14 September 2021
Open call for innovative environmental solutions
As part of our wider work to increase community resilience to climate change, in FY2021 we launched Súmate, an open call opportunity for communities and local organisations to develop innovative, replicable and scalable solutions to some of the most complex sustainability challenges in northern Chile.
The program encouraged participation from those most closely connected to the country and its socio-environmental challenges. Proposals were sought for ambitious solutions focused on local community resilience and adaptation to climate change in the Antofagasta and Tarapacá regions.
Over 197 startups and academic institutions applied with three projects chosen based on merit, focus and geographic spread. Each project received capital funding of US$1 million with implementation commencing in 2021.
Project 1: Upcycling water in the Atacama Desert
Antofagasta is the biggest city in the Atacama Desert and has the lowest rate of urban green spaces in Chile. This project is led by UWAD ApS, a consortium of Social Cities Denmark and AEiDH (Arquitectura Emergencia y Derechos Humanos) Chile in partnership with IVL Sweden, and Arges and ICK Ingeniería from Antofagasta. This interdisciplinary team from Denmark, Sweden and Chile is working to implement a sewer system where grey and black water coming from households and public buildings can be separated at the source. Up to 100 per cent of the grey water recovered is then recycled into urban green spaces. The system will be implemented in two settings – a social housing complex of around 200 apartments and a kindergarten in Antofagasta.
Project 2: AcuyMinAgro – generating capacity for regional startups
This project, led by the Catholic University of the North, uses desalinated seawater to power six land and marine centres used by local communities for aquacultural and agricultural farming. The desalinated seawater is diverted to the centres on its way to a surrounding mine, generating the power to grow vegetables, animal feed and marine species for commercial and repopulation purposes. The water is then reinjected back into the system to continue its original journey to the mine.
Project 3: Kuskalla – local models to face the challenges of climate change
This collaboration, led by EBP Chile in alliance with SER Patrimonio, Power Ledger and the University of Queensland’s International Centre of Excellence in Chile, aims to promote and increase the resilience of isolated communities in the Tarapacá region. Working with local communities, the project will build on local knowledge and customs and use innovative technology to develop infrastructure and other solutions that help communities adapt and face the challenges of climate change. Solutions include a solar microgrid, water monitoring system and an integrated recycling model that will assist communities to optimise energy, water and waste resources.