Startups can now apply for 2021 Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge ($10,000 to $100,000)

sustainability open innovation challenge - cleanbuild

The Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has announced a call inviting startups and SMEs around the world to participate in its 1st Round of the 2021 Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge (SOIC).

Now in its third edition, the SOIC aims to help build a brighter future for the planet with challenge statements in key sustainability areas such as sustainable materials, waste management, among other verticals.

The 2021 Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge (SOIC) will give participants a chance to collaborate with major partners, testbed, and access funding to develop the solutions, but to also play a critical role in building a more sustainable future for the world.

The event is organized by Enterprise Singapore; sponsored by Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Changi Airport Group, EM Services, ExxonMobil, Mercedes-Benz, and WWF (Challenge Owners) with the full support of Agorize.

Scope of the challenge

SOIC 2021 (Round 1) will focus on three core areas within the circular economy

Waste Management
  • Design a low-cost & drop-in manual or semi-automated sorting line for sorting recyclable materials from mixed household waste: Alliance will grant a prize award of S$20,000 for the winning prototype design or a combined S$50,000 [S$10,000 additional bonus] if a solution provider can handle both the challenge statements by Alliance.
  • Develop a proof of concept (PoC) to utilize advanced detection systems to improve the sorting accuracy and hence the quality of sorted plastic fractions: Alliance will grant a prize award of S$20,000 for the winning prototype design or a combined S$50,000 [S$10,000 additional bonus] if a solution provider can handle both the challenge statements by Alliance.
  • Achieve Changi Airport’s Zero Waste Vision: Up to S$30,000 funding support for paid trial; Winning company(ies) will also benefit from the physical space within the airport boundary to facilitate trials to testbed their innovative solutions.
  • Increase accessibility of food waste management for most food establishments
  • Implement environmentally friendly and less labor-intensive solutions for hawker centers
  • Develop new technologies for engineered polymers to enhance recyclability and/or biodegradability
Sustainable Materials (Packaging/Plastic Value Chain)
  • Develop solutions for carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet
  • Establish a value chain to convert plastic and/or diaper waste in Singapore to ISCC certified circular polymer feedstock
Sustainable Food Source
  • Enable efficient automated sustainability assessments of seafood procurement for businesses: WWF-Singapore will provide S$20,000 in seed funding for the winning proposal.
  • The Challenge is open to all local and foreign registered startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs), Institute of Higher Learning and Research Institutes.
  • All applicants must be above the age of 18 years old as of the date of entry and must submit their project proposals.
  • Employees, representatives, and family members of the Joint Organisers should declare such relationships to the Joint Organisers that they are submitting their Project Proposals to.
  • Project proposals with solutions that have received funding from other programs run by government agencies or statutory boards should declare the funding received and project details to the Organiser.
  • Enterprise(s) collaborating with Public Researchers; Public researcher(s) can participate by either:

(i) Registering a new spin-off to license the technology, led by a committed and capable team; or

(ii) Submitting a joint proposal with an enterprise (the enterprise has to co-develop the solution, lead the proposal submission and eventually commercialize the proposed solution).


Submissions close on Sunday, October 24, 2021. Click here to apply. For more information, visit the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge website.

Register Today!


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