Devising a tech-based solution with the power to slow or reverse negative human impacts on climate is one of the challenges being set for New Zealand innovators in this year’s C-Prize competition.
As reported, C-Prize is the biannual competition of Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s Innovation Agency, which challenges New Zealand innovators to devise tech-based solutions to complex problems.
Teams compete for cash prizes and one of ten places on the C-Prize Development Programme, an intensive mentoring programme of technology and commercialisation boot camps.
They also get the chance to take out the grand prize of NZ$ 100,000 cash plus NZ$ 50,000 in ongoing support and services.
C-Prize 2019 teams are being called to tackle areas of environmental impact with their entries. Some examples are delivering smarter use of finite resources or cleaner waterways.
Currently, massive environmental challenges are being faced.
However, there are also unprecedented advances in the application of different technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), advanced materials and biotechnology.
All of which have the power to help solve many of these problems.
C-Prize should inspire New Zealand innovators to see the massive opportunities offered by environmental innovation and to get involved.
Minister for Climate Change James Shaw was delighted to officially launch a technology challenge that is focused on developing solutions to solve global environmental challenges.
The C-Prize challenge presents a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs, researchers, engineers and scientists to develop their solution with mentoring and R&D support, and to kick-start their commercialisation journey.
It offers innovators a way to advance their idea with a broad range of support and less risk.
The programme offers a unique opportunity to spend time with like-minded teams and individuals in a fast-paced and supportive learning environment.
The competition’s call to develop solutions to clean waterways is also timely given the release of the marine report by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ.
The report highlights the major challenges New Zealand’s marine environment is facing, including threatened marine species, increased sedimentation and significant declines in shellfish populations in some areas.
Aside from environmental fallout, the report points to the economic risk to the marine economy, which in 2017 was valued at NZ$ 7 billion and employed more than 30,000 people.
Environmental innovation increases the rate of positive change and more are needed to mitigate the catastrophe.
With an evolving recognition of the climate emergency coupled with a maturing ecosystem leading to better investment opportunities and a better-equipped workforce, now is a great time to get involved in environmental innovation.
Entries for C-Prize close on 8 December 2019, when judges will select up to 10 teams to participate in the C-Prize Development Programme and compete for the grand prize.
The judges will be looking for solutions that have the customer clearly in mind as well as employ a convergence of technologies across areas such as advanced materials, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and IoT.
Entries need to be submitted by a team of two or more people and provide the concept for a solution that can deliver a positive impact in one of three areas:
- Climate change – Slowing or reversing negative human impacts on climate
- Fresh clean water – Cleaning up waterways
- Resource use – Smarter ways to use and preserve the planet’s finite resources.