Congratulations to Shimrit Perkol-Finkel for becoming an awardee in the WE Empower, UN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge. The Challenge honors five female entrepreneurs, one from each of the five UN regions, whose work is advancing the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Shimrit received a PhD in marine biology and ecology and is co-founder of ECOncrete, a Tel-Aviv based manufacturer of environmentally sensitive concrete products for urban waterfronts and coastal structures. Faced with rising sea levels caused by climate change, coastal communities are being forced to implement strategies to prevent flooding and simultaneously avoid damaging fragile marine environments.
Referring to traditional concrete marine construction, Shimrit said “These structures destroy the natural habitats, replacing natural reefs with a desert of concrete. If anything grows on it at all, it’s an invasive, harmful species.”
Technology Attracts Marine Life
The technology, that sets ECOncrete’s bio-enhanced concrete products apart, creates a variegated texture and 3D design that becomes an attractive habitat for marine life.
In collaboration with NOAA, ECOncrete conducted two years of controlled tests in the Red Sea; in Florida, New York and in the Great Lakes during which their products were tested for durability, strength and safety in a variety of different water conditions.
“We verified that ECOncrete is significantly better than what is out there today, and we published the results of our studies in peer-reviewed journals,” Shimrit Perkol-Finkel says.
ECOnrete’s products can be used in new structures or used to improve and maintain existing structures.
The company’s innovative products have received recognition from: “the Ocean Exchange challenge (Savannah, Georgia, 2012); best startup of the EISP 8200 competition (Israel, 2014); first prize at the World Science & Technology Innovation (Shanghai, 2015); SwitchMed Green Pitch competition (2017); and Port XL scale up alumnae (2018); the 2018 Biomimicry Design Challenge for its Tide Pool Armor product; and the Island of Happiness Coastal Design Challenge (Bali, 2018).”
On September 24 the WE Empower Awardees will meet in New York City where they will attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel who represents the “Western EU and Other” UN designated region will join with the four other awardees in a competition for a $20,000 grant, hosted by the fashion designer, environmental activist and Board Member of Vital Voices, Diane von Furstenberg.
By Blue Ocean Network
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