Friday, February 10, 2023

Funding Opportunities: Water & Food Security. Innovation Challenge 2023.


Innovation Challenge

Calls for Sustainable Chemistry Innovations

The annual ISC3 Innovation Challenge is thematically oriented along a once-per-year 
selected focus topic. Start-ups globally are invited to contend for a total of 
25,000 EUR in prize money with their innovative ideas that are revolving
 around the ongoing year’s focus topic.

They are assessed by a jury of international experts who score the 
Start-ups and choose the finalists. The finalists’ pitches and the award ceremony 
take place in autumn/winter.

The winners are awarded money prizes in three categories:

  1. Best Social Impact for Start-ups that have a noteworthy impact on their community.
  2. Best Regional Impact for Start-ups with an innovative solution to solving an issue that is particularly relevant to their region.
  3. The overall Winner of our Innovation Challenge.

All the finalists receive a customized support of the 
ISC3 Global Start-up Service in form of pitch trainings and have the possibility 
to be featured as Start-up of the Month.

ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2023 - Sustainable 

Chemistry and Agriculture

Call for Applications

The ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2023 has the topic "Sustainable Chemistry and Agriculture" !

We are looking for Innovators and their Sustainable Chemistry solutions that benefit Agriculture!
You are adressing this topic with your Start-up? Then apply for the next ISC3 Innovation Challenge 
and fill out the application form below.

The current fourth Innovation Challenge addresses innovators developing solutions in the field of 
Sustainable Chemistry and Agriculture with the following subtopics:
  • Fertilizers: efficient use of organic and inorganic fertilizers; 
    • avoidance of over-fertilization with potassium, nitrogen
    • and phosphorus; 
    • supply and use of alternative fertilizers and further solutions for replenishing soil fertility and maintaining or re-establishing soil health (incl. CO2 sequestration)
  • Nutrient recovery in soil, plants, feedstocks, products, etc. (such as secondary nutrients in plants, e.g.)
  • Precision farming: use of digitalisation and automation for resource efficient farming; point application of fertilizers, pesticides, and water
  • Crop protection: production and use of natural biocides /biopesticides; benign substitutes for pesticides; biocide leasing as business model
  • Water: Intelligent water supply; water harvesting, avoidance of water contamination with fertilizers
  • Renewable energy and agriculture: use for desalination to provide fresh water; ammonia synthesis with green hydrogen
  • Valorisation of agricultural waste: circularity approaches in agriculture
  • Shelf-life extension solutions for fruits, vegetables, seeds, etc.
  • Solutions fostering reduced externalized costs (biodiversity loss, drinking water pollution, soil compaction, erosion, etc.)
Applications are organized in two stages and open from December 15th, 
2023; 0:00 a.m. CET.
First stage application deadline by April 3rd, 2023, second stage application 
deadline by May 31st, 2023; 0:00 a.m. CEST.
Innovations targeting the development of genetically modified seeds, GMO 
crops etc. are explicitly excluded from the scope of this challenge.
Submission of proposals

The submission of proposals will follow a 2-stage procedure. First stage submissions 

include an online template which asks for a brief description of the innovation, the 

business perspectives and the innovators team. Eligible submissions will be invited to 

the second stage, in which more detailed information must be provided.

Eligible participants
Eligible are all innovators and entrepreneurs, i.e., persons owning or representing the proposed 
innovation, employed by organisations including research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized 
enterprises, or comparable institutions active in the development and realisation of sustainable 
chemistry solutions. Enterprises participating in the challenge shall have a staff headcount not 
exceeding 50 (full time equivalent) and an annual turnover of max. 10 million Euro. Enterprises 
majority-owned by large enterprises are not eligible for the award, except for innovations leading 
to the creation of independent spin-offs.Proposals submitted by innovators and entrepreneurs from 
developing countries and tackling challenges in developing countries are considered as particularly
important. Female entrepreneurs are specifically encouraged to submit a proposal.

The proposals will be assessed against the three main criteria:

  • Innovation level. Is the innovation unique, distinct, and truly original?
  • Business viability. What is the market potential of the innovation?
  • Is the idea commercially feasible?
  • Sustainability. What is the sustainability impact of the innovation?

What to expect?

Five finalists will receive:

  • Tailored support: access to Global Start-up Service Customised Support
  • Visibility: promotion of your innovation via ISC3 communication channels
  • Cash prizes:
    • the overall Innovation Challenge Winner 
      • will receive a cash prize of 15,000 EUR.
    • The two separate categories 
      • “Best Social Impact” and “Best Regional Impact" 
      • are endowed with cash prizes amounting to 5,000 EUR each.

Launch of the new 2023 Innovation Challenge: December 15th, 2022

  • Deadline for first stage submission: April 3rd, 2023, 23:59:59 CEST
  • Deadline for second stage submission: May 31st, 2023, 23:59:59 CEST
  • Jury Evaluation: June 1st – July 9th, 2023
  • Finalist announcements: after July 15th, 2023
  • Finalist pitch training: September 2023
  • Innovation Challenge Award Ceremony: scheduled for autumn/winter 2023
    • date and location of the venue will be announced via

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