Clean air challenge: Calling for innovations to reduce air pollution in Serbia and improve air quality

September 24, 2020

Exposure to air pollution has serious negative implications to human health, length and quality of life. Serbian Environment Protection Agency’s data show that the levels of air pollutants exceed the limit values in a number of cities/municipalities, including: Valjevo, Uzice, Smederevo, Belgrade, Pancevo, Kosjeric, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Bor, Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Air pollution threatens their survival, development, and physical and mental health. On the other, reduction of the air pollution brings measurable benefits.

In order to contribute to improving the quality of the air that we all breath, UNDP Serbia, in cooperation with the UNICEF and WHO, is soliciting legal entities to propose innovative ways of producing or procuring innovative products, technological solutions and new value chains related to the following categories:

1.      Individual heating/combustion units (in households, public buildings) improved in terms of reduced emissions of pollutants, improved efficiency of energy-use, multifunctionality, etc.;

2.      Devices, software or methods for air quality monitoring, data processing and publication of results, preferably in open data format.

3.      Exceptionally novel and effective Air purifiers (individual or collective air purifying).

4.      Other equipment or advanced processes that contribute to the reduction of air pollution from the following sectors: transport, agriculture, industry, utilities (communal hygiene of public spaces, waste management, etc).

5.      Solutions focused on mitigating/reducing air pollution impact on children. This category also accepts individual proposals, and is particularly intended for young people, university students, and private sector. Solutions proposed under this category (no. 5) need to be aligned with Principles for Digital Development ( adopted by UNICEF, including Open Source Principles (this does not apply to other categories no. 1-4).

The selected proposals, pending the availability of funding, could be offered:

1.      Innovation prize award, for especially well thought-through and mature project idea;

2.      Technical assistance to develop a good idea and find financing on financial or capital market;

3.      Equity co-financing, for exceptionally well designed and prepared ideas, which require minimum engagement from UNDP and which are free from financial, environment or regulatory risk;

In addition to this, UNDP, supported by WHO, and UNICEF, will provide guidance and assistance for further development of the selected proposals, as appropriate, and promote the project outputs as examples of good practices.

The upcoming deadlines are:

Early bird deadline: October 20th, 2020 

2nd phase deadline: November 20th, 2020 

Please read the whole Challenge here, and the application form is available here.