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Loowatt Ltd wins $1 Million Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

RCA start-up, Loowatt Ltd, has secured a $1 million grant to expand its pioneering waterless toilet systems in Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa. The award, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations, is endorsement of the company’s zero carbon waterless toilet system and help it work towards raising sanitation standards worldwide.

Loowatt Zero-Carbon Waterless Toilet System, Virginia Gardiner
© Loowatt Ltd

The award will fund a sizeable expansion of the Loowatt project in needy urban areas and enable the company to test its technology and business model in Madagascar with the goal of having 100 Loowatt waterless toilets in use over the next two years, serving at least 3,000 customers. 

This latest award follows on from an initial Gates Foundation grant in 2011, which enabled the company to implement a pilot system in an impoverished neighbourhood of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city. The Energy Unit pilot has been receiving paying customers since November 2012, providing a vital service at an affordable price. 

Founded by Loowatt CEO Virginia Gardiner, based on her RCA Master's graduation project and incubated at the RCA,  the venture is poised to leave the InnovationRCA incubator in November and establish itself independently.