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Challenge Ideas to Impact: Recycling Liquid Petroleum Gas Cylinders Across Sub-Saharan Africa
Ideas to Impact: Recycling Liquid Petroleum Gas Cylinders Across Sub-Saharan Africa
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 646
Posted: Jul 07 2015
Challenge ID: 9933755
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Access to safe, clean and reliable sources of energy has a significant impact on health, quality of life, education and economic productivity. Particularly in the developing world, access to such type of energy has the potential to change the landscape in terms of poverty, exclusion, gender inequality, and, no less important, global warming. 

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a clean-burning, portable, and efficient fuel that is increasingly used in many developing countries. However, the existence of a large number of aging cylinders constitutes a worrying safety hazard due to lack of maintenance that puts populations in danger and ultimately hinders the growth of a successful LPG market. 

Hence, the Seeker to this Challenge is looking for high-value alternative uses for substandard cylinders, so that they can be recycled and removed from the LPG distribution channels. 

Engage in this Challenge and contribute to save lives and promote clean energy uptake throughout Africa! 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.


With LPG being a leading candidate as source of safe and cleaner source of energy that also brings about other social benefits and development outcomes, sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are now considering new ways to foster LPG use and promote a healthy and prosperous LPG market. A key issue that needs to be tackled, though, is the existence of millions of old LPG cylinders in circulation that do not comply with safety regulations and constitute a major risk hazard. In Sub-Saharan Africa there are millions of cylinders that have been in use for over 10 years which may only have had a single if any safety check. A good proportion are still in good condition and might just need a minor repair (valve seal), to be repainted and then recertified, but all of the remaining must be removed from circulation. 

So, why not to think of other creative and alternative uses for these cylinders instead of just recycling the steel? What would be the best financial option? Could you find out the most environmental friendly solution? Could you provide jobs for people in Africa through your solution or help tackling poverty and inequality? Your Challenge will be to find out the best financial, social and environmental solution for dealing with this large number of old cylinders. 

This Challenge is part of a UK Department for International Development (DfID) wider programme, Ideas to Impact, that supports research and development in climate technologies for developing programmes. The hypothesis being tested is that Challenges can be designed and used to achieve significant benefits for marginalised and impoverished communities. Focused on the themes of Energy Access, Water and Sanitation (WASH), and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) the programme aims to provide insights on how Challenges can be used to change the way that the problems of the poorest are solved and support development outcomes. 

The Challenge awards will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation by a Judging Panel composed of LPG and Energy Access experts, with a final decision being made by the Seeker. The Seeker aims to award up to 4 Awards from a total prize award pool of $40,000 for the solutions that meet the success criteria. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 7, 2015. Late submissions will not be considered.

To receive an award, Solvers will not be required to transfer their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.


Eligibility and payment of Awards: The Seeker for this Challenge has additional award eligibility criteria. Please read carefully the respective sections in the Challenge Specific Agreement for further information or use your Project Room to ask a question.

ABOUT THE SEEKER                                                                                                                                                      

IMC Worldwide is an international development consultancy that partners with local communities, governments, international development agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to address some of the world’s primary development challenges. For more than five decades, IMC Wordwide have been offering development solutions in the fields of environmental management, disaster mitigation, infrastructure, engineering, and social development, frequently in regions affected by crises and conflict. The company manages the ideas to impact programme leading a consortium of firms with specialist expertise.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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