The Buckminster Fuller Institute has announced semi-finalists in their 2013 Challenge. Among this year's semi-finalists is dMASS nominee Voltree Acoustic Early Detection Sensor System.

Nineteen semi-finalists were selected from a very competitive pool of entries. According to BFI, the entries showed a broad and varied set of initiatives, all characterized by a strong sense of purpose, stewardship, and humanitarian activity.

A distinguished jury, which includes John Elkington and Andrew Revkin, will meet in October to review the selected semi-finalists and select the winner of the $100,000 Challenge prize. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony in New York City in November.

dMASS selected two innovators to receive a dMASS nomination to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge this year, after conducting an in-depth screening process. With the nomination, these innovators were able to bypass two rounds of official review in the Challenge.

Voltree Power has developed bioenergy sensors that use natural voltages present in trees and plants to detect patterns that indicate disease, infestation, stress, dehydration, and seismic activity. The company has proposed an Acoustic Early Detection Sensor System to identify insect pests that threaten valuable crops and tree species. The work that goes into the development of this system will also be useful for other applications in natural resource preservation and in smart agriculture that reduces water use.

We congratulate Voltree and the other semi-finalists and look forward to the November announcement. See the complete list of semi-finalists along with descriptions and videos on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge website, and explore BFI’s Idea Index.