Photo of winning team of EIC 2017

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge

Innovative and entrepreneurial students are our best hope for solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems. The Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge at the University of Washington taps into the passion, smarts, and motivation that university students have for solving environmental/cleantech problems. Learn more about the challenge in the tabs below.

Register Now! Environmental Innovation Practicum Fall Quarter 2017 | 2 credits | Tuesdays, 4-5:50 p.m. Cross-listed: ENTRE 443/543, ENGR 498A, ENVIR 495
See Course Information tab below for more details.

2017 Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Nova Solar Glazing for taking home the $15,000 Wells Fargo grand prize at the 2017 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge with their luminescent solar concentrator glass pane that converts current windows into energy-producing solar windows. Nova Solar Glazing is comprised of a team of electrical engineering, business, chemistry, and industrial design students from Western Washington University.

The $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize went to Airy for their battery-free, wireless home security solution that uses sensors mounted on doors or windows to harvest energy. The team featured students from UW’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

The Starbucks $5,000 third place prize was awarded to Lignin Biojet from Washington State University. The team of business and biological systems engineering students presented a technology that converts Lignin, a natural polymer that’s mainly a byproduct of the paper industry, into biojet fuel to produce a renewable alternative to conventional fuel.

Judges awarded the $5,000 UW Clean Energy Institute clean energy prize, as well as a $1,000 “Judges Also Really Liked” award to Membrion. The team of UW chemical engineering students created low-cost, high-performance membranes for advanced batteries, fuel cells, and reverse osmosis water desalination applications.

Two other $1,000 “Judges Also Really Liked” awards were handed out to GreenFeed, who developed a way to convert retail food waste into a sustainable, scientifically-formulated fish feed for the agriculture industry, and UW Hyperloop, who are developing a sustainable form of accelerated public transportation that will cut travel times, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more about the 2017 EIC winners on the Foster Blog 

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Dates & Deadlines
Entry Requirements
Judging Criteria
Team Formation
Environmental Innovation Practicum
Prototype Funding
Sponsors & Prizes
Success Stories & Winners

Questions? Contact Lauren Brohawn at or 206-685-3813.

The Environmental Innovation Challenge is sponsored by Alaska Airlines.