Clean air and emission abatement solutions wanted for Bulgaria

The EU’s most polluted capital, Sofia, Bulgaria, is looking for innovative solutions from the global cleantech community. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply to participate in a Climate-KIC supported ‘Urban Challenges’ pitch event, taking place at the high-level SOFAIR European conference on air quality, from 12 to 13 October 2017. Start-ups, SMEs and innovators in larger organisations can apply by 15 September 2017 with their solutions to address the city’s air quality and emissions challenges. Successful applicants will be able to present their ideas to senior city stakeholders at the October conference in the Bulgarian capital.

The problem

As in many other cities around the globe, the air over Sofia is polluted with fine particles. The situation is aggravated by the city’s geographic location in a valley, surrounded by mountains to the north and south, leaving the polluted air lingering over the city for prolonged periods of time. The main contributing factors are the domestic use of solid fuels (especially in winter time) as well as the heavy traffic of old private vehicles and lack of wind due to the topography of the region.

Solutions are sought in the following areas:

The two main contributing factors to air pollution in Sofia are the growing number of old private vehicles on the street and the domestic burning of wood and coal.

#1 Transport and mobility

We are looking for ways to motivate behavioural change in people so that they use their cars less often.

#2 Energy use

The central issue to address here is the domestic burning of wood and coal. How can people be encouraged to shift from one energy source to another?

#3 Retrofit solutions

Additionally, we want to explore retrofit solutions for buildings and cars that would help capture some of the pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere.

Who can apply?

Applicants may be start-ups, spin offs and/or SMEs that offer effective and innovative solutions minimizing air pollution in urban areas. The solutions should fall within the three main areas mentioned: transport and mobility; energy use and retrofit solutions. It will be an advantage if the proposed solutions have already been implemented in other cities.

Apply here:

What will happen next

An expert jury will select promising start-ups with their innovations, which will be invited to participate in a pitch event in Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior the event, a pitch bootcamp will be held to prepare the participants for their final presentations.

Climate-KIC’s Urban Challenges Programme

The Sofia Urban Challenge is one of seven ‘Urban Challenges’ projects from cities around Europe (Copenhagen, Ferrara, Malmö, Paris, Sofia, Rimini and Trento) to address a wide number of innovation challenges ranging from improving nature-based solutions in district plans, mobility, digitisation and local renewable energies.

Our Urban Challenges programme helps cities to define the challenges they face, connect with entrepreneurs able to solve these challenges and identify the most promising solutions at a competitive open innovation pitch event.