Creating the world’s first solar-sail cargo ship tailored to fit the needs of marginalized coastal communities is an idea that has propelled a small international team of naval architects, engineers, and laypersons closer to winning a major engineering prize in the Netherlands next month - and your vote could make a difference.
Greenheart ship sailing
International NGO Greenheart Project is but one of 10 nominees for the Vernufteling Prize, to be awarded by the Koninklijk Instituut Van Ingenieurs (the Royal Dutch Society of Engineers), De Ingenieur and Technisch Weeblad magazines, and a Dutch association of consulting engineers, NLingenieurs. The finalists were chosen from a field of more than forty submissions based on four criteria: innovation, economic worth, technological advancement, and social value.
The Vernufteling Prize is awarded annually to the initiative that is developing an imaginative project that promises to have a significant social and economic impact. Competitors were asked to respond to the challenge of creating ideas that embody the social importance of innovative technology. The competition also seeks to make the important work of engineers more visible and widely recognized.
In line with the Dutch word Vernufteling, a portmanteau of inventor, engineer and a lot of creativity, entrants are encouraged to utilize a combination of new and existing technologies to solve real world problems. The winning project also must show potential to attract young people to technical studies and inspire them.
Over the past eight years, 83 engineering firms have submitted a total of 376 ideas, projects and innovative solutions to the Vernufteling Prize. In 2013 Arcadis took home the award for their innovative Winterhard Wissel which keeps railways free from snow and ice in the winter.
As Gert Schouwstra, a Dutch consultant at AA-Planadvies, who nominated Greenheart Project explained, 'This project can really work. This year, we shall see how Greenheart will prove itself around the world.'
Greenheart ships are customizable to meet the needs of the end user, whether they be used for fishing, fisheries monitoring, ecotourism, cargo or passenger transport. A unique feature is an open source platform, which ensures that the end-users can have a say in how future ships are built without the financial and technical burdens of paying for patent rights.
The Greenheart Dream
Intentionally designed to be small scale at 32 meters in length and 220 tons, the vessels are designed to be easy to repair and service while maintaining the elegance of a yacht.
Through its foldable mast/crane the ship can be manoeuvreed under bridges allowing greater upstream access, and lift items large and small on and off of shore, whether cargo, a haul of fish or even floating debris such as nets during an environmental cleanup mission.
For more information go to www.greenheartproject.org. Contact the organisation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenheart class ships promise to play a hefty role in restoring economic and ecological balance to transport in vulnerable and remote coastal communities, while setting an example that vessels powered by renewable energies are a practical alternative to fossil-fuel based fleets.
Voting by the general public is open from February 25th to March 15th through the Van Dag de Ingenieur (Day of the Engineer) website. After tallying up the votes, the Vernufteling prize winner will be announced on March19, 2014 at High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
To vote for Greenheart, choose AA Planadvies-Groen vrachtschip voor eilandengroep from the pull down menu (instructions on the page are in Dutch and English):