Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi

Urban Labs Innovation Challenge

Local Innovation for a Better Environment

In a first-of-a-kind partnership, the University of Chicago and the Delhi government have come together and launched a unique competition: The Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi. This Innovation Challenge is crowdsourcing the best local ideas to improve Delhi’s air and water quality, and meet Delhi’s future energy needs.. The winners will receive up to Rs. 2 crore to work with the University of Chicago and Delhi Government to pilot and test their idea. If successful, the government could implement the program at a large scale, providing an important model for other cities to follow.

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Who Can Apply

Organizations, agencies, groups, students, researchers, and practitioners across India with promising programs or interventions aimed at solving Delhi’s urgent energy and environmental problems are encouraged to apply. 

Special attention will be given to ideas that:

1. Reduce air pollution;
2. Improve access to clean, reliable, and efficient energy;
3. Facilitate decentralized energy solutions;
4. Encourage water conservation;
5. Provide drinking water and sanitation solutions; and/or
6. Reduce disruptive climate change or help better adaptation to climate change.

How to Apply

Those interested in applying should submit Letters of Interest by March 15, 2016.

Letters of Interest should include:

1. A description of the problem;
2. An explanation of the proposed idea and how it would meet that problem;
3. A detailed plan for implementation;
4. A methodology to evaluate the impact of the proposal; and
5. Possible partners and assistance needed from the Delhi Government, if applicable.


Applicants will be notified via email and letter on April 29, 2016 about whether they have been selected to submit a full proposal.

October 23, 2015 UChicago and DDC announce partnership
December 1, 2015 Launch of Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi
March 15, 2016 Short Letter of Interest due
April 29, 2016 Full proposals invited
June 30, 2016 Full proposal due from selected applicants
Summer 2016 Winners announced

For more details, download our Request for Letters of Interest here.


See our the Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi launch announcement here.


To receive updates about the competition and its launch, sign up here.


This program is being supported by the University of Chicago Urban Labs network, with close coordination and implementation support from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago's India Office, and the Delhi Dialogue Commission.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #DelhiChallenge


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