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Applications for the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2023 are now closed. Applicants will be notified of their submission results after Monday, 11 March. 
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this programme, please write to info@padang.co. Thank you. 

Welcome to the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2023!

In the face of unparalleled global challenges, our planet stands at a critical juncture. We need urgent action to address environmental threats such as climate change, excessive disposable waste, and the depletion of natural resources.

The fifth edition of the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, organised by Enterprise Singapore, unites industry partners and seeks innovative minds from all over the world to devise sustainable solutions spanning various sectors. These solutions will have a local and regional focus before being scaled globally.

Our esteemed industry partners present distinct challenge statements under these key themes: Climate Change, Green Buildings, Sustainable Agriculture & Trade, and Sustainable Materials. In addition, this challenge also features an Open Category, welcoming additional sustainability-focused solutions. 

Successful innovators will gain a unique opportunity to engage in co-innovation with corporate partners, benefiting from their invaluable expertise, mentorship, and substantial resources. Prizes include over S$3,000,000 in support, including S$75,000 from Hexagon Group, as well as funding and real-world testing facilitated by industry pioneers.

Take this opportunity to effect tangible change for both your business and the persisting sustainability goals of our planet. Take part in the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2023 today!

Participating Challenge Statement Owners

Opportunities and Incentives

Over S$3 million in support available! 

Our corporate sponsor, Hexagon Group will award S$75,000 in prize money to one selected innovator in the Open Category

Prizes for winning innovators include:

  • Paid pilot and trial opportunities;
  • Potential grant support;
  • Opportunities for co-innovation with industry partners, drawing on their extensive expertise and resources;
  • Networking and mentoring opportunities. 

    Making Your Application 

    Before you make an application, you will need to register for an account on our platform. You will receive a confirmation email upon registration. Once done, you may proceed to submit your application with your credentials. You can also save your application as a draft if needed. 

    Applications close on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 at 11.59pm (GMT+8).

    Early Submission
    As an added bonus, participants who submit their entries on or before Monday, 15 January 2024 will get a chance to:
    • Receive exclusive feedback on their entry ahead of the final submission deadline; and 
    • Be evaluated by our VC partners for potential investment opportunities. 

    CHALLENGE THEMES

    The Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2023 contains two categories: demand-led challenge statements, and the Open Category. 

    Demand-led challenge statements are organised in the following themes:

    Climate Change

    Green Buildings

    Sustainable Agriculture and Trade 

    Sustainable Materials

    OPEN CATEGORY

    This year’s Open Category welcomes sustainability-focused solutions that will be channelled to The Liveability Challenge 2023

    The Liveability Challenge (TLC) is a global platform that hunts for and accelerates the launch of innovative solutions to urban challenges of the 21st century in cities in the tropics. Established in 2018, TLC has grown to become Asia's largest sustainability solutions platform with a global reach and a reputation for helping companies whose innovative technologies are disrupting industries, to create a significant positive impact on society and the planet.

    TLC is looking to build on its efforts in enabling solutions that remove carbon emissions at scale, including:
    • Revolutionary technology-based carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions that effectively capture, and convert carbon emissions into useful products, for example, building materials, reclamation sand or synthetic fuels;
    • Low-carbon solutions for energy, urban infrastructure, transport and logistics that generate cost-effective energy from renewable sources, for example, hydrogen, wind and tidal energy;
    • Solutions that significantly reduce the carbon emissions produced by industries and buildings, for example, cooling systems;
    • Solutions that drastically reduce the negative impact of climate change, for example, mitigating extreme heat, and urban heat island effect.
    Your solution should be:
    • Carbon negative in the overall lifecycle and have zero or minimal externalities;
    • Technology-based (physical or chemical);
    • Commercially viable and scalable; and
    • Feasible to conduct a pilot in Singapore. 
    Note: To have your solution considered for the Open Category, please remember to check the relevant checkbox on our application form, and answer the additional questions. 

    strategic partners

    We will be supported this year by strategic partners who will be sourcing specific sustainability solutions that revolve around the challenge themes. Click on them to learn more.

