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Portland State University hosts annual competition among student inventors of products with environmental applications.

COURTESY PSU - Catlin Gabel student Ben Kitoku explains his invention, a compostable compost container, when he was a finalist in the  2015 Cleantech Challenge. Finalists in the sixth-annual Portland State University Cleantech Challenge are gearing up to show off their work at Techfest NW, on April 5. Five student teams have been chosen to receive $1,500 each to develop their prototypes of inventions that address regional concerns pertaining to social issues, the environment, and the economy.

COURTESY PSU - The scene from the 2017 Clean Tech Challenge at PSU. This year's teams come from PSU's architecture, biology and engineering programs. Projects in the competition feature:

• Recycling smartphones for use in virtual reality-aided educational programs

• Treating wastewater through use of bacteria

• Designing temporary architecture with reusable

materials

• Developing novel plant systems for biofuel energy production

• A low-cost, high-efficiency kit for the production of backyard homes.

This year's Cleantech Challenge is sponsored by Daimler Trucks North America. The winner will receive $10,000 in cash and prizes.

The top two teams in the challenge will move forward and compete against other colleges in the statewide InventOR competition held in Klamath Falls on June 29th. The winner of that competition will win a prize of $25,000.

"The range of ideas and inventions represented by the 2018 Cleantech Challenge teams is truly inspiring and illustrates Daimler's vision for a more sustainable region," said Lori Heino-Royer, director of business development for Daimler, presenting sponsor for the competition.

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