1. What are the goals of the WWF-Canada Generation Water Tech Challenge?
WWF-Canada is seeking bold, innovative and transformative ideas to help achieve our vision of seeing all of Canada’s fresh water in good condition. Our Watershed Reports identified two priority problems for Canada’s fresh water: high threats to urban watersheds and missing data across the country. It’s time to move beyond good ideas to tangible solutions that will have meaningful impact for water.
We are looking for technology-enabled solutions using hardware and/or software to achieve conservation outcomes around 2 problem briefs (solutions can address one or both problem briefs):
- How might we reduce the impacts of urban communities on our fresh water, allowing people and nature to thrive together?
- How might we revolutionize our approach to water data to empower decision making?
By providing support through our awards to the winners of the Challenge, our goal is that eventually these technologies will be used at scale to see improvements in the scores of our Watershed Reports.
2. How will my submission be evaluated?
Our review committee involves experts from the conservation and innovation communities. After an initial eligibility screening, proposals will be evaluated based on:
- Alignment with WWF-Canada’s goals
- Ecological and social responsibility
- Impact on freshwater health and or data
- Scalability of the solution
- Feasibility of implementing the solution
- Innovative and novel technology or approach
- Openness and accessibility of the solution, including sharing knowledge and key learnings
3. Is the Generation Water Tech Challenge available in French?
Unfortunately, the Challenge is not completely bilingual. Where possible, the content is available in French, however the User Profile registration process and online Submission Form are only available in English. If you would prefer to make your submission in French, please contact us and we will provide a French Submission Form. If you are selected as a Finalist, the presentation to the Expert Committee must be done in English.
Furthermore, the Climate Ventures: Earth Tech program is conducted in English. Some French services may be provided to our Award Recipients during the course of the program, but the ability to speak and write in English is required for participation. Our hope is that future WWF-Canada Challenges will be bilingual.
4. Can I talk to someone at WWF-Canada to learn more about the Watershed Reports of about the Generation Water Tech Challenge?
Sure! If you have any questions, send us a message and we’ll get in touch.
5. Can I submit more than one idea?
Individuals can only enter one Submission, however, you can be listed as a team member on multiple Submissions. Keep in mind that Award Recipients will need to be available to participate in the Climate Ventures: Earth Tech program, so it is unlikely that two ideas from the same person will be selected as Award Recipients.
6. Does my solution need to address both problem briefs?
No. Your solution only needs to address one problem brief, although if it touches on both, great!
7. Innovative vs. invention?
When we talk about innovation, we don’t necessarily mean that you’ve invented something new. There are many opportunities to use existing technologies in new and innovative ways. To be eligible for this Challenge, you do not need to have created a completely new product (although if you have, that’s pretty cool too!) We will also be considering those submissions which find a novel approach to using existing technologies to solve freshwater issues.
There are several stages involved in taking a good idea and bringing it up to scale. They can be categorized as:
- Ideation: An entrepreneur has an idea. This phase includes initial market and technology exploration.
- Discovery: In this phase the value proposition of the venture is established, ideas are tested, a proof of concept is achieved, and customers are identified. This phase also involves early financials
- Validation: During this phase, a business model established, there is a minimum viable product, and customers are verified. There may be some initial orders and the testing of a go-to-market strategy.
- Efficiency: This phase starts to see initial market traction. Forecasts begin being based on actuals. There is a transition to scaling sale and marketing and demand creation.
- Scale: In the final phase, there is a validated product and market, customer growth and an established management team
For our challenge, we are prioritizing solutions in the discovery to validation phases. We will also accept those in the ideation phase, however, we will be looking for a demonstrated commitment to the project from the project lead and/or team.
9. If I'm selected as an Award Recipient, do I have to participate in the Climate Ventures: Earth Tech program? Can I just have the grant?
The goal of this program is to see the technologies identified through the Generation Water Tech Challenge used at scale to see improvements in the scores of our Watershed Reports. Therefore, participation in the Climate Ventures: Earth Tech program by 1-2 people per application is mandatory to receive the award funding. Applicants must be available to participate from January to July 2020.
10. I don't live in Toronto; how can I participate in the Climate Ventures: Earth Tech program?
We want applicants and award recipients from all over Canada! So, this being a tech challenge, we’ll use technology! Mentorship and coaching sessions will happen via video conferencing software. Where possible, CSI will leverage their network to find co-working space for winning teams outside of Toronto. Travel costs to participate in the in-person Demo night will be covered for 1-2 participants per winning team.
11. Do I maintain ownership of my Intellectual Property?
Yes, all participants retain ownership of all rights, including intellectual property rights for project submitted to the Generation Energy Challenge. Keep in mind, as intention of this challenge is to create real-world solutions to Canada’s water issues, the open-source and accessible nature of the solution will be considered when evaluating proposals.