And the winner is … the Sponsh!

Sponsh is an e-startup that produces a textile to extract water from the air as it becomes hydrophilic at low temparatures.

The Sponsh is one of the winners of  the annual Innovation Awards in the Netherlands, organized by the Dutch globally operating consultancy firm Accenture. It has been developed in Eindhoven by Catarina Esteves.

The textile may come as a salvation  for farmers in periods of great droughts. Without using any energy, it extracts water from the sky. When temperatures are rising, the Sponsh released the collected water. At first Esteves used cotton for the process, but later decided to change to polyester and viscose. Esteves: ‘Cotton is a  natural product, in all sorts of variations. That is why it is less suitable for the Sponsh.’ In the lab she developed a coating which strengthens the absorption- qualities of fibres. The exact  temperature turning-point of water extraction and water release can be regulated. Consequently the product can be used to a wide extent at places with a humidity of at least 70 percent. The jury about Sponsh: “What is essential for both human nutrition and the value chain it supports? Our winner has a truly innovative product that mimics a natural process to support nature itself.  They have gold in their hands – either as a product or as a producer of the source of life”