From algae-grown cement to a platform that connects American sponsors with US refugees, discover exciting innovations from the United States
Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. To celebrate the Fourth of July, we are heading to the States to celebrate the exciting innovations coming out of the world’s largest economy…
USA Innovation Facts
Global Innovation Index ranking: 3rd
Climate targets: 50-52 per cent reduction in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 (compared to 2005), net-zero emissions by no later than 2050
Greenhouse gas emissions – The US has the second-highest total CO2 emissions in the world behind only China. Moreover, the country also has very high CO2 emissions per capita, as well as the fourth highest methane emissions. The good news is that annual US CO2 emissions have fallen steadily over the past decade.
Soil contamination – A recent report found that around 20 million acres of farmland have been contaminated with PFAS. PFAS is a shorthand term for a group of chemicals that make products resistant to heat, water, and strain. Known as ‘forever chemicals’ these substances have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, liver problems, birth defects, and immunosuppression.
Air pollution – According to the latest ‘State of the Air’ report by the American Lung Association, despite decades of progress on cleaning up sources of air pollution, more than 40 per cent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate matter. The 2022 edition of the report found 2.1 million more people breathing unhealthy air compared to 2021.
Ecommerce and retail
Energy and environment
Marketing and sales
Social and leisure
Software and data
Three exciting innovations from the USA
The current process for creating portland cement—one of the world’s most common building materials—consists of heating limestone to high temperatures. Today, limestone for cement production is quarried. As a result, the heating process releases carbon that would otherwise be locked away in the earth into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. This has a significant effect on global warming. But what if there was another way to produce limestone? Read more.
Since the start of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, people around the world have been welcoming refugees fleeing the conflict. In the US, the ‘Uniting for Ukraine’ programme offers Ukrainians a pathway to permanent residency if they are sponsored by a US citizen. Launched on World Refugee Day, a new platform called Welcome Connect makes it easy for US citizens to connect with Ukrainian refugees who lack an existing connection to a sponsor. Read more.
Although relatively expensive to produce at present, and with storage often cited as a concern, green hydrogen fuel production is increasing. A naturally occurring and superabundant element, hydrogen is popular for several reasons, including the ability to produce it using renewable energy sources. And now, Element 1’s modular, grid-independent hydrogen generation technology is making the fuel even more accessible. Read more.
Words: Matthew Hempstead
1st July 2022