Part 1: Purency - detecting plastic pollution with AI
Purency GmbH is a young company from Vienna, founded by Valerie Hengl and Aurelia Liechtenstein in August 2020. The four-person team is dedicated to data analysis of microplastic measurements to support laboratories that want to perform fast, robust and comparable analysis of microplastics. The product, the "Microplastics Finder" software solution, detects the type, number and size of microplastics in diverse samples. To make the microplastics "visible," Purency uses machine learning algorithms. 2021 Purency GmbH won the Living Standards Award in the "Developing Future Technologies" category.
Click here for the award winner video
Valerie Hengl, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Purency GmbH has a multidisciplinary education: She studied International Business at Maastricht University and completed a special double master in International Relations and Environmental Technology at the Diplomatic Academy and the Vienna University of Technology. She then gained several years of experience in management consulting and as chair of the Forum Alpbach Network. In the summer of 2020, she founded Purency GmbH, based in Vienna, with three co-founders.
Aurelia Liechtenstein, Co-Founder and CMO/CFO of Purency GmbH, grew up in several cities in Germany and then studied International Business with a focus on Finance at Maastricht University. Afterwards, she gained experience in a management consulting firm where she supported several IT and digitalization projects. Because of her great interest in the intersection of digitization and business together with her passion for scientific topics, she founded Purency GmbH in the summer of 2020 with three co-founders.
Part 2: eXXpedition research vessel
The mission of eXXpedition is to raise awareness in society about the devastating effects of single-use plastics and toxins in the world's oceans, and to combat plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and health.
Women as role models In today's society, there is a lack of gender diversity in role models. eXXpedition therefore assembles crews with inspiring female role models, helping to create balance and make women more visible in research.
This video gives an impression, following their route from the Azores to Antigua.
Natascha Glanzer-Fuerst is a sustainability entrepreneur who is passionate about zerowaste and developing a holistic approach to solving modern problems related to waste management. Her passion for sustainability became her life's mission after hiking in the Himalayan Mountains and seeing firsthand the large number of plastic bottles brought by hikers and discarded in a national park. Since then, she has been actively involved in numerous non-governmental organizations, businesses and associations.
Marita Schmid, being an avid sailor, often dealt with the question "What is swimming in our oceans that shouldn't be there?" She found answers to this question during eXXpedition's transatlantic research voyage. She was part of the all-female crew that set out to investigate causes of and solutions to microplastic pollution in the oceans.
Marita also looks for sustainable solutions professionally, as EcoSolutions Collaboration Manager at paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi. She is convinced that only by working together with the customer, all parts of the value chain and beyond, the needed change towards a circular economy is possible.
Please notice that this event will be held in German Language.