Innovation competition: deadline extended


The Institute for Sustainability has extended the deadline for its latest innovation competition, run in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC).

The challenge-led competition aims to find solutions to help some of the UK's biggest commercial and retail property owners and investors reduce the environmental impact of buildings.

Although the institute has received a number of strong entries, the closing date has been extended to give organisations expressing interest more time to apply.

The deadline for submissions is now Friday March 21.

The institute is looking for market-ready and close-to-market solutions to two real-world challenges, one of which, developed by partner Sainsbury's, is for innovative photovoltaic solutions suitable for use on its properties.

Sainsbury's aims to be the UK's greenest grocer and has committed to reaching 20 ambitious goals by 2020 to help customers make more nutritious, sustainable and ethical purchasing decisions.

The 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan is Sainsbury's roadmap to make this vision a reality and includes plans to ensure all UK stores perform as sustainably as possible.

Shortlisted solutions will be selected to pitch their innovation to Sainsbury's, which could result in an opportunity to demonstrate solutions in situ.

Shortlisted solutions will also be invited to participate in roundtable discussions with those making buying decisions and managing some of the UK's largest property portfolios.

There is the opportunity to access a network of large potential innovation buyers – profiled on the iVeridis database where buyers of clean technology are actively looking for solutions.

And there is also the chance to forge new contacts through access to the Climate-KIC community's Europe-wide innovation network.

The chief executive of the Institute for Sustainability, Ian Short, said: "The relative immaturity of the climate change mitigation and adaptation market can slow the take-up of innovative products, with many organisations concerned about potential risk and return on investment.

"Alongside this, many innovation support initiatives tend to start with a focus on the technology or product, rather than identifying the needs of the demand side in the first instance.

"By working closely with potential buyers to understand their requirements better, we hope to stimulate suppliers, innovators and researchers to respond with innovations that solve real-world challenges."

Submissions from individuals, sole traders, SMEs, and research and academic institutes are particularly encouraged for the challenge.

For more information and to enter visit