For the third time already this year, the innovate4Nature ideas competition of WWF Austria will take place in collaboration with the Impact Hub Vienna. This time, the competition is looking for profit-oriented as well as non-profit ideas from young companies and startups in the field of insect protection.
If you want to find out more about the contest for innovative ideas organized by WWF Austria in collaboration with Impact Hub Vienna, download for free our companion app. The Born2Invest business news application will bring you the latest, breaking news from a trusted global network of journalists. Updated throughout the day, Born2Invest is a professionally curated digest of business, finance, and impact investment news summaries from the most reputable news organizations around the world.
The preservation of biodiversity as the focus of the competition
The focus of the project should be on the preservation of biodiversity and species diversity. In particular, the focus will be on insects and their habitats. From apps to monitor endangered insect species to crowdfunding initiatives for flower strips, many things are conceivable.
The initiators named the following topics as suggestions and orientation for possible submissions:
- Alternatives to pesticide use
- Habitat and soil protection
- Gentle light or lighting solutions
- Organic farming
- Insect-friendly forestry
- Insect-friendly solutions for hydraulic engineering measures and water management
- Insect-promoting measures in tourism and leisure activities
- Insect-friendly “green infrastructure”
- Awareness-raising measures
Why is the preservation of insects so important for the organizers?
According to the WWF, insects are not only pollinators of flowers. They are natural opponents of crop pests, are considered “nature’s garbage disposal” and are also a source of food for many animal species. “Accordingly, they are important for the balance of the ecosystem,” explained Elisa Gramlich, project manager at WWF Austria.
According to a recent survey by the United Nations, up to one million animal and plant species are currently threatened with extinction. One of the reasons for this is shrinking habitats due to the high land consumption of agriculture and forestry. “The loss of biodiversity is, together with climate change, the greatest global environmental threat of our time,” the European Commission stated already in 2011. According to the WWF, biological diversity is currently also massively threatened in Austria.
The cooperation with startups makes a lot of sense for WWF, as it is said: “New solutions and a sustainable transformation of the economy are needed. Start-ups can change the market from within with their innovative ideas,” said the environmental protection organization. It is important to work together with all stakeholders, both politicians, businesses, and consumers. “Everyone must pull together,” said Gramlich.
Projects can be submitted until May 27th
Ideas and projects can be submitted until May 27th, directly on the corresponding website. All individuals and teams from 18 years of age and over with their main residence in Austria are eligible to participate.
The prize is a total of $15,000 (€14,000) in start-up capital and free participation in a start-up program lasting several months, in which the best submissions are accompanied by experts during the development and implementation phase.
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