First-ever Liveability Challenge offers up to S$1m for game-changing urban innovations

First-ever Liveability Challenge offers up to S$1m for game-changing urban innovations
The Liveability Challenge

Singapore, 5 April 2018 — A new global call for innovative solutions to urban waste management and cooling challenges was launched today, with each submission standing the chance to secure up to S$1 million to support their game-changing work. 

Presented by Temasek Foundation Ecosperity and organised by Eco-Business, The Liveability Challenge seeks to uncover viable solutions from all over the world to some of the greatest problems facing cities in the 21st century.

The Challenge is accepting submissions between 5 April and 25 May 2018 through The Liveability Challenge website. Shortlisted teams will get to pitch their projects to a panel of established funders and investors at an exciting event held during the high-profile World Cities Summit in Singapore on 10 July 2018.

To kick off the global search for liveability solutions, a cozy launch event was held at Bar Rouge, Swissôtel The Stamford today where Singapore-based innovators shared their experiences in developing and bringing their solutions for better urban environments to market.

Mr Jason Pomeroy, the Founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio outlined how innovation plays a role in building sustainable cities; Mr Darren Ho, Head of Farmers from Citizen Farm shared his views on feeding the city while Dr Tan Swee Ching, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the National University of Singapore presented his invention of a novel desiccant that improves thermal comfort.

The Challenge was unveiled to a crowd of sustainability experts, business professionals, academics and civil society leaders. Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, said: “The Liveability Challenge is an opportunity for us to bring together the entire ecosystem of innovators, funders, investors, platform providers and professionals and get them excited about finding impactful solutions to make Singapore and the region a more liveable place. We hope to give the talents and innovators a helping hand in advancing their solutions towards eventual successful commercialisation.”

Temasek Foundation Ecosperity champions liveability and sustainability, and supports innovations that can deliver a significant impact to improving the way we live, work and play. The Foundation funds translational research to help researchers produce operational prototypes which can then be developed further into commercial products.

As Asia’s dynamic cities continue to lead global economic growth, its cities are experiencing rapid urbanisation and face growing pressures from explosive population growth and worsening climate change. 

According to the United Nations, 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030 while temperatures could soar up to 6 degrees Celsius higher than before without the global community taking climate action. A hotter climate could increase already-strong demand for cooling technologies, which could, by 2040, take up as much as 40 per cent of Southeast Asia’s electricity demand. The region’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning market is forecasted to reach US$13.63 billion by 2023. 

Meanwhile, economic growth and rising income levels are turning Asian nations into some of the world’s biggest producers and polluters of e-waste and plastics. Singapore alone generated 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste in 2017, while global recycling powerhouse China imported US$3.7 billion or approximately half the world’s plastic waste in 2016, reflecting huge business opportunities in plastic waste management alone. 

“We are living in an age of global markets, social mobility and technological advancement; but also in an era of accelerating climate change, disappearing cultures and public space depletion. Never has there been such an important time to holistically address these issues in the design of our built environment.

I believe that the future lies in an evidence-based design approach that has sustainability and inter-disciplinary practice at its core. Platforms like The Liveability Challenge provide a means of turning theory into practice for the greater good of the natural and man-made environment,“ observed Mr Pomeroy. 

Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business, added: “The need for new solutions to urban challenges has never been more urgent, as countries and cities in Asia continue to grow. We need concrete, scaleable products and solutions that will enable cities to overcome pollution, overcrowding and the poor living conditions that often come with rapid economic development. Through The Liveability Challenge, we want to harness human ingenuity and innovation to chart a new, sustainable and fairer course for development in Singapore and the region.” 

The Liveability Challenge is supported by a host of partners including SGInnovate, Danfoss, FundedHere, the National University of Singapore, and Surbana Jurong. 

For more information about The Liveability Challenge or to submit a project proposal, visit


For other enquiries, please contact:

Hannah Koh
(65) 6250 2335


Behind the scenes


About Temasek Foundation Ecosperity

Temasek Foundation Ecosperity is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports strategic and impact-driven programmes focusing on championing the sustainability of our global ecosystem and the development of innovative solutions to improve liveability. Established in 2016, it aims to bring about enduring solutions, systems and capabilities against environmental, biological and other adversities in Singapore and beyond. Temasek Foundation Ecosperity is a member of the Temasek Family of Foundations.



About Eco-Business

Eco-Business is the leading media company serving Asia Pacific’s clean technology, smart cities, responsible business and sustainable development community. Its platforms include the award-winning site which attracts more than 120,000 high-level visitors every month and a weekly newsletter that is emailed to over 88,000 subscribers. Eco-Business offers a wide range of content and marketing services, including online advertising, custom publications, market research and whitepapers, multimedia production, consultancy, training and high-impact bespoke events catered to deepen discussions on sustainability.


About The Liveability Challenge partners



Danfoss engineers advanced technologies that enable us to build a better, smarter and more efficient tomorrow. In the world’s growing cities, we ensure the supply of fresh food and optimal comfort in our homes and offices, while meeting the need for energy efficient infrastructure, connected systems and integrated renewable energy. Our solutions are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. Our innovative engineering dates back to 1933 and today Danfoss holds market-leading positions, across the Asia Pacific region, with 14 sales offices in 10 countries and with more than 100 partners joining forces to engineer the dreams of tomorrow – today. 



FundedHere is the first registered equity and lending-based crowdfunding platform for promising businesses in Asia, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. FundedHere has built an ecosystem for both investors and businesses, leveraging on Singapore as a springboard for the rest of Asia.



A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. NUS has 17 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multidisciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives. NUS also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.   

NUS takes an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to research, working with partners from industry, government and academia, to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in NUS’ Schools and Faculties, 30 university-level research institutes and centres, and Research Centres of Excellence cover a wide range of themes including: energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems. The University’s latest research focus is to use data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative. For more information on NUS, please visit



At SGInnovate, we believe that Singapore has all the resources and capabilities needed to tackle ‘hard problems’ that matter to people around the world. As a part of the robust startup ecosystem here, our mission is to enable ambitious and capable individuals and teams to imagine, start, build, and scale globally-relevant technologies. With

the support of our partners, SGinnovate’s priority is to work with deeply-technical founders that have research originated IP at the core of their company. We back these entrepreneurs through equity-based investments, access to talent, and support in building customer traction. We are prioritising our efforts around Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Blockchain. These technologies represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges. SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government.



Surbana Jurong Private Limited (SJ) is one of the largest Asia-based urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firms. Leveraging technology and creativity, SJ provides one-stop consultancy solutions across the entire value chain of the urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure domains. Headquartered in Singapore, the SJ Group has a global workforce of 13,000 employees in 113 offices across 44 countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and an annual turnover of around S$1.3 billion. 

SJ has a track record of over 50 years, and has built more than a million homes in Singapore, crafted master plans for more than 30 countries and developed over 50 industrial parks globally. SJ’s motto ‘Building Cities, Shaping Lives’ reflects its belief that development is more than just steel and concrete. SJ creates spaces and infrastructure services where people live, work and play, shaping cities into homes with sustainable jobs where communities and businesses can flourish.


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