EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Digital launch FedEx-sponsored Climate Impact Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Digital have announced an open call for submissions in the first edition of the Sustainable Cities Climate Impact Challenge. Made possible via a charitable grant from express transportation provider, FedEx, applicants are invited to request seed funding, to implement solutions that accelerate the transition of EU cities towards cleaner, greener, and smarter mobility.

City councils, municipalities or local authorities in the EU Member States, Horizon Europe associated countries, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, are all eligible to submit proposals. Together, Climate-KIC and EIT Digital will review submissions and select two or three innovative projects that seek to decarbonise transport in European cities and accelerate the uptake of sustainable mobility solutions. Proposals should specifically align with Europe’s climate agenda, including the EU Mission 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 and will be evaluated based on their potential for impact, learning and replicability. Seed grants of between $50,000 and $75,000 will be passed on by EIT Digital to support pilot projects or programmes of work with start-ups, small businesses or non-governmental organisations that are developing innovative solutions to overcome specific mobility challenges.

“Asking cities to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 demands pushing the boundaries with businesses, supply chains, logistics and infrastructure, finance partners, policy makers and city governments simultaneously – working together to make innovation more effective at scale,” said Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC.

As more European cities pledge to rapidly cut carbon emissions, the decarbonisation of transport plays a crucial role in the transition to a net-zero carbon society.  Driving Europe’s climate and digital transitions, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Digital are uniquely positioned to help cities develop and implement innovative projects shaping the sustainable design of future urban centres.

“Digital technology will play an essential role in decarbonising our cities. Progressive digital solutions will help to make mobility and transport sustainable and improve the quality of life for our citizens. EIT Digital is thrilled to have this support from FedEx and a close collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC, to identify projects in European cities that can serve as an example for global cities of the future,” said Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital.

“FedEx has a long history of collaborating with non-profits and providing funding to projects that help to deliver safer, more accessible, and more sustainable transport. While we remain focused operationally on both safety and sustainability in our network, our charitable giving platform, FedEx Cares, allows us to collaborate with charity organisations and cities seeking to promote sustainable mobility more broadly. This contribution will help to implement projects that will improve the liveability of European cities and allow us to support transport decarbonisation beyond our own business,” said Vinay D’Souza, Senior Vice President Planning and Engineering, FedEx Express Europe.

The transport provider announced its own plan to achieve global carbon-neutral operations in March 2021 including an initial $2bn investment in electrification of its FedEx Express pick up and delivery fleet, upscaling use of renewable energy, and advancing scientific solutions to sequester hard-to-abate carbon emissions – such as those generated by aviation.

The call for applications remains open until 20 November 2022 via EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Digital.

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.

About EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation supporting the creation of a strong digital Europe. We believe in making and shaping a competitive digital Europe that is inclusive, fair and sustainable, and aim at global impact through European innovation fueled by entrepreneurial talent and digital technology.

We embody the future of innovation by mobilizing a pan-European multi-stakeholder open-innovation ecosystem of top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities, and research institutes, where students, researchers, engineers, business developers and investors address the technology, talent, skills, business, and capital needs of digital entrepreneurship.

We build the next generation of digital ventures, digital products and services, and breed digital entrepreneurial talent, helping business and entrepreneurs to be at the frontier of digital innovation by providing them with technology, talent, and growth support.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business services. With annual revenue of $95 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively, and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its nearly 550,000 employees to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit about.fedex.com.