The Sustaintech Xcelerator is a 6-month virtual accelerator focused on increasing confidence in nature-based solutions (NbS).

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are actions that harness the power of nature to tackle social and environmental challenges. Examples include protecting and restoring ecosystems like forests, mangroves or and coral reefs. NbS play a vital role in absorbing CO2 emissions and their development is critical for achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.


The Sustaintech Xcelerator will invite climate innovators who are developing solutions that increase investor and buyer confidence in NbS –– through improved monitoring and verification of their environmental, social and economic impacts.


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Deadline Jan 15, 2021!


The challenge

The Sustaintech Xcelerator is seeking innovators to present tangible solutions (e.g. minimum viable products and proofs-of-concept) that help to increase confidence for NbS. The solutions should address any of the opportunity areas below:

  • Reducing the cost and improving the accuracy of environmental verification (carbon sequestration)

  • Valuing social- and biodiversity co-benefits of NbS projects

  • Providing ongoing monitoring of NbS assets

  • Improving financial transparency of NbS projects


Who should apply?

SustaintechX 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 we would consider:


  • Remote sensing technologies (e.g. satellite, drones, SAR, LiDAR etc) for monitoring NbS projects

  • AI- and climate science models that improve estimation of carbon sequestration and biodiversity

  • Technologies for verifying of soil sequestration

  • IoT technologies for monitoring NbS projects

  • Technologies to support ground audits – both for verifying social impacts and for collecting calibration data

  • Novel technology-driven approaches to social impact verification

  • Digital ledger technology (DLT) to support tokenisation, digital auditing and financial transparency around carbon credits


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


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What’s in it for you?

Are you looking for support to develop a compelling MVP? How about access to world-class research expertise? Or opportunities to commercialise your solutions in Singapore and beyond?


The Sustaintech Xcelerator provides bespoke support to selected applicants from our world-leading partners DBS, Temasek, Google Cloud, National University of Singapore 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:



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



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



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



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



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



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


Judging criteria



Is your solution relevant and/or adaptable to one or more of the 4 core focus areas of this NbS challenge?


Is your solution scalable, enabling it to reach more markets and greater impact?



Are you using technology in a novel way to address sustainability 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. 


Timeline (updated!)


December 9- 

January 15


January 16 –

February 12


February –



March –



May –



June –



Online applications for the Sustaintech Xcelerator


Selection and announcement of Sustaintech Xcelerator finalists


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 nature-based solutions


In order to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels, a total of 35 GtCO2 annual emissions will need to be reduced by 2030. As only an estimated 28 Gt of emissions can be avoided by technologies, the remaining 7 Gt will need to be addressed by carbon offsets.


Nature Based Solutions (NBS) including forestry, marine and agricultural projects, have the potential to supply 80% of these credits. NbS projects also often embody significant co-benefits, for example, by supporting biodiversity and providing income for rural communities.


Although demand for carbon offsets is growing (300 major companies have already made ambitious climate pledges), a number of challenges surrounding NbS are limiting their further development. Two key challenges include:

  1. An inefficient approach to monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) – Today’s verification process, which ensures that the amount of carbon sequestered by each NbS project is accurately measured, is highly manual. The process, which is based on in-person audits that may only take place every 2-3 years, is also costly.

  2. Limited transparency for NBS buyers and investors – Given the manual and unstructured documentation, there is also limited transparency and comparability around the risks and impacts of NbS projects. Investors and companies looking to offset their emissions must perform significant due diligence to build trust for individual projects and their developers.


The Sustaintech Xcelerator will accelerate technology solutions that help to transform NbS verification from a manual, in-frequent and fragmented process into one that is continuous – transparently monitoring the performance and impacts of an NbS project and enabling ongoing issuance of carbon credits. Importantly, these technologies should complement necessary ground work required for verifying the more intricate social impacts of a project.


Applications close on

January 15, 2021


Any questions?

Check out our FAQ or get in touch at