Temasek’s Liveability Challenge Seeks Deep Tech Solutions

January 15, 2020

Temasek Foundation launches its Liveability Challenge this month, offering more than SGD 1 million of funding and resources to tackle the triple threat facing Asian cities of the future.

This annual competition is a global call for game-changing solutions to grow food, package products, and reduce carbon emissions in cities located in the world’s tropical belt. The best proposals stand a chance of securing the grand prize of up to SGD 1 million in funding to further develop proposed solutions through incubator programmes and mentorship opportunities. The grand prize winner may launch a pilot project in Singapore.

Selected finalists will get a chance to pitch their projects to a panel of Asia’s most sought-after venture capitalists and investors during Ecosperity Week on 8 July 2020 at The Liveability Challenge Grand Finale.

Now in its third year running, this edition of the Challenge is inviting project proposals in the areas of Urban Food Production, Circular Packaging and Decarbonisation, where the critical need for innovation reflects the size of the business opportunity available. Proposals are welcome from 14 January to 17 April 2020 and can be submitted at The Liveability Challenge 

Temasek Foundation Ecosperity Chief Executive Lim Hock Chuan says the chosen themes support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 13 (Climate Action).

“Global hunger is on the rise; and the past four years have been the hottest on record, with carbon dioxide concentration levels continuing to rise. We hope The Liveability Challenge 2020 will highlight the valuable opportunities present in these areas of need and catalyse impactful solutions that can accelerate the transition to a more food secure, resource-efficient and decarbonised future. There is growing momentum to adopt sustainable practices and innovations to build a more liveable environment. With the support of our partners, The Liveability Challenge has attracted many applicants with high-quality proposals leveraging science to exploit potential business opportunities,” says Lim.

Last year’s winner was Sophie’s Kitchen. It developed  a plant-based protein made with microalgae that is fermented using byproducts from food manufacturing. The protein can be harvested within just three days. Compared to beef, which requires 141 hectares of land to produce a ton of protein, Sophie’s Kitchen only requires 0.02 hectares. It also uses much less water, while producing a far smaller carbon footprint. According to Sophie’s Kitchen CEO Eugene Wang, the protein can be used as a food ingredient in increasingly popular plant-based foods and in supplements, and the scaling of this solution is expected to have a far-reaching impact to improve nutrition around the world in both urban and rural environments.

According to Eco-Business Deputy Managing Director Junice Yeo, the Liveability Challenge has grown to become a highlight for Asia’s sustainability community, and is now fast expanding to folks in the science and technology space.

“As businesses and governments continue to work on societal solutions around climate change, we welcome participation from potential partners, especially from the food, packaging and energy sectors to join us in supporting this year’s challenge,” says Yeo.

Through The Liveability Challenge and other channels, Lim says Temasek Foundation seeks to bring together an ecosystem of innovators, funders, investors, platform providers and professionals, and excite them to source, catalyse and advance impactful solutions towards eventual successful commercialisation, as a first step to making a positive difference to the everyday lives of city dwellers in Singapore and beyond.

(Ed. The Liveability Challenge is presented by Temasek Foundation, organised by Eco-Business, and convened by Closed Loop Partners, in partnership with Ecosperity Week 2020. Featured image provided courtesy of Eco-Business.)

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