The Bulgarian capital Sofia is looking to attract innovative solutions from the global clean-tech community to help solve air pollution problems. Entrepreneurs are invited to participate in an EIT Climate-KIC supported “Urban Challenges” pitch event, at the high-level SOFAIR European conference on air quality, on October 12-13, 2017.
Sofia is looking for solutions in transport and mobility, energy use and retrofit solutions. Start-ups, SMEs and innovators working in large organizations are invited to submit their solutions to the city’s air quality and emissions challenges by September 15 2017. Successful applicants will be invited to present their ideas to senior city officials at a pitch event in October.
Sofia suffers from air pollution just like many other cities around the globe and the situation is made worse by the fact that the city is located in a valley, surrounded by mountains to the north and south with little wind which means air pollution is heavy for long periods. The main causes of pollution are solid fuels, mainly wood and coal for heating in winter, as well as heavy traffic and old passenger vehicles.
The city authorities want to motivate people to change their habits and drive less and change from wood and coal for heating to other energy sources. The organizers of the competition also want retrofit solutions for buildings and cars to filter some of the pollution.
EIT Climate-KIC’s Urban Challenges Program
The Sofia Urban Challenge is one of seven “Urban Challenges” projects from cities around Europe (Copenhagen, Ferrara, Malmö, Paris, Sofia, Rimini and Trento) aimed at addressing a wide number of innovation challenges ranging from improving nature-based solutions in district planning, mobility, digitialization and local renewable energy sources and projects.
The Urban Challenges program helps cities to define the challenges they face, connect with entrepreneurs who are capable of solving these challenges and identifying the most promising solutions at a competitive open innovation pitch event.