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Ideas Made to Matter


11 ideas for a more sustainable planet from the MIT Startup Exchange


Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue in mammals. If left untreated, the condition can escalate into a bacterial infection that blocks and reduces milk flow — a serious issue that costs the dairy industry as much as $110 per cow.

Dairy cows experiencing mastitis make milk in smaller quantities that is also of lower quality, and milk must be thrown out when cows are being treated with antibiotics.

To catch mastitis early, milk testing is critical, but the most widely used testing method takes time and money, explained Julia Somerdin, co-founder and CEO of Labby.

Labby has a handheld, portable testing device that allows farmers to get immediate results on their smartphone or desktop computer, including data on the amount of fat and protein in a cow’s milk.

“With our daily, weekly, and monthly data available, farmers now have reliable and continuous data to benchmark their cow’s health status during the entire lactation and identify mastitis before it causes major economic losses and spreads among the herd,” Somerdin says.

Labby was one of 11 startups at the 2023 MIT Sustainability Conference that shared their plans for creating a healthier and more sustainable planet. Here’s an overview of the other solutions in the showcase.

Alsym is developing an alternative to lithium-ion batteries that’s made from nonflammable, nontoxic materials.

Atacama Biomaterials
Atacama Biomaterials uses robotics and an AI platform to speed up the engineering of sustainable packaging made from low-carbon materials.

Capra Biosciences
Capra Biosciences’ bioreactor technology creates chemicals that consume and transform waste into usable materials.

DMAT is creating a low-carbon, self-healing concrete formula designed to be more sustainable and durable.

Found Energy
Found Energy is working to decarbonize heavy industries like long-haul trucking and maritime shipping through technology that turns low-grade aluminum waste into fuel on-site.

Foundation Alloy
Foundation Alloy is producing higher-performance metal parts in a way that reduces processing time, energy, and costs.

MAAT Energy
MAAT Energy is developing a way to harness microwave energy to decarbonize natural gas used in industries like aviation and trucking. 

Mantel is developing a carbon capture technology that uses molten salts.

Primitives Biodesign
Primitives Biodesign is developing a biological source of calcium carbonates derived from purple sea urchins, for use in materials like coating, films, and cement.

Transaera is making more energy-efficient air conditioners.

For more info Meredith Somers News Writer (617) 715-4216