Microsoft has partnered with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech to launch the Singapore GreenTech Challenge 2023.
In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, the challenge aims to accelerate the development and use of innovative sustainability solutions locally.
The Singapore Green Plan 2030 was launched by the government in February 2021 with ambitions to “galvanise a whole-of-nation movement” and make national progress on sustainable development.
“As we inch closer to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 deadlines, we see growing interest and demand for sustainability-related guidance from all sectors of society,” said Yean Cheong, executive director of SGTech.
“SGTech firmly believes in digital and tech solutions being the pathway forward in Singapore's sustainability journey. We are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft and IMDA to support the Singapore GreenTech Challenge and look forward to learning and working with the winning innovative solutions from this challenge.”
Underpinned by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, the challenge identifies three key categories of innovation.
Firstly, to encourage businesses to set and track sustainability targets, solutions should integrate and standardise various types of sustainability data, such as environmental, social and governance data.
A second focus is on solutions that will help businesses identify renewable energy sources that reduce carbon emissions, like solar, wind, hydro or low-carbon hydrogen, for potential use.
Lastly, the challenge seeks to inspire solutions that allow businesses to create tradeable carbon assets through digitally enabled sequestration measurement and interact with the carbon market.
All early to mid-stage eco-tech start-ups and corporate venture teams with a software-based solution that addresses environmental or social challenges are welcome to apply for one of the three categories.
Winners will stand a chance to win up to USD$350,000 in benefits per challenge and tap into the Microsoft and IMDA partner networks and expertise as they grow and scale their sustainability solutions powered by Microsoft Cloud.
Furthermore, winners will be onboarded to the Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Success Program and be recognised as a Microsoft ISV partner.
According to Microsoft, it has leveraged IMDA's Open Innovation Platform (OIP) for this year’s challenge and gathered learnings from a workshop by its industry consultants to diagnose business challenges faced by industries and define their challenge statements.
In addition, it is looking to crowd-source innovative solutions from IMDA's network of more than 12,000 tech solvers from start-ups, technology providers and research institutes.
“Powered by IMDA's OIP, the Singapore GreenTech Challenge highlights the importance of, and our commitment towards digital sustainability,” added Justin Ang, assistant chief executive of IMDA.
“Technology plays a pivotal role in Singapore's Green Plan and this challenge will help us identify innovative green tech solutions through strategic partnerships of enterprises and start-ups. As we move towards a globally sustainable future, we believe that Singapore can play a key role as the innovative hub for digital sustainability solutions.”
Microsoft also doubled down on its own commitment to utilise partnerships that “drive positive change” for the planet and to achieve the company’s goals to be carbon negative, water positive and zero waste by 2030.
“Singapore's long-term economic growth is dependent on innovation, and it is a journey that no company can make on its own,” said Lee Hui Li, managing director of Singapore at Microsoft.
“By deepening public-private partnerships across our ecosystem, Microsoft can power businesses from start-ups to enterprises, as they create new digital innovation for sustainability across the Microsoft Cloud. We look forward to identifying new sustainable solutions and putting them into action at scale, as we build a resilient, sustainable and digitally inclusive Singapore.”