CBI-Fusion Point: A decade of student-driven tech for a greener world

The development of green technologies is a pivotal element in ensuring sustainability. Advanced education can turn this challenge into learning opportunities for students and organizations.

Do Better Team

The GreenTech market is growing exponentially — it’s expected to be worth $60.7 billion by 2027. Solar power, electric vehicles and water purification are widely recognized solutions already in common use. But the value of GreenTech is increasingly being channeled into providing aid to developing countries, such as AI-powered drones that capture infra-red images to help manage crop control in drought-hit farming communities.  

But with a market value set to leap by almost 28 per cent in just five years, GreenTech comes at a cost. And this is where students in advanced education can provide vital knowledge and resources. 

The opportunity for students to take part in real-world experiences has become a ubiquitous element of higher and post-graduate education. Contributing to live projects where knowledge can be put into practice enriches the learning experience, while also providing valuable resources to businesses and organizations. 

10 years of CBI-Fusion Point

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Challenge Based Innovation-Fusion Point (CBI-FP) course, a particularly successful example of how advanced education improves lives across the world. This course is run as part of Esade’s Rambla of Innovation ecosystem, where students, organizations, technology experts and researchers collaborate to address global SDG challenges.  

Delivered annually since 2014, the acclaimed program involves 15 weeks of workshops, seminars, teamwork, coaching sessions and meetings with scientist owners of technologies grounded at CERN, and now expanded all over the world thanks to the Attract Academy EU project

The Esade students involved in the program are closely involved in developing solutions for societal challenges that are centered on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative brings together teams of students from different disciplines: business from Esade, telecomunications and electronics engineering from UPC, and design from IED Barcelona.  

For Nanita Ferrone, the Director of CBI-FP at Esade, the value of this approach lies in “bringing people, technology and sustainability together, often resulting in unexpected solutions”.  

Current global challenges call for pooling insights from industry, academia, government, and civil society. Ferrone, who has worked with organizations ranging from the UN and World Bank to governments, NGOs, entrepreneurs and corporates, remarks how CBI-FP is a good example of how to transform these challenges into opportunities for students and organizations to collaborate and solve societal challenges.

Tech solutions to improve sustainability

Over the past decade, CBI-FP has co-created around 80 projects. Here, we highlight some of the green technologies these students have developed with IdeaSquare (the innovation space at CERN) over the last decade: 


Clean, accessible water is a basic human right — but one that many people can’t take for granted.  

WaterWall addresses this problem by recycling grey water — the wastewater from sinks, baths, washing machines and other kitchen appliances.  

The solution used high-tech water filters and sensors to ensure water quality, enabling it to recycle up to 80 percent of grey water that would otherwise flow into sewage systems.  



In many hot countries, buildings that were designed to stay cool in increasingly hot summers are not equipped to deal with sharp drops in winter temperatures.  

Bwarm addresses this issue by implementing the concept of heating people, not places. Rather than attempting to heat a whole house, or even a single room, the modular heating system works by detecting both the location and temperature of the person or people within the room.  

Using a Bluetooth-based system of thermal cameras and heat sources, Bwarm optimizes individual warmth, resulting in higher body temperatures and lower energy bills.    



The Frutect project is a fruit-shaped device using UltraRam technology and AI capabilities to predict spoilage of fruit and vegetables during storage and transport.  

Sensors within the device track key elements such as humidity, temperature and ethylene gases to enable precise environmental control. The result is a reduction of food waste in the value chain by up to 40 percent.  



Enerfly is an energy management solution aiming to transform energy forecasting in Liberia. The development process of Enerfly involved leveraging a diverse range of input data, including weather patterns, energy consumption trends, and demographic information, to provide accurate forecasts of energy demand. Its primary goal is to guarantee reliable energy access fostering environmental sustainability, encouraging fair energy trading, and enabling research to propel the energy sector. 

The project employs UltraRam technology to achieve autonomy, and the integration of Random Power provides AI simulation and information security. With an eye toward the future, Enerfly envisions broadening its impact, seeking implementation in other countries. 



Microplastics have long been blamed for damage to marine life, but scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on humans.  

The Visifibre project raises awareness of their impact and prevents respiratory issues and lung diseases stemming from prolonged exposure at textile factories. Described as “a game-changer in microplastic analysis”, VisiFibre systematically gauges microplastic levels in factory environments to identify trends and empower textile workers with insights for a healthier and safer life.  

Eyes on the future

Students from more than 14 countries, aged between 21 and 49, have developed their projects through the CBI-Fusion Point over the last decade. That number will continue to grow along with the market for GreenTech.  

Every student taking part in this world-leading program is contributing knowledge and fresh insights that fuel the creation of innovative and replicable solutions to aid global communities. 

The invaluable career experience and personal and professional development that come with it are fundamental in building responsible leaders. 

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