Global Call for Innovative Solutions in Cleantech and Sustainable Land Management


Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of our time: Its adverse effects require the rapid reduction of existing emission levels as well as the prevention of further emissions growth in rapidly developing regions. Only a combination of both approaches will allow us to achieve the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. New technologies do not only play a significant role for climate change mitigation and adaptation, they also offer opportunities for more sustainable ways of development. Investments in these technologies and their application in developing countries and economies in transition will be a catalyzer for the achievement of the SDGs. An important pathway to limit climate change lies in the transformation of the global energy sector from fossil-based to zero-carbon. Another pathway lies in sustainable land management, offering potential to reduce emissions, sequester carbon and increase resilience. Constant innovation and new technologies in cleantech and sustainable land management are urgently needed.

The Global Call is aimed at identifying “innovative solutions in cleantech and sustainable land management”. Its objective is to identify readily deployable and scalable solutions to address the adverse effects of climate change and ultimately contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Initiated by the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Germany in close collaboration with a leading German Think Tank, Future Cleantech Architects (FCA), the Global Call is being implemented by UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion (ITP) Network with its nine ITPOs around the world and in collaboration with other UN organizations, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Objectives of the Contest

The Global Call has the objective to identify and promote innovative technologies from the private sector in cleantech and sustainable land management, to address the adverse effects of climate change and ultimately contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Priority will be given to applications from the following strategic categories, including solutions for:

Innovative solutions for decarbonizing growing urban environments by addressing the demands and distribution of water, agricultural, energy, mobility and other resources, as well as solutions for areas that are vulnerable to climate change (e.g. coastal areas)

Innovative solutions for generating and distributing energy in a clean and smart way, especially affordable and decentralized renewable energy solutions that are applicable in developing countries

Innovative solutions related to the re-use, re-cycling and re-manufacturing of resources, as well as energy and process efficiency solutions and smart approaches for more climate-cautious consumption

Innovative solutions for productive lands, including new technologies and approaches to production with a demonstrable positive contribution to soil health, land rehabilitation and combating desertification.

Read more about the definition of the 4 categories here.

The Global Call seeks to identify solutions that have the potential to be scaled and have a significant impact. The award will strengthen the international fight against climate change through the promotion of innovative technologies in cleantech and sustainable land management.

A maximum of twelve winners will be given the opportunity to present their innovative solution to a large audience during the Global Call award ceremony and will benefit from ad hoc promotional and networking support provided by the organization.

Applications had to be submitted between 1 July and 2 August 2021.
Winners will be contacted in September, following the evaluation period.
The Award Ceremony will be held as a hybrid event in Remscheid, Germany and via live stream on 26 October 2021.

For any clarification or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us:

  • Admissible Candidates/ Submission of Applications
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • The Jury
  • Rewards and Award Ceremony
  • The call is addressed to private sector entities (micro, small, medium, and large companies & startups) in line with the above-mentioned categories and below sub-categories:

    1. Technological solutions in the early stage (technologies at an advanced stage of R&D ready for implementation, these solutions have verified data from testing)

    2. Technological solutions in the growth stage (solutions that have already been piloted with verified data at a replicable scale and that have a demonstrated Proof Of Concept (POC))

    3. Mature technological solutions (technologies that are demonstrably established on the market and are aiming at the expansion to new markets)

    Each candidate can submit a maximum of two applications. A larger submission of proposals would lead to the exclusion of extra applications based on the order in which they are received.

    Regard is to be given to submissions of women-led/owned businesses or companies offering products and services benefiting women and youth, considering that women are disproportionately affected by climate change. 

    During the submission phase, applicants are asked to provide personal and non-personal information. This information is collected only with the user’s knowledge and permission, and it is kept in the JotForm Inc. websites, outside UNIDO systems. Personal data will be used by UNIDO and FCA for internal audit purposes and for sending communications by email about the Global Call initiative. Personal and non-personal data will not be made available to third parties without previous authorization of the applicant except for the review of the application by the jury members. Participants will be asked to accept the Global Call terms and conditions.

    Participation in the competition is free of charge.

  • Proposals are required to meet a set of minimum eligibility criteria to be able to be considered for evaluation. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    a) In case of early-stage proposals, the applicant should submit a clear timeline of activities up to finalization of the proposal, and effectively be available and achievable within a time frame.

    b) Each individual submission should clearly state the focus area by selecting the most applicable category in the application form.

    c) The description of the intervention should not be written in a promotional tone, but use neutral, factual language.

  • The eligible proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

    a) Innovative content of the proposal (30% of weighted vote)

    b) Potential contribution to international climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and environmental sustainability (25% of weighted vote)

    c) Proven applicability, scalability and possibility of expansion to different geographical and socioeconomic contexts (20% of weighted vote)

    d) Economic and social long-term sustainability (15% of weighted vote)

    e) Expected occupational return (job creation and income generation potential) (10% of weighted vote)

  • The jury will conduct the evaluation and rating of applications according to eligibility and technical criteria, and the ultimate selection of the best innovative technologies and ideas in the context of this competition. The jury is to be comprised of independent experts in the areas of cleantech and sustainable land management from UNIDO, UNFCCC, UNCCD, potential partner organizations and their respective networks.

    The members of the jury of this year’s Global Call are:

    • Ms. Louise Baker, Managing Director, Global Mechanism, UNCCD
    • Mr. Andrea Camponogara, TEC Liaison Officer, Technology Sub-division, UNFCCC
    • Mr. Alois Mhlanga, Chief, Climate Technology and Innovations Division, UNIDO
    • Ms. Abimbola Olufore, Head of UNIDO ITPO Nigeria
    • Mr. Rolf Steltemeier, Head of UNIDO ITPO Germany
    • Ms. Xiaolei Zhao, Head of UNIDO ITPO Shanghai

  • The Award Ceremony will be held on 26 October. The UNIDO Global Call 2021 award winners will present their innovative ideas and technologies as guests of honor directly to a multi-stakeholder audience. Speakers at the Award Ceremony include representatives from UNIDO, UNCCD and UNFCCC. The event will be moderated by UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office Germany (ITPO Germany) and Future Cleantech Architects.

    More information and registration: