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Make The Future Live 2017: what we learnt

Shell’s Make The Future Live 2017 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London showcased some of the most exciting and cutting edge innovations and ideas.

The four-day event gave the public a glimpse of the future with interactive exhibits that profiled the latest research into the fuels, energy solutions and vehicles of tomorrow.

The event showcased the brightest ideas of the future, many of them in collaboration with the brightest young minds of the next generation.

The centre piece of the event was the Eco-Marathon Drivers’ World Championships, where student teams from around the world competed in their ultra-energy efficient vehicles that they had designed and built themselves.

Dutch team Green Team Twente were crowned champions on the final day of competition with their concept hydrogen-powered car that consumed the equivalent of just one litre of fuel per 845 kilometeres.

Collaboration was a key message from Make The Future Live. Many of the exhibits had been joint efforts, proving that combining resources, research and the sharpest minds is the key to a cleaner future.

Here’s some of the exciting innovations Shell profiled at Make the Future Live 2017.


In rural areas in developing countries electricity is often unavailable or too expensive to run. Kerosene lamps are widely used instead, but these have their own drawbacks: they are inefficient and dangerous to use and can have an impact on health and the environment. GravityLight provides an answer to that. It is powered not by batteries or oil, but by gravity – a bag filled with rocks or earth is attached to a cord, and as it falls it generates 20 minutes of light.


Our feet aren’t just made for walking – our footfall can be used to generate electricity. Founded in 2009, Pavegen is a global leader in harvesting energy and data in this way. ThePavegen technology is a multifunctional flooring system that makes electricity as people step on the tiles. Additionally, each tile contains equipment that transmits real-time movement data analytics. The floor tiles are already being used around the world, including at London Heathrow Airport and Harrods.

Capture Mobility

While autonomous cars and cleaner fuels hover on the edge of the future, traffic remains one of the largest contributors to air pollution – some 60% by current research. But rather than fighting the combustion engine, Capture Mobility works with the two billion cars on our roads by harnessing turbulence from moving vehicles using a turbine. The captured energy is then used to supplement local power grids.


One of the great discoveries of Make The Future Live was how existing products are being recycled and reused to create sustainable energy. MotionECO is one such innovation.

The company transforms used cooking oil into sustainable biofuels that can reduce greenhouse gases from air, road and marine transportation by as much as 85%. The result is a double victory for sustainability as the process reduces food waste as well as emissions. Recycled-cooking-oil-as-fuel received a big boost in 2011 when a Chinese airline completed a commercial flight using biofuel made from waste cooking oil.

Synergy food truck

A food truck powered for and by the future, this innovative design brought many of the energy ideas on display at Make The Future Live together.

The truck was the result of Shell challenging 60 students to come up with a working food truck that integrated six cutting edge energy solutions – each on display separately at the event. These were Pavegen, Capture Mobility, Insolar, GravityLight, MotionEco and Bio Bean burnable logs – fuel made from waste coffee granules.

In just one weekend, the students achieved their task and Shell built the truck using the best elements from each design. The fully operation food truck was cooking up a storm at Make The Future Live, producing food for visitors to sample, showing that the future is very much now.

Discover more here.


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