    Singapore Fashion Council (SFC)

    Singapore Fashion Council is the official trade association for the fashion industry in Singapore, that works to position Singapore as an innovation fashion hub for Southeast Asia.

    Learn more

    JTC

    Since its inception in 1968, JTC has played a strategic role in ensuring Singapore stays innovative and dynamic amid global manufacturing trends. 

    As a government agency under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, JTC is paving the way forward for Singapore’s industrial landscape with clean, green and smart estate master plans such as one-north, Seletar Aerospace Park, Jurong Innovation District, and Punggol Digital District. Their estates attract new investment and foster collaborative ecosystems that strengthen Singapore’s position as an advanced manufacturing hub. They also drive innovation in the Built Environment sector by piloting new construction technologies. 

    Learn more

    Singapore Agri-Food Innovation Lab (SAIL)

    Singapore Agri-Food Innovation Lab (SAIL) is a national platform operated by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in partnership with Enterprise Singapore that seeds partnerships between SAIL’s Corporate Partners, start-ups, SMEs, research institutes, and institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to drive agri-food innovations. 

    Learn more

    Singapore Chemical Industry Council

    The Singapore Chemical Industry Council Limited (SCIC) is the official industry association representing the Singapore Energy and Chemicals cluster in the private sector. It plays a proactive role in representing the interests of this manufacturing sector and continues to promote it as a major economic pillar of Singapore. SCIC has a membership network of more than 170 companies, including key multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that support the entire chemical industry supply chain. SCIC provides a platform for industry members to strengthen our position in addressing advocacy issues as a single body

    Learn more

    SEMI

    SEMI is a global association advancing growth for 3,000 member companies and helping the semiconductor industry deploy life changing tech worldwide. Through its programmes, communities, initiatives, products, and advocacy, SEMI informs its members, cultivates industry collaboration, drives action, and synchronises innovation.

    Learn more

    Temasek Foundation

    Temasek Foundation supports programmes that uplift lives and communities in Singapore and beyond. They aim to strengthen social resilience, foster international exchange and enhance regional capabilities, advance science and protect the planet for a sustainable world.

    Learn more

    The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices

    The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices ("CIIP") is a non-profit centre based in Singapore. Established in 2022 by Temasek Trust, a steward of philanthropic endowments and gifts, the centre's mission is to foster impact investing and practices in Asia and beyond.

    Learn more

    SG Eco Fund

    The SG Eco Fund supports projects that involve the community and advance environmental sustainability, across diverse topics such as waste recycling, community farming, biodiversity conservation, and water or energy reduction.

    Learn more

    Timeline

    • 31 Oct 2023

      APPLICATIONs OPEN

    • Nov 2023

      INFO SESSION

    • 15 Jan 2024

      EARLY SUBMISSION DEADLINE

    • 31 Jan 2024

      APPLICATION DEADLINE

    • 4 Mar 2024

      SHORTLIST ANNOUCEMENT

    • Mar - Apr 2024

      EVALUATION PHASE

    Note that these dates are subject to change.
    Info Session Recordings
    Our corporate challenge statement owners discussed their respective challenge statements at our Info Sessions. Check out the recordings below to review the discussions! 

    Submission Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

    Please make sure the following elements are adequately addressed in your proposal:

    Technical Feasibility & Novelty

    25%

    • Does the solution demonstrate innovative use of technology, showcasing technical expertise and creativity?
    • Is there a clear explanation of how the technical aspects of the solution address the sustainability challenge, emphasising uniqueness and novelty?

    Business 
    Feasibility

    25%

    • Is the business model scalable, demonstrating the solution's potential for market acceptance and growth?

    Team Capacity 
    & Expertise

    25%

    • Does the team have varied skills, relevant expertise, and a history of successful collaborations, demonstrating their ability to deliver innovative sustainability solutions?

    Details of 
    POC / MVP

    25%

    • Does the POC / Pilot proposal cover considerations relating to implementation, timeline, and cost?

    Please write to info@padang.co with any questions.

    FAQs

    The Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, organised by Enterprise Singapore, brings together established corporates across industries to collaborate with startups and SMEs to co-develop, test, and pilot solutions to wide-ranging challenge statements aimed at addressing sustainability goals.

