Adaptation and Resilience Challenge & Accelerator announces winning start-ups
26 April 2022, Amsterdam, Netherlands – EIT Climate-KIC, with support from British International Investment (BII), has piloted the first Adaptation & Resilience Challenge and Accelerator to identify and support promising start-ups providing solutions to the impacts of climate change across Africa and South Asia.
According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investing in climate adaptation is now more urgent than ever. Millions of people around the world are increasingly vulnerable to extreme climate-related hazards, causing enormous hardship for communities and damage to economies.
At the same time, the market for adaptation and resilience solutions is growing at a significant rate. Analysts at Bank of America have predicted the climate adaptation market will double to $2 trillion a year within the next five years.
In response to this need and opportunity, EIT Climate-KIC and British International Investment launched the Adaptation and Resilience Challenge and Accelerator in April 2021, to support nearly 60 innovative start-ups developing solutions to the climate impact challenges affecting communities in developing countries. In this effort, EIT Climate-KIC worked with in-country partners such as local incubators and accelerators.
“British International Investment, formerly known as CDC Group, is committed to scaling up and accelerating private investments in climate adaptation and resilience solutions. This initiative brought to light a wide range of ‘adaptation and resilience start-ups’ with innovative solutions to climate change challenges and attracted the interest of many investors. It has also demonstrated one of the avenues through which BII is strengthening partnerships to address barriers to private investment in climate adaptation and resilience.” – Chiara Trabacchi, Climate Change Manager, British International Investment
Many early stage companies with products and services relevant for building climate resilience lack adequate access to finance and the skills required to bring their offering to market. Therefore, the most promising teams emerging from the programme received prize funding to support their continued development and reach the next stage of maturity; these are:
Adaptation & Resilience Challenge winners:
- 1st place: Drop Access (Kenya) creates portable solar-powered fridges for use in the healthcare industry as well as food storage. Drop Access products include an online application for remote monitoring and sensing, online troubleshooting and data collection.
- 2nd place: Aumsat (India) provides services to locate groundwater resources using Earth Observation Satellites. Their AI-based algorithm combines data from air, land, and water to derive the best possible spot for locating underground water.
- 3rd Place: AquaNurch (India) delivers end-to-end aquaculture solutions to create climate-resilient, sustainable fisheries. Their technology combines data-points from artificial intelligence, big data and IOT with Nature Based Solutions to enhance the ecological restoration of fisheries and reduce water pollution.
Adaptation & Resilience Accelerator winners:
- 1st place: EF Polymer (India) offers sustainable, eco-friendly water retention polymers to farmers, helping the farming sector save water consumption by nearly 40%. Their product is made from bio waste, is 100% biodegradable and is proven to enhance yield and growth of crops.
- 2nd place: Sabon Sake (Ghana) provides climate resilient agriculture solutions such as soil health management and on-demand farm and soil doctors. They work to connect the soils, farmers and community to address the challenges of soil degradation and food insecurity.
- 3rd place: Aabshar (Pakistan) manufactures water tap nozzles that save 98% of water wastage and an estimated 60% off electricity bills. They will also be launching an IOT-based smart water metre.
“The Adaptation and Resilience Challenge has helped a lot in terms of enhancing our knowledge and understanding on how start-ups should adapt to various challenges and thrive in a challenging environment. It helped us in understanding the risks and challenges in a much better way and we were able to find the right direction because of those useful learning sessions.” – Puran Signh Rajput, Co-Founder and COO, EF Polymer.
“In 2021, Aabshar saved 227 million litres of water and impacted 906,000 Pakistani lives. The prize funding will be used to increase the production size to catalyse the water-saving and impact 100,000 lives by the end of 2023.” – Mohammad Hamza Khursheed, Co-founder and CTO, Aabshar.
In the first stage of the Adaptation and Resilience Challenge, 40 eligible start-ups were identified and provided with specialist support via the ClimateLaunchpad programme, the world’s largest climate competition by EIT Climate-KIC. Teams were supported in building their business ideas and preparing a pitch presentation to investors. They also received specialised adaptation and resilience training, helping them to create a viable business model to provide solutions for their customers.
The participating start-ups, representing Egypt, Ghana, Mauritius, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, provide solutions across a variety of sectors, such as;
- Data and finance: Providing information and financing options for understanding climate hazards and adapting and building resilience to them.
- Agriculture: Helping the farming sector plan for different climate-related hazards and associated impacts and introduce resilience-building measures such as improved irrigation systems or more resilient crop varieties.
- Built Environment: Solutions for improving urban cooling and strengthening flood defences.
- Coastal defences: Affordable and flexible defences for storm-surges and preventing increasing salination of coastal land.
- Water management: Improved water efficiency solutions for industry and domestic use.
“Through this pilot programme, we have seen a fantastic range of exciting, innovative adaptation and resilience-building services and products with strong underlying commercial models and potential for scaling. We are looking forward to meeting the start-ups in the 2022 programme.” – Neil Walmsley, Head of International Markets, EIT Climate-KIC.
The second stage of the Adaptation and Resilience Accelerator was delivered from November 2021 through March 2022 by Climate Collective Foundation, an Indian-based accelerator. Sixteen start-ups showing the most promise and at a more mature stage of development were selected for additional technical support, peer-to-peer learning, coaching and thematic adaptation guidance. The aim of this stage was to strengthen their investment readiness and connect them with local and international investors to secure financing for growth.
“It has been amazing to see and support the quality of entrepreneurs and innovation coming out of Africa and South Asia that can truly have a big impact on building our resilience to climate change and environmental degradation that we are facing in nearly every part of our world. We believe that the start-ups supported in the A&R Accelerator will continue to grow in their region, with some perhaps growing beyond to many other parts of the world.” – Pratap Raju, Founding Partner, Climate Collective Foundation
This pilot programme has provided valuable insight into the opportunities for adaptation and resilience businesses in countries around the world. It also highlighted the need for the specialised support required to accelerate climate adaptation solutions at scale.
Looking to the future, EIT Climate-KIC and our partners intend to expand our support for adaptation and resilience businesses in areas of high climate risk, with the 2022 Adaptation and Resilience Accelerator programme launching in the next few months. If you would like to learn more, please contact Sophie White – email@example.com
For more information and key learnings from the programme, please see here.
About EIT Climate-KIC
EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s climate innovation initiative, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon and resilient world by enabling systems transformation. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it operates from 13 hubs across Europe and is active in 39 countries. EIT Climate-KIC was established in 2010 and is predominately funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), it brings together more than 400 partners from business, academia, the public and non-profit sectors to create networks of expertise, through which innovative products, services and systems are developed, brought to market and scaled-up for impact.
For more information visit: climate-kic.org
Follow EIT Climate-KIC on Twitter: @ClimateKIC
The original version of this article was published on 26 April.