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Helsinki Energy Challenge

Finland aims to be carbon-neutral by the middle of the next decade. To support that mission Helsinki Mayor, Jan Vapaavuori, is launching a €1 million global challenge asking innovators to come forward with smart solutions that can shape the future of urban heating.

“Solving the urban heating challenge is crucial to reach global climate goals. Cities have a key role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy, and Helsinki is now taking an initiative to lead the way. We invite innovators from all around the world to use our city as a testbed to develop not just fossil free, but truly sustainable, solutions. Together, we will create the future of heating to fight global warming,” said Jan Vapaavuori.

Solutions will be integrated in Helsinki by 2029. The hope is they will also help decarbonise city heating systems worldwide, as the organisers have pledged to share details of the successful ideas. Cities including Amsterdam, Vancouver and Toronto are backing the initiative.

“Climate change is a global crisis that will not be solved by quick fixes. With over half of the city’s heat coming from coal, we hope that our shift to sustainable energy can help inspire other cities and act as a real life case that a transition is possible. Taking this next step might lead to a revolutionary breakthrough in our pursuit for a more sustainable city life.” added Jan.

Proposals will be assessed on factors including climate impact, cost, implementation schedule and reliability. Startups, corporations universities, individual experts, research groups and consortiums can all pitch their ideas. Participants are asked to take part as a team.

The challenge is opened today and runs until May 31, 2020. Selected finalists will be invited to a co-creating stage, as part of a 3-day boot camp. This phased is followed by pitches to an international panel of experts, with winning solutions confirmed by November, when the €1 million will be awarded. Go to the competition website to enter.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and the Chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.


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