UK-India Social Innovation Challenge

UK-India Social Innovation Challenge 2017: Clean water and sanitation

The UK India Social Entrepreneurship Education Network (UKISEEN) launches its first competition to find, fund and support innovative and sustainable solutions that provide clean water and sanitation.

The competition is open to all students and faculty at universities throughout the UK and India.

Top 3 projects in the UK-India Social Innovation Challenge:

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The 1st place submission will receive corporate mentorship for 6 months.

Download Guidelines

Opportunity Areas:

The UKISEEN SIC is challenging participants to create hard impact through one of the following challenges

Despite progress made, an estimated 663 million people were still using unimproved or surface water sources in 2015. Furthermore, improved water sources are not necessarily safe. A 2012 estimate suggests 1.8 billion people were exposed to drinking water sources contaminated with faecal matter. There is much progress still to be made in ensuring universal, equitable, safe and affordable access to drinking water.

2.4 billion people did not use an improved sanitation facility in 2015. 946 million people did not have access to any facilities at all. While wastewater and faecal waste management solutions are important, the overall goal requires a broad range of work, particularly regarding the hygiene needs of women and girls.

Water contamination can quite simply be fatal. However, before that extreme, there are a long list of effects that poor water quality can have on a population, all of which limit the potential of that demographic. Improving water quality, whether through a reduction in contamination or effective treatment of the water, stands to have a huge impact on many communities around the world.

A key way to reduce water stress is to reduce total water use by the end user. In some instances, reducing water use may require 'lifestyle change' for the end user, however, there is scope to use new technologies and methodologies to reduce water use without restricting the end user.

At some point, our water comes from a natural source. Whether it's extracted from an aquifer or a river, the quality of that source has a direct impact on the quality of our water.

Furthermore, water quality directly impacts other sectors vital for humanity, such as fisheries, agriculture, etc. Much work needs to be done in the fields of faecal contamination, industrial pollution and even sedimentation as a result of deforestation along with many other issues.

Many communities throughout the world are poorly placed to benefit from the interventions of government or other higher institutions. In these areas in particular, 'grassroots' approaches to the issues of clean water and sanitation which are focused on the participation of the local community can have far greater impact and achieve long term sustainability.

Joining the challenge is very easy:
1. Open the submission website at THIS LINK
2. Create your Account
3. Once in the Community: open the tab PROJECTS and click on CREATE NEW.

To submit your social business idea: you will have to complete the strategy template. You have until February 24th to complete all the topics and get as much feedback as possible from friends and supporters. For more info about how to use the submission platform: please check out the USER GUIDE. Following a selection period, if you are shortlisted as one of the top 10, then you will have to create a 5-minute video detailing your solution. These videos will be used to determine the top 3 proposals.

In recognition of your efforts, cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 submissions: £1,500, £1,000 and £500 for 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd place respectively. The 1 st place submission will receive corporate mentorship for 6 months.

The UK-India Social Innovation Challenge Series is a collaboration between the Social Impact Lab, at the University of Southampton in the UK, and the Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, based in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India, the open innovation platform Babele, the British Council and the Chamber of Indian Industry

The network aims to promote collaboration and best practice sharing in social entrepreneurship between the UK and India. The network uses the latest digital technology to catalyse the flow of talent, technology and ideas between the two countries.

Any current university student from any year of study or discipline from the UK or India is eligible to engage in this competition.

Students may take part in a team or as an individual.

  • 17th of January: competition opens
  • 24th of February: competition closes
  • 3rd of March: shortlist of top 10 entries to be announced
  • 8th of March: videos submitted by top 10
  • 13th of March: winning applicants announced
  1. Innovation: World changing solutions require radical thinking. Whether it is a small change in an existing process or an entirely new solution, how have you innovated?
  2. Sustainability: It is one thing to create impact. It is another to create self- sustaining impact through financial viability. How will you sustain your venture in the long term?
  3. Understanding the Problem Area: With the goal of creating real impact, understanding the problem area is crucial. How well do you understand the problem landscape for your proposal?