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The Sustaintech Xcelerator 2023 is a 6-month hybrid accelerator focused on carbon removal with the aim to eliminate carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or greenhouse gases from the atmosphere at scale.

We are living in a climate crisis, the limit global temperature is increasing to a 1.5°C scenario. There is a need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and transition to and transform sectors, especially in the hard-to-abate sectors. However, to get to net zero emissions, apart from reducing emissions, we will also need to remove a significant amount of emissions already in the atmosphere.


The Sustaintech Xcelerator Cycle 2 will accelerate solutions in following three main areas:

  • Nature-based approaches such as afforestation and reforestation

  • Technology based approaches such as carbon capture and storage

  • Enablers such as digital tools and capabilities on carbon accounting and sourcing of ESG data, with a preference for solutions that can help SMEs implement viable technology solutions to green their operations


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The Challenge

The Sustaintech Xcelerator Cycle 2 (2023) is seeking climate innovators to present feasible carbon dioxide and/or greenhouse gases removal pathways, to accelerate development at scale as part of a suite of climate actions. 

The solutions should address any of the opportunity areas below:

  • Nature-based approaches such as afforestation and reforestation

  • Technology based approaches such as carbon capture and storage

  • Enablers such as digital tools and capabilities on carbon accounting and sourcing of ESG data, with a preference for solutions that can help SMEs implement viable technology solutions to green their operations

Who Should Apply
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Who Should Apply?

Sustaintech Xcelerator is a global accelerator. We invite start-ups, established companies and academics commercialising new technologies to join the challenge.

Some examples of technologies and solutions that will be able to remove carbon at scale

  • Directly removing carbon from atmosphere at scale of 1MT potential by 2030, eg. nature-based, technology-based or hybrid. 

  • Enabling carbon removal. e.g. through improved efficiency, verification or financing of carbon removal projects

  • Enablers such as digital tools and capabilities on carbon accounting and sourcing of ESG data, with a preference for solutions that can help SMEs implement viable technology solutions to green their operations

Note: this is not an exclusive. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions about the eligibility of a specific project.

What’s in it for You?

Are you looking for support to scale your compelling climate solution? How about access to world-class expertise? Or opportunities to commercialise your solutions in Singapore and beyond?

The Sustaintech Xcelerator provides bespoke support to selected applicants from our world-leading supporters like DBS Bank, Temasek, GenZero, Google Cloud, Capgemni, National University of Singapore Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, Verra and the World Bank. Your team will have access to the expertise from these organisations and their partners, helping to accelerate their solutions for large-scale impact.

Benefits include:

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A S$50,000 grant awarded to each selected innovator.



Innovators will be provided with opportunities to remain engaged in the Singapore ecosystem – through academic partnerships and commercialisation opportunities.



Each innovator will be paired with mentors from our partners and other organisations in our network.



Innovators will have access to leading research expertise from the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions.



Innovators will be given frequent pitching and speaking opportunities. Public showcases will be organized with a wide range of private- and public sector stakeholders.



Each team will be provided with in-kind resources including free office space in Singapore (for local teams).

What's in it for You (2022)

Judging Criteria

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Is your solution relevant and/or adaptable to one or more of the core focus areas of this carbon removal challenge?


Is your solution scalable with the potential of 1Mt carbon removal by 2030, enabling it to reach more markets and greater impact?



Are you using nature-based or technology-based solutions or hybrid or enablers in a novel way to address the carbon removal challenges?


How strong is your team and do you have what it takes to drive your solutions to their next level of impact? Note that we will take into account the current stage of your company when assessing this criterion. 

Judging Criteria (2022)

Timeline (Updated)



8 Nov 2022   
30 March 2023


February -




May -


July –


September – October


Online applications for the Sustaintech Xcelerator


Selection and announcement of Sustaintech Xcelerator finalists

Onboarding & Kickoff

Finalists onboarded and bespoke acceleration programs designed.

Ongoing acceleration, mentorship and events.​


Public showcases and demos at events in Singapore

Final Run

Development of continuity plans and final demo day.

