Gene Roddenberry always liked to keep one eye in the present, and another deep into the future. His 1960s series Star Trek would go on to define fandom for a half century, and now his son is following up with a prize that he hopes will help create the future his father envisioned.
Rod Roddenberry, who is an executive producer on the upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, announced the winners this week for his first-ever Roddenberry Prize, awarding $1 million to support “innovative solutions that address humanity’s greatest challenges.”
Winning the $400,000 grand prize is Opus12, which looks to convert industrial carbon dioxide emissions into valuable chemicals and fuels, reducing the carbon footprint of the world’s heaviest emitters while creating a new revenue stream from what is discarded today as a waste product.
The key people behind Opus12 are Nicholas Flanders, Etosha Cave and Kendra Kuhl, all who combine cutting-edge scientific expertise in the field of carbon dioxide electro-reduction as well as scaling electrochemical technologies, to help develop the technology.
The Opus12 crew were just one of more than 600 applicants for the award, designed to re-imagine how the world teaches and learns, cares for the environment, eradicate disease, and connect more deeply with issues people care about.