    Applications will be open from Tuesday, 31 October 2023. Tune in to the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) to witness the launch of the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2023.

    Applications will close on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 at 11.59pm (GMT+8).  

    You can register for the challenge here using a valid email address. Then, click ‘Apply Now’. You will be presented with an application form, through which you can submit your proposal. The submission will be your official entry into this Challenge. Please feel free to upload any supporting documents to support your proposal. 

    You will receive a confirmation email upon successful registration. If you do not receive an acknowledgement upon registering, please write to info@padang.co. 

    For the application phase, your company must complete an application form that will cover the following:  
    • Details of Applicant
    • Executive Summary: 
      A quick summary of the solution, underlying technology and deliverables in 500 words. The summary should address the tangible and intangible outcomes of the project. 
    • Detailed Project Proposal, including
    1. Technical feasibility and novelty of the proposed solution; 
    2. Solution effectiveness, i.e. how well it addresses stated requirements; 
    3. Potential benefits and impact, such as manpower or cost savings, etc;
    4. Operational feasibility, including details on how to onboard various stakeholders; 
    5. Business feasibility, including commercialisation and scale-up strategy, estimated commercial pricing, life cycle costs, proposed business model; 
    6. Capacity, resources, and expertise committed to the project; 
    7. Details on the POC / Pilot if available; 
    8. Desired deliverables and / or outcomes of the project (including but not limited to tech specs, product development schedule, key challenges to overcome); and
    9. Others (as specifically requested in the challenge brief). 

    You are free to submit as many applications as there are challenge statements. However, do note that your last application for each challenge statement as on the application deadline will be considered for evaluation. 

    You may refer to our evaluation criteria on our home page. 

    Your submission will be evaluated by the challenge statement owner concerned, along with invited industry experts organising the Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, where necessary. Solutions should come with some form of proof-of-concept (POC), that can be used as a trial to address problems raised by participating companies. You may be contacted should the committee require more information.

    Public researchers can participate by either: 
    1. Registering a new spin-off to license the technology, led by a committed and capable team; OR
    2. Submitting a joint proposal with industry partners. The industry partner must co-develop the solution, lead the proposal submission, and eventually commercialise the proposed solution. 

    All background intellectual property rights are owned by the creators. Any commercialisation of IP generated during this Challenge shall be negotiated separately between the participant and respective challenge statement owner(s). 

    The protection of intellectual property rights in the submitted solution is the sole responsibility of the applicant. Once the solution is submitted and selected for trial with the challenge statement owner, the two parties may come to a private agreement.


    Enterprise Singapore would not request for a stake in the IPs developed. If you would like to share intellectual property rights which may contribute to the value proposition of the solution, it will be advisable to consider getting appropriate legal advice prior to making any disclosures to the organisers. 

    We respect that the information provided by companies in the proposals could be sensitive and will be handled with care. However, we do not advise companies to submit information that is deemed confidential. 


    Participating companies should not disclose any information relating to the provisional patent until after it has been filed. Despite that, it is advisable that companies exercise caution in disclosing only necessary information for the purpose of submitting their proposal. We suggest that companies either IPOS or engage a patent attorney for professional advice. 

    Support worth a total of S$3 million is available for winning innovators. 

    Awarded innovators for each challenge statement stand to win an Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) grant of up to S$20,000 in addition to the funding support offered by each challenge statement owner. The grant quantum will be subject to the achievement of agreed upon milestones as part of the pilot.

    Foreign startups and SMEs that are currently not registered in Singapore will be required to do so as part of the grant conditions. You will also be required to conduct project developmental activities in Singapore or have demonstrated substantial innovation and business activity in Singapore. Foreign startups are still eligible to receive funding support from challenge statement owners, with or without incorporating in Singapore. 

    For pilots arising from this challenge that are supported through Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), awarded innovators are required to submit a proposal for the grant through the Business Grant Portal (BGP). More information on documents required for submission can be found in the application form in BGP. The proposal and agreement will then be reviewed by Enterprise Singapore to determine the final amount of funding. 


    Challenge Partner Contact
    Name: Divakar Subramaniam
    Title: Head of Platforms, Padang & Co
    Email: divakar@padang.co