines and develops a new ecological relationship for the Anthropocene, one where humanity generates a system of connected ecological design for the planet, offsetting domesticated systems.

Underworlds
2016 Catalyst Program

UNDERWORLDS is a cyber-physical infrastructure that enables the monitoring of bacteria, viruses, and chemical compounds in our sewers. A wealth of information on human health and behaviour converges in the wastewater and UNDERWORLDS is establishing a platform for monitoring these health patterns: shaping public health strategies and advancing modern epidemiology.

VENA
2016 Catalyst Program

VENA is the first large-scale atmospheric water generator that is entirely powered with passive energy. Using the sun's heat as a power source and the ground as a condenser VENA generates water in locations that have limited or polluted natural sources.

Wheelchairs of Hope
2016 Catalyst Program

We developed a children design-oriented affordable wheelchair for less developed environments.

Bamboo Composite Reinforcement
2015 Catalyst Program

The objective of this project is to replace the conventional steel reinforcement in structural concrete by newly developed bamboo composite materials. Steel production is pricey, energy consuming and only available in developed countries. Therefore, all developing countries have to rely on steel imports, which make building construction rather costly.

Bronzeville Line Urban Energy (B.L.U.E.)
2015 Catalyst Program

Our solution is creating community based renewable energy and urban agriculture on a vacated rail and electric substation. The structures are brownfield and create areas of refuse collection, vagrancy and danger to local children. The project provides an opportunity for our local community to contribute to renewable energy.

Clean Energy Moonshot
2015 Catalyst Program

Clean Energy Moonshot is a new system for renewable energy production, management, and distribution that disrupts centralized monopolies by empowering communities to create their own energy. It addresses the need for a rapidly scalable implementation of renewable energy - a critical but currently unavailable component of the fight against climate catastrophe.

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