Green Gown Awards 2016 Research and Development: Institution University of East Anglia - Winner

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My star fish have fins!

The StarFin project is an example of how innovation driven by sustainability can be achieved in a university environment. Universities have at their fingertips the expertise and partnerships to rapidly put ideas into practice with remarkable potential. This project created an innovative alternative to a classic synthetic chemistry apparatus.

The University’s collaboration with manufacturing partner Radleys, has produced a multi-experiment energy saving chemistry workstation with zero waste water. The commercial product has a direct energy saving of 40% and eliminates the use of water saving up to 600 litres per hour.

The project has engaged academics, technical staff and students in sustainable laboratory practices catalysing new initiatives and partnerships. Beyond the University environment the new apparatus has the potential to reduce energy and water consumption in chemistry laboratories worldwide.

Top 3 learnings

1 We have found that commercial partnerships are ideal forums for sustainable innovations in a University environment

2 We have learnt that collaborative projects between the University’s sustainability team, academic staff, technical staff and students can be extremely effective when addressing sustainability goals

3 We have proved that engaging varied staff groups and students in sustainable laboratory projects catalyses activity, extending and creating sustainable initiatives.