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Media Release

Winners of the 2019 CEC Youth Innovation Challenge Announced

Selected from nearly 150 participants, the winners will present their groundbreaking ideas to the CEC Council and receive C$5,000 in seed funding

Montreal, 4 June 2019—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is pleased to announce the winners of the third Youth Innovation Challenge:

  • Daniel Gonzalez and Noor-ur-Rahman Shaikh, Canada: IXIM – Using your waste to create change!
  • Daniel Luna López, Omar Venancio Sánchez Animas, and Andrés Gutiérrez Castillo, Mexico: Animal nutrition through transformation of organic waste
  • Adam Stager, Ray Zayas, and Vishnu Somasundaram, United States: A non-chemical alternative to pesticides for strawberry farms

The CEC Youth Innovation Challenge invites and rewards innovative technology, science, and business ideas by North American youth to advance sustainability and green growth in communities.

“Innovation plays a crucial role in supporting sustainable development in communities across North America,” said César Rafael Chávez, Executive Director of the CEC. “More and more, youth are a beacon for innovation and green growth. We congratulate the winners of this challenge, who prove how youth can bring new perspectives to environmental innovation.”

The Youth Innovation Challenge was held ahead of the 2019 CEC Council Session, which is taking place on 24–25 June in Mexico City, Mexico. Be sure to tune in to our live webcast on 25 June at 2:00 p.m. (Central Time), to see the winners present their winning concepts to North America’s top environmental officials.

The Challenge was open to North American students and young entrepreneurs, ages 18–30, who submitted their innovative solutions to address the complex sustainability challenges facing North American communities. Their ideas were crowdsourced—enabling submitters to capitalize on feedback from over 3,000 North American youth registered on the crowdsourcing platform. Over 140 ideas were evaluated by the Idea Evaluation Panel and CEC experts, and nine semifinalists were selected to develop their ideas into full proposals. A panel of judges made up of government officials from the three North American countries selected the top three proposals.

For details, visit the CEC’s 2019 Youth Innovation Challenge webpage. For more information on the 2019 CEC Council Session, visit www.cec.org/Council2019.

Follow the CEC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on the Council Session and to ask questions or share your thoughts about North American environmental cooperation.

#Youth4Innovation Challenge

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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