Meet 7 innovators accelerating the impact of Nature-based Solutions

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kaya Bülbül, Digital Producer, World Economic Forum, Ribhu Ranjan Baruah, Project Lead, Biodiversity Finance Initiative, World Economic Forum

  • In July 2022, UpLink launched its first Challenge aimed at sourcing technology-led start-ups with solutions that enable and accelerate high-integrity Nature-based Solutions (NbS).
  • The Challenge was funded by Laudes Foundation, and supported by APG Asset Management, CVC Capital, Citigroup, Commonland, IFC, and Temasek.
  • Over the coming months, seven innovators will have an opportunity to scale their impact through social media visibility, participation at events and introductions to experts and potential funders.

Biodiversity and nature-related loss represent an unprecedented systemic portfolio risk for investors. Forty-four trillion dollars of economic value is moderately or highly dependent on nature and the services it provides. However, investment has typically focused on solutions around climate-focused environmental technologies, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In its recent Sixth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighted that Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are essential for decarbonization and why they can significantly aid the path to net-zero.

There is therefore an urgent need to direct capital to the technologies that can deploy NbS at scale. In this vein, UpLink, together with funding from Laudes Foundation, and supported by APG Asset Management, CVC Capital, Citigroup, Commonland, IFC, and Temasek. launched the UpLink NatureTech Challenge in September 2022.


How UpLink is helping to find innovations to solve challenges like this

UpLink is a digital platform to crowdsource innovations in an effort to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

It is an open platform designed to engage anyone who wants to offer a contribution for the global public good. The core objective is to link up the best innovators to networks of decision-makers, who can implement the change needed for the next decade. As a global platform, UpLink serves to aggregate and guide ideas and impactful activities, and make connections to scale-up impact.

Hosted by the World Economic Forum, UpLink is being designed and developed in collaboration with Salesforce, Deloitte and LinkedIn.

Nature for Climate (N4C) defines NatureTech as high-tech applications and innovations that enable, accelerate and scale-up high-integrity Nature-based Solutions. Thus, the Challenge was focused on NatureTech start-ups which are working towards a net-zero and nature-positive outcome – particularly those which place local communities at the heart of their solution.

After sourcing submissions for nearly two-months, an expert panel reviewed all 159 solutions, finally selecting a cohort of seven Top Innovators.

UpLink NatureTech Challenge winners

Here are all seven of the UpLink NatureTech Challenge winners:

Boomitra is enabling farmers to grow their incomes by tracking the carbon they remove through soil, accelerating climate mitigation and adaptation on a planetary scale.

Earthly analyses over 100 data points and builds immersive 3D models to provide a comprehensive assessment of Nature-based Solutions for investors.

Flash Forest merges UAV technology, automation, and ecological science to reforest post-wildfire affected areas using drones.

NatureMetrics is providing nature data and intelligence for DNA-based biodiversity monitoring.

Satelligence helps companies achieve net-zero and achieve sustainable agricultural production by tracking products’ journeys, from tree to shelf.

Space Intelligence provides accurate maps of habitat, forest cover, and carbon stock through time, supporting the creation, development, monitoring and verification of NbS.

Zulu Forest Sciences’ automated platform evaluates, designs, and structures optimal restoration projects on any given area of land, in minutes. It can operate reliably at multiple scales from the individual landholding to the catchment or whole landscape level.

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