Sustainable Business Idea Competition – January 2023

  • Wednesday, 01/02/2023
  • 17:00 - 17:00

Event Description {{detailsExpanded ? '- Show Less' : '+ Show More'}}

Win £1,000 from Edinburgh Innovations and the Edinburgh Earth Initiative, just for telling us about your sustainable business idea.

We have teamed up with the Edinburgh Earth Initiative and the School of Informatics to bring you a brand-new competition focusing on your solutions to the climate crisis and achieving a just transition.

The greatest innovations of the next decade will be climate-related innovations. It is crucial that we innovate rapidly to accelerate our response to the climate crisis. Our climate solutions need to support the differing needs of global communities, whilst simultaneously allowing them to have a prosperous and equitable transition to a more sustainable future.

With COP 27 challenging new ideas and thoughts surrounding sustainable development, we are on the lookout for students and recent alumni who have an idea that would benefit from initial support to spark an environmentally impactful innovation.

We are looking for projects at the 'idea' stage of development, although this doesn't necessarily disqualify businesses that are already formed and/or trading. Ideas will be judged based on being 'at idea stage', as well as overall desirability, viability, feasibility, and, most importantly, sustainability.

In order to accept the funds, you will need to agree that you will spend the money working on your business idea, and that you will continue working with Edinburgh Innovations to further develop the idea.

Choose one of four categories for your idea:


1. Sustainable Land and Seas


We must help to feed the world’s population and ensure clean water and air for all, whilst simultaneously preserving and restoring diverse and healthy ecosystems.

The opportunities to solve our greatest land and seas challenges are endless. To reach net zero goals we will need to focus on all the areas that are impacting these environments. These include but are not limited to; improving our food systems, conserving ocean life, tracking greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing the impact of climate change on coastal communities, among many others.

We are looking for any ideas that could contribute to creating positive sustainable change for our land and seas.


2. Future of Energy


We must transition to an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply for everyone on the planet.

The future of Energy is one of the most challenging areas that we will have to address in our path to a more sustainable world, however, it is also an area which presents us with almost unlimited opportunities for innovation. We need to find new energy technologies that will reduce our dependence on oil and gas, and better inform our energy usage across industry, business, and our personal lives.

We are looking for ideas that could help solve any of the world’s energy challenges and drive the movement to more renewable and sustainable energy.


3. Health in a Warming World.


We must respond to the challenges created by the complex links between the environment, and health and wellbeing in the face of unprecedented climate change.

There exists complex links between the climate and environmental change, and our health and wellbeing. From infectious to non-communicable diseases, from toxins and pollution to sustainable medicine, and from humans to animals, climate change is presenting us with a wide variety of new challenges in the health sector.

We are looking for your ideas that could better prepare us for these future wellbeing challenges, and/or sustainably solve the health issues of today.


4. Responsible Computing


We must revolutionise computing principles to ensure that all organisations are responsible contributors to the planet’s sustainable development goals.

Responsible Computing is an initiative that aims to shift thinking and behaviours within the IT industry to bring about real, sustainable change. To achieve sustainable and responsible computing values, major innovation will be required in infrastructure, data usage, systems, and coding. We need to better utilise green energy in our data centres, improve the handling and disposal of electrical and electronic waste, and consciously make more environmentally and socially ethical hardware and software coding choices.

We are looking for your ideas that could help revolutionise computing principles and/or current approaches to disposal of electronic waste, and ultimately help to achieve global sustainability goals.


DEADLINE: 31st of January, 2023


The winners will be announced at a Winner's Announcement Ceremony on 17th February. You can register to this event here. You will also receive an e-mail by the end of the week following the announcement, with the results of your application and feedback from the judges.

This competition is for current students and recent graduates (within the last two years) from the University of Edinburgh.

If you have won one of our "ideas competitions" before, you cannot win again with the same idea, although you can win again with a different idea. Staff of the University of Edinburgh and/or Edinburgh Innovations are not eligible to apply to this competition. However, you would still be able to enter if you would like to receive feedback from your judging panel.

By submitting your application, you consent for your information to be shared with the Edinburgh Earth Initiative.

Please keep to the word limits and do not provide external supporting evidence such as links.

You aren't logged in

Login to register

View Other Events

Edinburgh Innovations Limited is the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. Edinburgh Innovations is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University of Edinburgh. Your data will be held securely and will not be passed on to any third parties. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and all marketing communications will include an unsubscribe link. Please view our privacy notice to understand how we use and protect the information that you provide to us.

© 2024 - EI Ltd, The University of Edinburgh