First-ever Liveability Challenge offers up to S$1m for game-changing urban innovations

Singapore, 5 April 2018 — A new global call for innovative solutions to urban waste management and cooling challenges was launched today, with each submission standing the chance to secure up to S$1 million to support their game-changing work.

Presented by Temasek Foundation Ecosperity and organised by Eco-Business, The Liveability Challenge seeks to uncover viable solutions from all over the world to some of the greatest problems facing cities in the 21st century.

The Challenge is accepting submissions between 5 April and 25 May 2018 through The Liveability Challenge website. Shortlisted teams will get to pitch their projects to a panel of established funders and investors at an exciting event held during the high-profile World Cities Summit in Singapore on 10 July 2018.

To kick off the global search for liveability solutions, a cozy launch event was held at Bar Rouge, Swissôtel The Stamford today where Singapore-based innovators shared their experiences in developing and bringing their solutions for better urban environments to market.

Mr Jason Pomeroy, the Founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio outlined how innovation plays a role in building sustainable cities; Mr Darren Ho, Head of Farmers from Citizen Farm shared his views on feeding the city while Dr Tan Swee Ching, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the National University of Singapore presented his invention of a novel desiccant that improves thermal comfort.

The Challenge was unveiled to a crowd of sustainability experts, business professionals, academics and civil society leaders. Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Ecosperity said: “The Liveability Challenge is an opportunity for us to bring together the entire ecosystem of innovators, funders, investors, platform providers and professionals and get them excited about finding impactful solutions to make Singapore and the region a more liveable place. We hope to give the talents and innovators a helping hand in advancing their solutions towards eventual successful commercialisation.”

Temasek Foundation Ecosperity champions liveability and sustainability, and supports innovations that can deliver a significant impact to improving the way we live, work and play. The Foundation funds translational research to help researchers produce operational prototypes which can then be developed further into commercial products.

As Asia’s dynamic cities continue to lead global economic growth, its cities are experiencing rapid urbanisation and face growing pressures from explosive population growth and worsening climate change.

According to the United Nations, 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030 while temperatures could soar up to 6 degrees Celsius higher than before without the global community taking climate action. A hotter climate could increase already-strong demand for cooling technologies, which could, by 2040, take up as much as 40 per cent of Southeast Asia’s electricity demand. The region’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning market is forecasted to reach US$13.63 billion by 2023.

Meanwhile, economic growth and rising income levels are turning Asian nations into some of the world’s biggest producers and polluters of e-waste and plastics. Singapore alone generated 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste in 2017, while global recycling powerhouse China imported US$3.7 billion or approximately half the world’s plastic waste in 2016, reflecting huge business opportunities in plastic waste management alone.

“We are living in an age of global markets, social mobility and technological advancement; but also in an era of accelerating climate change, disappearing cultures and public space depletion. Never has there been such an important time to holistically address these issues in the design of our built environment.

I believe that the future lies in an evidence-based design approach that has sustainability and inter-disciplinary practice at its core. Platforms like The Liveability Challenge provide a means of turning theory into practice for the greater good of the natural and man-made environment,“ observed Mr Pomeroy.

Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business, added: “The need for new solutions to urban challenges has never been more urgent, as countries and cities in Asia continue to grow. We need concrete, scaleable products and solutions that will enable cities to overcome pollution, overcrowding and the poor living conditions that often come with rapid economic development. Through The Liveability Challenge, we want to harness human ingenuity and innovation to chart a new, sustainable and fairer course for development in Singapore and the region.”

The Liveability Challenge is supported by a host of partners including SGInnovate, Danfoss, FundedHere, the National University of Singapore, and Surbana Jurong.

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