Renewable energy, urban planning and waste management - there are innovative startups working in all areas of sustainable urban development. But all too often, the potential of these innovations isn't recognized by local governments. The Better Together Award wants to change that.
"A bike sharing scheme is only as successful as the city that allows it to be installed and offers good cycle paths. And ideas for re- or upcycling will only be successful if the local authorities publicize them to their citizens via their official channels - or introduces binding regulations," says Maja Rotter, responsible for the Better Together Award at Impact Hub Berlin.
The award is a joint initative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and is aimed at strengthening exactly this kind of cooperation between startups and local governments. The Better Together Award will be presented at the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2019) in Heidelberg on May 22nd-23rd 2019.
The deadline for applications is March 17th. Applications can be submitted by startups, SMEs and NGOs who are working together with a city or municipality on a project that is committed to climate protection - anywhere in the world!
"We want to find the best collaborations, not just the best ideas."
"Many innovations fizzle out in the development phase if they can't be tested in the real life context of the city's actual processes and resources," Maja Rotter says, when asked about how the idea for the award came about.
"Climate innovators often lack a foothold in the public sector. It's very helpful for them to be supported by the public sector, and by doing so, be able to access statistics and data about the city's "users" for their - often digital - climate solutions. At the same time, state actors have to be able to think and act in a more agile and experimental way in order to keep up with the complex challenges of their (growing) cities, especially when it comes to climate impact. Municipalities and administrations do not have the mandate to create innovations themselves per se, but they should be open-minded and create the conditions for their success".
Impact Hub Berlin is busy spreading the word about the competition around the world, until applications close on the 17th of March.
So, what can you win?
Two people from the winning team will move into the Impact Hub Berlin for a week and get a specially tailored consultation program and the chance to pitch their project to over 1000 international policy makers, NGOs and other key players at ICCA 2019 in Heidelberg. All costs are covered.
You can find all information and the application form here: Better Together Award