Silicon Valley-based Singularity University is launching its Global Impact Challenge in Portugal, and the winner will go on to the university’s incubator program.

The deadline to apply to the Global Impact Challenge supported by the Câmara Municipal de Cascais is February 6 and the winner will be chosen on February 26.

The objective of SingularityU Global Impact Challenges is to spur moonshot innovations to solve world’s greatest global challenges—energy, environment, food, shelter, space, water, disaster resilience, governance, health, learning, prosperity, and security—by using exponential technology. Moonshot innovations are defined by SU as those that will impact 1 billion people within 10 years.

These innovations should be focused on three particular global challenges that currently have great impact on our planet. Those are:

  • Governance – Ideas on innovative societal and organizational governance models and how technologies can promote a better governance on Portuguese companies, cities, and in the country as a whole.
  • Learning – Ideas on how the Portuguese education system should evolve in order to be more adapted to the reality of this century (today’s educational systems were built for Industrial Age), to the environment outside schools, and to empower students since an early age.
  • Environment – Ideas on how Portugal can prevent fires, fight them more efficiently, and prevent and/or manage the drought, as it currently has a great national impact.

Ricardo Marvão

“The purpose of this project is to foster ideas that positively impact the lives of people, can scale and have a worldwide impact through an intensive 10-week program, designed to transform exponential ideas into viable startups. What groundbreaking innovation would you develop to solve a global challenge on governance or learning or environment, using exponential technologies that would impact all our lives? That’s the kind of questions we want to solve,” said Ricardo Marvão, Managing Director of SU Portugal GIC, Co-founder & Chief Education Officer at Beta-i.

According to a Singularity University press release:

Portugal is a country of dreamers and conquerors, proud of being the birthplace of the first world explorers. This spirit of unsettling desire for growth and development lives until today through the search for innovation and it has led Portugal to be recognized as a major entrepreneurial ecosystem.

On the other hand, Portugal is currently facing significant challenges that deserve our attention and, above all, our ideas. We believe that we have the talent, drive, dedication and opportunity to create the change we need. Therefore, let’s rise to the occasion and showcase our innovative ideas to humanity’s biggest challenges and create solutions for millions of people in Portugal and beyond.

“Cascais has many ambitions in this field, especially in a year in which we will be the European Capital of Youth. Our vision is that all of these players will find in Cascais the ideal place to grow and nurture talent, ideas, and who knows, create new businesses. We want to continue developing Cascais as a new hub for education and knowledge and we believe in the impact that innovation and digitalisation can bring to a village with the distinct characteristics of Cascais, making it the ideal place to test new concepts in the context of large urban centres,” said Carlos Carreiras, mayor of Câmara Municipal de Cascais.

The SU Ventures Incubator provides the platform, network, structure, and guidance that equips these leaders with the skillset to validate their ideas, build a team, experiment and prototype their minimum viable product (MVP), and finally launch an impact-focused startup.

The teams are challenged and held accountable for practical milestones and deliverables, with the majority of their time being spent leveraging Singularity University’s ecosystem to build their high-impact startups. The program culminates with a Demo Fair showcasing the startups and their innovative impact solutions.