Grand prize of $100k up for grabs in Circular Economy 2030 contest

The winner of the Circular Economy 2030 global sustainability contest launched last week by SAP and Google Cloud will receive over $100 000 in prize money and get to take part in a Google Cloud for Startups’ Bootcamp.

Through the contest, launched last Thursday (28 February), SAP and Google Cloud are seeking revenue-generating ideas that use data analytics and machine learning to power circular economy businesses. Applications close on 17 March.

The term “circular economy” — where consumption and emissions are minimised through such things as recycling, reuse, refurbishing and repair — has gained ground at a global level.

The Global Footprint Network estimates that in 2018 the global demand for resources was 1.7 times more than what the Earth could support. By 2030 it calculates that humans may need two Earths to sustain the current way of life.

The first prize of the Circular Economy 2030 contest includes $100 000 in prize money, while four other finalists will each receive $25 000

In addition, 2015 research by Accenture, estimates that a circular economy that increases social well-being and economic output while fostering a healthy environment could generate $4.5-trillion of new economic output by 2030.

In a statement yesterday (28 February), SAP Africa head of CSR Sunil Geness said urgent action is needed to ensure the world corrects to a more “sustainable path” and achieves the ambitions set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Geness said through its partnership with Google, SAP is hoping the initiative will ignite a “new wave” of innovation among social entrepreneurs, as the two companies search for data-driven and technology-enabled solutions that can help the world “run better” and improve people’s lives.

As part of the Circular Economy 2030 initiative, SAP and Google Cloud are working closely with experts in the fields of circular economy and sustainable development. These include UN Environment, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

Prize pool of $200k

While the Circular Economy 2030 winner will receive $100 000 in prize money, four other finalists will each receive $25 000 in prize money. The finalists will be selected at the Google Cloud Next Conference which takes place between 9 and 11 April in San Francisco.

Thereafter, the finalists will participate in a hackathon on 12 April. Judges will look for original ideas that can benefit any aspect of the global economy.

To be considered for the contest, participants must include in their proposals a viable business model and outline a vision for advancing Sustainable Development Goal number 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). They should also use both SAP and Google Cloud solutions to enable the idea to scale.

Featured image: SAP (Supplied)



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