Massachusetts Institute of Technology SOLVE in the USA invites applications from entrepreneurs worldwide for the Resilient Ecosystems Challenge in 2021.
Functioning ecosystems underpin all of human society. They are crucial to pollination, wild food sources, disaster mitigation, and a stable climate with breathable air and an active water cycle, in addition to the intangible cultural value tied to land. Yet, humans have degraded over 75 percent of the Earth’s land area, and 35 percent of fish stocks are over harvested. With restoration and better management, ecosystems can thrive and provide greater benefits, including up to one third of the carbon mitigation necessary for a 2 degree global warming target.
Many examples of successful ecosystem management exist at the project or community level globally, particularly those that draw on Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. However, many of these approaches face challenges in sustaining and scaling their impact. Technology and innovation can help improve efficiency, replicate good models, and ensure communities gain durable sources of funding, land rights, and data sovereignty.
The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that help communities restore, sustain, and benefit from resilient ecosystems. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
- Preserve and restore carbon-rich ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots, whether terrestrial, coastal, or marine.
- Provide scalable and verifiable monitoring and data collection to track ecosystem conditions, such as biodiversity, carbon stocks, or productivity.
- Aggregate local projects to enable access to financial capital for ecosystem services such as natural hazard mitigation, water quality, and carbon storage.
- Create scalable economic opportunities for local communities, including fishing, timber, tourism, and regenerative agriculture, that are aligned with thriving and biodiverse ecosystems
Worth of Award
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Virtual Solve Challenge Finals on September 19, 2021.
Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing
The Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing is open to solutions that use innovative technology to help improve fisheries monitoring, eliminate illegal fishing and forced labor, and increase supply chain integrity. The prize is funded by Minderoo Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organization committed to returning the oceans to a flourishing state by 2030. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from the Resilient Ecosystems Challenge.
The ServiceNow Prize
The ServiceNow Prize is open to solutions that connect communities to develop, share, and replicate best practices for carbon absorption and decarbonization. The prize is funded by ServiceNow, a cloud computing platform which is focused on making the world of work work better for people. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four Solver teams from the Resilient Ecosystems Challenge.00
Innovation for Women Prize: Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
The GM Prize
The GM Prize is open to solutions that help create smart, safe, and sustainable communities around the world. The Prize is funded by General Motors, which is working toward becoming the most inclusive company in the world, and dedicated to making STEM education more accessible and equitable. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to six recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US, Equitable Classrooms, and Resilient Ecosystems Challenges.
- In the near term, they need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response.
- MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak, for example by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers.
- At the same time, they cannot solely treat disease outbreaks reactively. Climate change and globalization leave us ever more vulnerable to future epidemics and pandemics, and it’s critical to be prepared.
- Solve is also seeking solutions that focus on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
- Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
- Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
- Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
- Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
- Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge
- Partnership Potential: The applicant clearly explains how the solution would benefit from the broad range of resources that the Solve community is positioned to provide.
How to Apply
You can submit your solution through the application link on their website
Deadline: deadline to apply is June 16, 2021.