The Innovation Challenge Hub
WHERE CLEANTECH ENTREPRENEURS MEET OPPORTUNITIES

What Will You Do Next?

Looking to develop, pilot, or scale your innovation? Take advantage of the myriad of opportunities provided by Innovation Challenges for which corporates, investors, accelerators, and governments are recruiting.

Cleantech Group helps innovators by sharing live (and expired) challenges that have captured our attention from our daily work engaging with the global cleantech ecosystem. The Innovation Challenge Hub is a useful resource to keep coming back to.

Cleantech Group is an active partner on these challenges:

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Innovation Challenges

You can search and filter through challenges by typing in the search field or by using the dropdowns below.

Click here to view past challenges.

  • Sectors

Cross-Sector Battery Systems (CSBS) Innovation Network

Deadline: March 6, 2024
UKBIC SME Credit Round 2 Competition
UKRI’s Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, ...

UKRI’s Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, will support UK registered small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The funding competition will enable you to apply for a share of up to £1.5m to increase and facilitate your engagement with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).

The aim of the competition is to support SME’s Research and Development for the scale-up of battery technologies within the UK as well as their access and engagement with UKBIC.

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Diageo Sustainable Solutions

Deadline: March 30, 2024
Water Efficiency
To improve water efficiency in bo...

To improve water efficiency in both our own operations and those of our manufacturing suppliers, we’re looking for solutions that will bring step change improvements in water efficiency across our own and our manufacturers’ water use. To help us reduce our water use by an average of 30% by 2030, we are looking for solutions that will bring improvements in water efficiency across our brewing, distilling, malting, and packaging processes, including wastewater treatment and water recycling.

Potential solutions could include but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring and measurement tools such as connected sensors and software technologies
  • Membrane filtration systems, softeners, activated carbon filters, ion exchange
  • Cooling tower water capture, recycling, and reuse
  • Wort cooling, tunnel pasteurisers, bottle washers, vacuum pumps
  • Waterless systems
  • Continuous loop water management systems
  • Greywater recycling systems

What is not included:

Wastewater upcycling (this is covered in the wastewater to value challenge); On-farm water solutions  

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Diageo Sustainable Solutions

Deadline: March 30, 2024
Wastewater Upcycling
To maximise the value of Diageo’s...

To maximise the value of Diageo’s waste streams, we’re looking for solutions that can be applied to Diageo’s distillation and brewing operations to upcycle wastewater into value-add products or services. This could benefit Diageo’s supply chain, other industries, local communities, or nature.  We’re particularly interested in solutions, including modular solutions that can be adapted to differing concentrations of compounds, those that can be applied to industrial processes to increase concentration for easier and more efficient extraction of value-add components, and those that are applicable to different geographies, including remote locations. 

Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:  

  • Alternative, novel crop production methods such as ocean farming

  • Alternative ingredient production processes such as precision fermentation, cellular agriculture, or molecular farming

  • Alternative feedstocks for ingredient production, including waste streams

  • Controlled environment agriculture solutions 

What is not included:

We are not looking for regenerative agriculture solutions as part of this challenge, although we do recognise the interdependencies. 

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Diageo Sustainable Solutions

Deadline: March 30, 2024
Water-efficient Ingredients
To minimise the climate and water risks of the ingredients w...

To minimise the climate and water risks of the ingredients we source and use, we are looking for new and complementary blue-sky technology solutions to support our growth ambition while preserving existing agricultural supply chains. The aim is to find additional sources of ingredients with reduced water usage and water quality effects. Ingredients of interest are rice (India), aniseed and grapes (Turkey), agave (Mexico), wheat (UK), maize (USA), barley (Scotland/Ireland), sugarcane (India and Africa), sorghum (Kenya & Nigeria) and neutral spirit geographies: USA, India.

Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:

  • Alternative, novel crop production methods such as ocean farming
  • Alternative ingredient production processes such as precision fermentation, cellular agriculture, or molecular farming
  • Alternative feedstocks for ingredient production, including waste streams
  • Controlled environment agriculture solutions

What is not included:

We are not looking for regenerative agriculture solutions as part of this challenge, although we do recognise the interdependencies.

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Diageo Sustainable Solutions

Deadline: March 30, 2024
Agricultural Water Impact
To improve water efficiency in agricultural operations, we a...

To improve water efficiency in agricultural operations, we are looking for solutions that will help us reduce our water impact and make our existing agricultural processes more efficient. We will also consider solutions that indirectly target water usage by reducing the need for water at any step of the crop’s lifecycle. Where we irrigate, we are looking for solutions to improve water efficiency.

Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental monitoring and sensor technologies for on-farm water efficiency and water quality
  • Water-efficient crop inputs and precision tools
  • Irrigation technologies that minimise watershed impact
  • Crop-level water monitoring and management solutions

What is not included:

Solutions that are not geared towards agriculture (may be applicable to Water Efficiency challenge instead).

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Diageo Sustainable Solutions

Deadline: March 30, 2024
Improving Water Use Across the Hospitality Sector
To improve the water use across the hospitality sector, we a...

To improve the water use across the hospitality sector, we are looking for creative solutions in pubs, restaurants, bars and hotels to reduce water use while preserving or enhancing the customer experience. This includes shaking cocktails, serving drinks, glassware and ice to chill before filling, etc. These may be technology-based, innovation or other solutions – surprise us!

What is not included:

Offtrade solutions (Retail sales. May be applicable in other Water challenges).

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International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Deadline: March 31, 2024
SolarX Startup Challenge 2024
The SolarX Startup Challenge 2024 aims to promote innovation...

The SolarX Startup Challenge 2024 aims to promote innovations that are implementable, cost-effective, and scalable solutions to some of the persistent challenges in the solar sector. Aimed at enhancing the startup ecosystem in APAC, it presents a threefold opportunity by building the local startup ecosystem, thinning the gap in the energy crisis, and promoting investments in the solar energy sector to develop innovative solutions.

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Innovate UK

Deadline: March 1, 2025
Faraday Battery Challenge
The Faraday Battery Challenge will support UK registered Sma...

The Faraday Battery Challenge will support UK registered Small, Micro and Medium-sized, businesses only to apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to increase and facilitate their engagement with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. An extension was granted in 2022, so that the challenge now ends in March 2025.

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Sustainable Ventures

Ongoing
Innovation Challenge: Lambeth
Sustainable Ventures is launching a competition to help SMES...

Sustainable Ventures is launching a competition to help SMES & Established Businesses solve their net zero challenges and Innovators scale their solutions particularly in low carbon buildings, waste management, behavior change, and low carbon mobility.

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Imagine H2O Asia

Ongoing
Pilot Funding & Scale Up Support
Asia-Pacific water challenges that are addressed by entrepre...

Asia-Pacific water challenges that are addressed by entrepreneurs receive pilot funding and scale up support with partners.

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Plug-and-Play

Ongoing
Mobility Accelerator
Autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification, smart ci...

Autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification, smart cities.

Rolling applications year round. Stage-agnostic.

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EcoLabs

Ongoing
EcoLabs-Continental Urban Mobility Accelerator
Spanning urban mobility, electrification, energy efficiency,...

Spanning urban mobility, electrification, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport.

Open to applicants in all regions/continents.

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EVA

Ongoing
Electric Vehicle Accelerator
Charging infrastructure, EV fleets, services supporting elec...

Charging infrastructure, EV fleets, services supporting electric mobility.

Announced in April 2022. Open to companies located beyond Singapore.

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Get our Guides to Successful Innovation and Put Your Company Ahead of the Rest

Fast Guide to Successful Innovation Part One: How to Smash the Innovation Challenge Application

How much information should you share? What's essential? Optional? Part One of our Fast Guide to Successful Innovation zeroes in on what you need to do to connect with the decision makers in all the right ways.

Fast Guide to Successful Innovation Part Two: Pitching a Cleantech Company - Your Checklist for Success

Selling your idea or product to new audience can be as daunting as it is exciting. Our checklist takes you through a plan for getting the the best possible outcome.

Fast Guide to Successful Innovation Part Three: How to Get the Most from your Corporate Cleantech Partner

Understanding your potential new partner's requirements, and even their language, will help you benefit from the process, manage your feedback and respond with useful information.

Get the Guide

Insights to Support Your Progress

02/29/2024

We’ve Changed How We Think About Resources and the Environment

As the cleantech landscape continues to evolve, so does our understanding of it. To better capture this evolution, we've decided to divide t...

By Holly Stower

About Cleantech Group

At Cleantech Group, we provide research, consulting and events to catalyze opportunities for sustainable growth powered by innovation. We bring clients access to the trends, companies and people shaping the future and the customized advice and support businesses need to engage external innovation.

Industries are undergoing definitive transitions toward a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient industrial future. At every stage from initial strategy to final deals, our services bring corporate change makers, investors, governments and stakeholders from across the ecosystem, the support they need to thrive in this fast-arriving and uncertain future.

The company was established in 2002 and is headquartered in San Francisco with with offices in Asia, Europe and North America.

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