The Challenge

In its fight to mitigate climate change, the city of Katowice, Poland, is rapidly transitioning from coal-dependent to clean and renewable energy systems. However, efforts to support this transition at the business and household level, through access to technology, financial incentives, and awareness campaigns, are disaggregated and have demonstrated limited results.   


Call to Action

We are looking for digital information management and communication solutions that will help and empower the city of Katowice, including the local government, residents, and businesses, embrace a transition to clean and renewable energy systems.  


We’re looking for solutions that:  

  • Provide simplified consolidated information and build awareness on available renewable energy technologies, the benefits of transitioning to clean and renewable energy, and the local, regional, and national government incentives and subsidies that support the transition  
  • Enable informed decision making by residents and businesses, on transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources, and adopting energy conserving behaviours  
  • Optimise energy generation, distribution, and use, at the local level, in a distributed fashion to accommodate for prosumers, and varying demand during different times of the day and seasons in the year 
  • Monitor indicators and communicate impact of transitioning to clean and renewable energy on pollution levels, climate change, economic prosperity, health, wellbeing, and other indicators   
  • Foster dialogue and collaboration between different stakeholders in the city to collectively transition to clean and renewable energy systems  


Challenge Timeline


  • 11 April 2022 – 9 May 2022 – Submissions: Participants submit a completed application form including a pitch deck.
  • 16 May 2022 – Announcement of Finalists: An assessment panel will select up to 10 finalists from all submitted applications. It is not possible to appeal against the decision of the assessment panel.
  • 25 May 2022 – Demo Day: 10 finalists will be invited to pitch their projects to an expert panel.
  • 1 June 2022 – Winners Announced: Three winners will be selected to participate in an accelerator program and present their work at 11th Session of the World Urban Forum in Katowice.
  • 18 – 25 June 2022 – Accelerator Program: Winning innovators will be invited to participate in Katowice’s Municipal Business Incubator, Rawa Ink’s accelerator program in the leadup to WUF 11.
  •  26 – 30 June 2022 – Showcase at the 11th World Urban Forum: Presentation by the winners to an international group of investors and city representatives experienced in implementing innovation in cities.


Eligibility Criteria

  • The Competition is open to start-ups and projects implementing urban energy innovation projects in various business models including start-ups, cooperatives, social cooperatives, companies, and joint stock companies. Innovation is understood as a sequence of actions which results in production/ creation of new or improved products, technological processes, or organizational systems.
  • Participants can be the already mentioned groups which are the sole authors of the innovation in question and have all rights to the presented technology, including property and personal copyrights, and their execution will not violate the rights of third parties. 
  • Projects of the employees, partners, board members, shareholders, investors of the organizers as well as experts, mentors and jurors involved in the competition are excluded from the competition. 
  • Participation in the Competition is voluntary and free of charge. 


Selection Criteria

  1. Impact and innovation
    1. Does the solution have the potential to achieve the desired impact?  
    2. How is the solution relevant to the challenge as defined by the city?
    3. Does the applicant respond to what the city has identified to be the problem? 
    4. Will this solution empower a transition to clean and renewable energy systems? 
    5. Is it new or different from what’s already on the market? 
  1. Concept viability
    1. Does the applicant present a robust concept that is ready to be demonstrated in a real-world environment? 
    2. Is it technically feasible and viable? 
    3. Does the applicant have a feasible business model? 
    4. Is the applicant considering user and customer engagement?
    5. Will potential solutions be affordable to the end user? 
  1. Capability
    1. Does the applicant have the track record to deliver? 
    2. What is the applicant’s relevant experience and expertise? 



Up to two persons from each of the three winning organizations will be awarded a trip to Katowice, Poland, where they will be invited to participate in’s  acceleration program and showcase their innovation at the 11th World Urban Forum in June 2022.


Instruction to applicants

  1. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.
  2. Please use the templates provided in the Annex.
  3. Any clarification queries and correspondences should be sent by email to Lei Guo at and Łukasz Żółciak at
  4. Proposals failing to provide the requested information will be disregarded.
  5. All costs must be in USD.
  6. The proposal language is English.
  7. The proposals will be evaluated based on whether it responds adequately to the specifications and requirements of the call for proposals. All proposals will be assessed on a comparative basis against the criteria specified in the call for proposals document. Interested organizations must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochure, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc).
  8. Only successful applicant organizations will be notified.
  9. Data protection and privacy for this competition adheres to the UN's privacy principles
  10. This Call for Proposals does not entail any commitment on the part of UN-Habitat, either financial or otherwise. UN-Habitat reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals without incurring any obligation to inform the affected applicant(s) of the grounds.


Contact Information

Lei Guo:

Łukasz Żółciak: