30 September 2020
This year’s Mark Ashford scholarship winner is Georgie Northcoat from Christchurch.
We last caught up with Georgie in 2019, after she received a CF Achievers’ Award for Leadership.
Since then, the 21-year-old has graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science from Otago University with a double major in Textile Science and Marketing. This year she’s continuing with full-time study and is working towards a Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), majoring in Information Systems.
During 2019, Georgie developed a passion for sustainability. In November she travelled to Shenzhen, China, and worked on a project aimed at turning textile waste into insulation. She hoped to continue work on the project this year, combined with full-time study.
Pandemic changes focus
However, with the impact of COVID-19 on offshore manufacturing and maintaining the supply chain, Georgie realised she needed to pivot her entrepreneurial ideas.
“I decided to focus on synthetic textile waste, specifically microplastic pollution from the shedding of synthetic fibres during washing,” Georgie says.
“The problem of microplastics in our oceans and soils is well known but there aren’t many solutions available which address the issue,” she says.
This year Georgie founded Lynk Solution, a company committed to minimising the amount of plastic pollutants entering our wastewater. Georgie developed the Lynk Microfibre Filter, a filter that’s fitted to an existing washing machine and filters out 90% of microfibres during each wash.
Georgie and her small team aim to launch the product to market in 2021.
Winning the scholarship
It was third time lucky for Georgie, who also applied for the scholarship in 2018 and 2019.
“I didn’t know if I’d be successful this year, so after I applied I put it to the back of my mind. I thought in due time I’d find out who the recipient was, so I was absolutely stoked when CFNZ called to tell me it was me who’d won,” Georgie says.
Georgie plans to use the scholarship money to continue to invest in Lynk Solution. It also relieves a bit of financial pressure so she can focus on her studies and develop her business further.
Getting on with life with CF
Georgie keeps fit by playing competitive hockey, skiing and surfing. She also continues to make the conscious decision to live life to the full.
“There are lots of sacrifices I have to make to complete treatments and exercise regularly, as there is for every person with CF. But I hope I can help to spread a bit of optimism about living a full life with CF and hopefully encourage and inspire others to live their best life too.”
Thank you to an anonymous donor who generously sponsored this year’s scholarship.