Innovation Challenge Design Bengaluru

The Challenge is a project of the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago and the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka

Local Innovation For A Better Environment

The Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago is joining with the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka to launch Bengaluru Innovation Challenge. The Challenge will tap grassroots creativity and expertise to identify innovative ideas for addressing the most pressing environmental and energy challenges in Bengaluru.

The the winners will receive funding support (up to Rs. 1.5 crores over two years) to test and evaluate their ideas in the field, with guidance and input from the Government of Karnataka and leading faculty at the University of Chicago. If successful, the ideas could become policy solutions the government could implement at a large scale, and may provide an important model for other cities to follow.

The Tata Centre for Development is generously supported by Tata Trusts. 

Current Stage: Challenge Announcement

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    Challenge Announcement
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    Submission Deadline - April 6

Application Process

Organizations, agencies, students, researchers, and practitioners across India with promising programs or interventions aimed at solving Bengaluru’s urgent energy and environmental problems are encouraged to apply.

Ideas are solicited in the broad area of energy and environment, with special attention to these focus areas:

  1. Reduce air pollution;
  2. Enhance traffic management;
  3. Improve waste management;
  4. Encourage water conservation;
  5. Provide drinking water and sanitation solutions;
  6. Incentivize energy efficiency; and/or
  7. Facilitate decentralized energy solutions.

The applicants must demonstrate that they have the capacity to implement the proposed intervention and be willing to work with the University of Chicago to rigorously evaluate it. It is strongly suggested that the applicant is: an organization based in India; has been in existence for at least two years, and if invited to submit a full proposal, is able to produce audited financial reports for the last two years.

Although letters of interest are invited from across India, this Innovation Challenge seeks promising ideas that can be implemented in the city of Bengaluru.

Those interested in applying should send Letters of Interest to by April 6th, 2018.

Letters of Interest (max. of three pages) should include:

  1. A description of the proposed intervention;
  2. An explanation of how the intervention will address the problem and have transformational impact;
  3. A detailed plan for implementation;
  4. A methodology to evaluate the impact of the proposal;
  5. An estimated project timeline;
  6. An estimate of the overall annual project cost to conduct the intervention;
  7. Partners and assistance needed from the Karnataka Government (if applicable); and
  8. A list of agencies and organizations that would partner in the intervention (if applicable

More information on the Letter of Interest can be found here.

Applicants will be notified via email on May 18th, 2018, about whether they have been selected to submit a full proposal.

February 7, 2018      Launch of Innovation Challenge; Request for letters of Interest announced

April 6, 2018             Letter of Interest due

May 18, 2018            Full proposals invited

June 20, 2018           Full proposal due from selected applicants

September 2018       Winners announced



The Challenge is a project of the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago and the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka, in partnership with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India) and UChicago Energy and Environment Lab.

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