Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards recognize new and innovative ways to help society and the planet. These awards honor products, concepts, policies, and companies to encourage more focus on protecting the earth and finding ways to make it safer and healthier. The organization considers all crises that affect the climate or public health, economic inequality, and social justice when choosing innovation that makes a difference.
ZeroAvia is proud to be a finalist in the transportation category for its work on finding a way to decarbonize the aviation industry. The idea of using hydrogen-fueled technology for powertrains could be a game-changer for airlines. Right now, the conventional engines used in commercial aircraft have large carbon footprints and are not easy on the planet or its resources. With so many planes in use, it's important to find ways to reduce their emissions while keeping quality and value high.
Adopting hydrogen-fueled technology for commercial aircraft will result in two things. First, it will provide the only truly zero-emission flights. Second, it will result in lower maintenance and fuel costs for the entire industry, affecting the prices that customers pay for their airline tickets and encouraging more people to fly. With this zero-emission technology, passenger and flight increases will not harm the planet. ZeroAvia has been working toward this option for flight for some time.
In 2019, the company completed the first of its electric flights in the United States and went to the U.K. to build another prototype. There, it conducted its second electric flight in June of the following year. That September, it made possible the world's first commercial-grade aircraft hydrogen-electric flight. This is only a small indication of what ZeroAvia has achieved. More firsts will be on the way as the company continues to work toward zero-emission flight for commercial aircraft.
The World Changing Ideas Awards
Currently in their fifth year, these awards showcase 33 winning companies or ideas and more than 400 finalists, along with more than 800 honorable mentions. The most popular categories are AI & Data and Health & Wellness. A panel of eminent reporters and editors choose finalists out of a pool of more than 4,000 entries. These entries come from education, transportation, politics, food, technology, and other categories.
There were new categories added this year, including Urban Design, Architecture, and Pandemic Response. Entries for the 2021 awards came in from all around the world, including Denmark, Vietnam, and Brazil. Fast Company is committed to showcasing some of the most creative entrepreneurs and inventive companies tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today. Recent highlights in the company's publication include carbon-eating concrete, at-home COVID-19 testing, and mobile voting.
ZeroAvia Is Pleased to Be a Finalist
According to Val Miftakhov, the founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, the company is honored to be one of the finalists for the World Changing Ideas Awards. He stated that the recognition is a reinforcement of the importance and value of ZeroAvia's work and the significance of making sustainable flight a reality for everyone. The company believes that hydrogen is the only way to move toward zero-emission aircraft meaningfully and is excited to see that others recognize this potential.
In addressing the value of what companies like ZeroAvia are doing, Stephanie Mehta, the editor-in-chief of Fast Company, stated that there was no question that the planet and society as a whole are facing troubling and problematic times. That makes it more critical than ever to recognize organizations that use ingenuity, design, and passion to solve global problems. Their impact on the planet and the scalability of their designs are significant and worth noting for all involved.
Under the leadership of Fast Company's senior editor, Morgan Clendaniel, the company's journalists have found some of the most significant and groundbreaking projects and ideas that have been launched since the beginning of 2020. While the pandemic may have made that year a difficult one, the work on protecting the planet and finding ways to give back to it and its residents continued. This progress resulted in high levels of innovation that could revolutionize many aspects of society in the future.
ZeroAvia is an industry leader with a focus on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions. These innovations could lead to zero-emission aviation and solutions that would work for many markets and a variety of people and businesses. Initially, the company is targeting 10-20-seat aircraft used for cargo, agriculture, passenger transport, and flying within a 500-mile range.
Based in the United States and the United Kingdom, the company has secured experimental certificates for two of its prototype aircraft from the FAA and CAA. It has also passed significant milestones in its flight testing and has set expected commercial operations for 2024. The company is currently expanding its U.K. operations, supported by grants from Innovate U.K. and the U.K.'s Aerospace Technology Institute. ZeroAvia is also a part of the Jet Zero Council of the U.K. government.
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