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ThinkSport reveals Air Quality & Sport Challenge winners

Earlier this week, more than 20 startups, established companies, academics and organisations from Switzerland and abroad went toe-to-toe during the final pitch of the first ever Air Quality & Sport Challenge. The aim: generate viable and creative solutions, which can be leveraged by international sport federations, sport event organisers, mountain resorts and athletes to tackle climate change.

After fierce competition the expert panel (composed of representatives from the IOC, UCI, World Athletics, Formula E, Kunak Technologies and ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences) selected the top ten finishers across three different categories. They will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions at a dedicated session during THE SPOT on 18 May in Lausanne.

Here are the winners:

Selected solutions to measure and mitigate the effect of poor air quality on athletes:

  • AQMesh is a small-sensor air quality monitoring system offering real-time hyperlocal pollution data. Measuring key pollutants known to affect human health and athlete performance, AQMesh combines an ability to monitor pollution in almost any location globally with proven robustness and data accuracy.
  • Plair SA develops and commercialises advanced laser-based instruments for real-time microbial, allergen, and bioaerosol detection. The Plair systems replace microbial identification and particle counting, increasing efficiencies and automation and allowing the improved management of risks related to biocontamination, allergies and asthma.
  • Airly offers a comprehensive solution for air quality monitoring. Their proprietary low-cost sensors deliver accurate, hyper-local, real-time air quality data, enabling to monitor and forecast air quality, analyse trends and sources, develop data-led policy, and track improvements.

Selected solutions to clean polluted air and / or reduce air pollution:

  • Camfil’s high-quality, energy-saving filters help protect people, processes and products from particulate matter (PM). Customers can choose from a wide variety of filters designs and classes – ePM10 to ePM1 – to meet their unique challenges. The filters comply with EN779, ISO 16890 and ASHRAE 52.2 standards.
  • ADD Swiss distributes exclusively the GENANO air decontamination devices. The GENANO patented technology decontaminates and sanitises indoor air. The devices work with a dual technology, ionisation and electrostatic and kills 99,999% of all microbes, viruses, bacteria, mold and micro-organisms.
  • Pluvo develops and deploys solutions that actively monitor and remove airborne pollutants from the built environment at scale, helping their partners create healthier and safer spaces for all. The Pluvo Column internally cleans and monitors local air pollution while externally providing displays for public engagement, and brand sponsorship.
  • Active Giving offers physical and digital solutions that engage individuals and companies in activities that benefit human health (sports) and the health of the planet (tree planting). Their solutions empower communities around the world to create a climate collection action through sports.

Solutions selected to rethink mobility:

  • Visda considers air quality as a key factor for the performance of athletes in training and in competition. Their digital solution helps athletes and event organisers to plan sport activities and major sport events. This is done via data-driven anticipation of risks and AI for optimisation of training and competition schedules and locations.
  • Qaptis can reduce the carbon emissions from any heavy-duty vehicles by 90% with a plug & play CO2 capture technology, while using the same vehicles and the same infrastructure. This pragmatic solution is particularly suited to remote locations where alternative energy sources are difficult to provide.
  • Sword Venue Venues and sites represent a great challenge when organizing an event. They constantly change and must meet high levels of standards and specifications. Sword Venue is a digital collaborative solution with a toolbox to help you plan and deliver.


The Challenge was organised by ThinkSport, together with the Sustainable Sport Lab (SSL) and the Sustainable Mountain Alliance (SMA), and supported by prestigious stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Athletics, Formula E, UCI and ENGSO.

Meet the winners and other pioneers in innovation at THE SPOT, ThinkSport’s international sport and innovation flagship event, on 17 and 18 May in Lausanne.