Fuel from CO2 – Sachin Kochrekar wins the Millennium Pitching Contest


Sachin Kochrekar from the University of Turku has won the first ever Millennium Pitching Contest, a competition for doctoral candidates with a task of solving the grand challenges of our time. The first prize was 10 000 euros.

Kochrekar’s innovation is a method for converting carbon dioxide into fuel using renewable sources of energy, and thereby helping to mitigate climate change and close the carbon cycle.

- All aspects of the pitch were very well explained, and the work has high environmental impact, said Yrjö Neuvo, Chair of the contest’s jury and professor emeritus at Aalto University.

- This is absolutely inspiring and amazing, since this was a special contest. My win still feels a bit unreal and it's hard to put my experience into words. It was great to even be in the final and then win it, because the level of the contest was so high. I would like to thank Millennium Technology Prize for this platform and the University of Turku for the opportunity, Kochrekar tells.

The second place of the contest and a 5 000 euro prize was awarded to Shruti Jain, also from the University of Turku. Her innovation is a nanoparticle-based blood test for early detection of cancer. The jury said her work was very innovative with potentially high societal value, if the innovation can be easily adopted. Jain was the winner of the University's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest in 2020.

- I’m excited to receive this prize, as opportunities like this encourage us doctoral students to continue working on innovative projects, Jain says.

The third prize was awarded to Samu-Pekka Ojanen representing Vaisala, a company for environmental and industrial measurement.

The Millennium Innovation Forum on 19 May 2021 was a virtual conference that gathered frontier innovators, researchers, business pioneers and influencers for discussing and exchanging ideas at the interface of revolutionary future technologies and innovations. The Forum celebrated the Millennium Technology Prize awarded the day before.

The University of Turku chose the contestants from the 2020 and 2021 finalists of the 3MT contest based on Millennium Pitching Contest criteria.

Created 20.05.2021 | Updated 24.05.2021