Tech for our planet challenge programme

Digital solutions for climate challenges

The Tech For Our Planet challenge programme is an exciting new opportunity for startups to pilot technology that will help us reach our net zero targets. The best startups will have the chance to showcase their solutions on the international stage at COP26.

Tech For Our Planet is looking for innovators who are providing key digital and data technology solutions to tackle important climate challenges. If this is you, apply now to be in with a chance to pilot and pitch your solution. Applications will close June 25th.

This challenge programme is an initiative run in partnership between the Cabinet Office and PUBLIC to explore and showcase how digital and data solutions can make a major and essential contribution to the global climate effort.

Why should you apply?

Rapid Piloting Opportunities

Successful companies will work with external partners on rapid pilots to demonstrate the value of their technology in advance of COP26. We will provide in-kind support for competition winners, including industry introductions and mentorship to ensure the pilots are as relevant as possible to government priorities

Showcase at COP26

The programme will culminate with each company presenting their pilot, and the potential of their technology on stage at COP26.

Looking to the future, innovators will work with HMG on bringing solutions to market and creating a legacy towards COP27 and beyond, that will expand to include hardware and engineering solutions


Challenge 1: In our Homes

How can we use technology to drive behavioural change and more sustainable consumption habits in our homes?

This challenge invites companies to pilot solutions using technology to support individuals, families and homes to build more sustainable habits at home by becoming more mindful of their energy consumption, emissions, resource usage and waste management.

Solutions could cover:

  • Behavioural science, gamification and pre-commitment
  • Social communities and groups
  • Promoting the visibility of consumption & sustainability data
  • Reducing barriers to sustainable consumption
  • Incentivising sustainable transport habits from the home
Challenge 2: On our Plate

How can we use technology to promote more sustainable land use and waste management practices on our farms?

This challenge invites companies to explore how data, AI and digital technology can support more sustainable farming methods and waste management on farms in the UK and abroad.

Solutions could cover:

  • Platforms and marketplaces for connecting waste/suppliers with buyers/consumers
  • Satellite imaging and other GIS data
  • Predictive analytics for crop rotation and other land management practices
  • Data to measure land conservation and nature-based solutions
Challenge 3: Thinking Smart

How can we better capture and share energy consumption data across the grid?

This challenge invites companies to capture and share energy data across the entire grid, from buildings to homes, to Vehicles, to EV charging, and to use this data in the future to better predict, and manage, energy consumption.

Solutions could cover:

  • Supply-demand forecasting, and other dynamic response enablers
  • Energy performance of buildings and other assets
  • Micro-mobility and EV charging data
  • Air pollution and quality data, including connecting to the wider system
  • IoT and sensors across the grid
Challenge 4: Engaging Communities

How can we use technology to allow local and international communities to have their say on climate priorities and initiatives?

This challenge invites companies to explore the ways that technology can facilitate international climate discussion as governments and citizens, including local and indigenous communities in affected nations, work together to democratically implement interventions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects.

Solutions could cover:

  • Forums for direct discussion and democratic processes
  • Platforms to support indigenous and local communities to engage in policy and legal processes
  • Submitting and voting on ideas and projects
  • Participatory budgeting and planning
  • International-level discussions and debates
Challenge 5: Green Finance

How can we use technology to make financial services greener?

This challenge invites companies to work closely with relevant financial institution partners, such as international investment banks, pension funds, development banks, and VC investors to pilot new approaches for promoting greater environmental sustainability in investment activities.

Solutions could cover:

  • Tracking sustainability across investment supply chains
  • Using geospatial data to assess the environmental impact
  • Green consumer investor products
  • Investor and consumer products optimised to capitalize on nature-based solutions
  • Mechanisms to capture the monetary value of natural assets and ecosystem services
  • Energy and carbon marketplaces and trading platforms
Challenge 6: For our Water

How can we use technology to support aquatic ecosystem protection, including ecosystem recovery, and preventing biodiversity loss?

This challenge invites companies to explore how technology can be used to monitor the status of marine ecosystems using multiple data sources, as well as techniques to protect and recover at-threat ecosystems where they are identified.

Solutions could cover:

  • Seabed, riverbed and ecosystem mapping and monitoring
  • Autonomous vehicles and drones for data collection
  • Water supply innovation
  • Tech to facilitate, monitor and amplify the impact of existing nature-based solutions to marine conservation
  • Tech to support identifying and removing pollution and microplastics that harm aquatic environments
  • Tech to monitor restoration efforts for lost or damaged ecosystems like coral reefs and mangroves

Programme Phases

  1. Recruitment 
    May 12th – June 25th
    Innovators have six weeks to submit their application on the challenge portal
  1. Selection
    June 25th – July 30th
    Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview
    Selected startups will be announced at the end of July
  1. Rapid Pilots
    August 1st – October 30th
    Once the companies are selected, they will work with external partners on rapid pilots to demonstrate the value of the technology in advance of COP26
  1. Showcase at COP26
    November 1st – 12th
    As a culmination of the programme, each company will present their pilot and the potential on an international stage at COP26
  1. Legacy
    Looking to the future, innovators will work with HMG on bringing solutions to market and creating a legacy towards COP27 and beyond.

Our goals:

  • Convene industry, investors, and more to develop and pilot innovative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges to bring net zero visions to life
  • Inspire hope among communities to encourage behaviour change and a new generation of climate innovators
  • Showcase the best of entrepreneurship and create export opportunities for cutting-edge companies
  • Encourage innovative technologies to tackle key climate challenges identified, for a better future in the UK and around the globe


June 25, 2021
Program dates Jun 25 - Nov 12, 2021
Organizer COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference
Website Visit website
Africa, Antarctica Region, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Europe, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Northern America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Sectors Environmental services, Clean technology and energy, EdTech, HealthTech, ICT
SDG (1)
13. Climate Action