About Carbon Removal


Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are the atmospheric gases responsible for causing global warming and climate change. The major GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20). Less prevalent --but very powerful -- greenhouse gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). (Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)


To stabilise global temperatures, we need to achieve Net Zero – counteracting any remaining emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with an equivalent amount of Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR). In order to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5°C above the pre-Industrial level it will be necessary to achieve Global Net Zero by 2050. This means that for every tonne of carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere in that year there will need to be a tonne of carbon dioxide permanently removed from the atmosphere. GGR (also known as negative emissions) encompasses a wide range of proposed techniques to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. While there are some proposed methods for removing greenhouse gases other than CO2, the vast majority of GGR methods involve the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and its long-term storage so that it doesn’t find its way back into the atmosphere. (Source: Oxford Net Zero)

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR), is the process of removing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing it. Carbon has naturally circulated from the atmosphere to forests, soils and oceans for millennia as part of the carbon cycle, but CO2 concentrations have steadily increased since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon removal seeks to accelerate and augment the natural carbon cycle to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.  (Source: World Resource Institute)

The race to reduce carbon emissions is heating up, much like the planet itself. Decreasing emissions alone will not be sufficient to stop what is happening; the climate math is becoming clear that gigatonne-scale carbon removal is needed in the coming decades to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Given limited progress on rapidly cutting global emissions – or mitigation – over the past several decades, CDR is now recognised as a critical component for achieving a global net zero economy by 2050. Paired with simultaneous deployment of mitigation measures and other carbon management practices, CDR is a tool to address emissions from hard-to-abate sectors – like agriculture and transportation – and to eventually remove legacy CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

There are 3 methods for CDR, Nature-based, Technology-based, and Hybrid-based. Each method coming with its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • Nature-based solutions require the conserving, restoring and better managing of ecosystems to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by sequestering it in plants, soils, and sediments. Long-term benefits of this solution beyond CO2 reduction is, cleaner air and water, economic benefits, and increased biodiversity.

    • Natural solutions can be accomplished at low cost—namely, afforestation and reforestation can cost under $20 per ton of CO2, and agricultural practices can cost under $100 per ton. In addition, it improves ecosystem health and harden natural areas to the impacts of climate change.

    • However, these natural solutions take time. Trees planted through reforestation or afforestation take years to grow, and the CO2 benefits will compound over time.  Reforestation can be geographically limited. The permanence of natural solutions can also be threatened by climate change, as disasters such as wildfires can release all the carbon stored in forests and soils in a very short amount of time.

  • Technology-based solutions proposes the opportunity to provide permanent removal and artificial carbon sequestration of CO2 . However, as technology-based solutions in CDR is still in its infancy, it is still very costly.

    • The advantage of technology-based solution in comparison with nature-based solution is that the captured CO2 can be utilised in industrial forms, such as bio-fuel. Being technology-based also affords ease of monitoring.

    • Technology-based solution is costly, and it has yet to be fully explored and analysed. With such technology there could be a chance of potential leaking of stored CO2 or unforseen circumstance that has to be observed.

  • Hybrid-based Solution is essentially combining Technology with Nature-based soutions. The primary hybrid CDR example is called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). BECCS is a process where trees or plants that sequester carbon are used to generate bioenergy where the resulting CO2 emissions captured are “negative” emissions.

    • The main concern would be the impact on food systems and land used due to the heavy reliance on BECCS for energy.

       Source: World Resource Institute (WRI), Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

About CR (2022)

Our SustaintechX 2022-2023 Experts (more to come)


Senior Carbon Finance Specialist, The World Bank

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Director, Strategy and Development, GenZero


Head of Innovation, 

DBS Bank

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Director of Nature based Innovations, Verra

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Adviser of Climate Change Group, The World Bank

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Director, Investment Group


Global Lead for Disruptive Technology in the Sustainable Development Practice Group

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Chief Sustainability Officer,

DBS Bank

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Director, Investment Group 

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Director, Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, National University of Singapore

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Director of Office of the CTO, Google Cloud


Technical Director of Office of the CTO, Google Cloud

Sudhir Pai.jfif

Executive Vice President, 
Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Member of FS Exco - Financial Services SBU


C2 Experts
C2 Events


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Our Carbon Removal Playlist


9 Dec 2022 onwards


Sustaintech Xcelerator 2021 Demo Day

In collaboration with

Ecosperity Week

29 Sept 2021 | 11:15am -12:30 pm SGT | Hybrid


Accelerating Sustainability through Tech Innovation

In collaboration with
the World Bank

22 July 2021 | 10-11:30pm SGT | Online


Sustaintech Xcelerator Cycle 2 (2023) Launch

Singapore Pavilion @ COP27

8 Nov 2022 

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Webinar - Leveraging the Power of Google for Nature

In collaboration with

Google Cloud

9 Sept 2021 | 9-10 pm SGT | Online

Thank you to all participants!

Xcelerating Nature-based Solutions: Role of Technology and Innovation

In collaboration with 
Ecosperity Conversations

2 July 2021 | 9-10:30 am SGT | Online




Partner Event

7-11 June 2022 | Hybrid


Nature-based Solutions as a Force Towards A Carbon Neutral Future

In collaboration with 

27 July 2021 | 9-10:10 am SGT | Online

Spotify Playlst
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