The first Climathon, a world-famous environmental competition dedicated to climate change, will be organized in Podgorica on November 28th and 29th. It will be a 24-hour long hackathon, in which participants will propose innovative solutions to urban areas problems related to the climate crisis. The first Climathon in Montenegro is organized by the NGO Gnijezdo (i.e. Nest), under the auspices of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro and in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Telenor, the Capital City of Podgorica, the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Erste Bank and the Petrović Njegoš Foundation.

Anyone between the ages of 15 and 45 can apply and applicants are allowed to form teams of up to five members. Each team can apply with only one idea, and priority will be given to teams with new ideas and solutions that have not been presented at and/or funded through other competitions. The deadline for teams to apply is November 18th. One person, on behalf of the team, needs to fill in the form provided in the link. 10 teams will be selected and will be provided with the opportunity to compete at the first Climathon in Montenegro.

“There are less than ten weeks left until the end of the year, which is quite enough time to gather the best ideas for solving the problems related to waste in the Capital, prepare their implementation and reward them. If you like competitions and want to do something as part of this challenge, apply for Climathon Podgorica”, NGO Gnijezdo stated.

So far, Climathon has been organized on six continents, in 56 countries and 145 cities. It was launched in 2015 by Climate-KIC, the environmental branch of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), which is a body of the European Union, to enable representatives of local institutions and citizens to come together and jointly propose solutions to environmental challenges their communities face.

European Union Delegation to Montenegro has decided to support this unique event in Podgorica, because the fight against climate change is one of the EU’s main priorities.

“We are facing the consequences of climate change on the global, national, but also on the local level. That is why it is the obligation of all of us to contribute to the fight against climate change, and the starting points can actually be events like this one. We are pleased that Climathon is now being organized in Montenegro and we are sure that it will give birth to many great ideas, which will make the Capital an even better and healthier place to live,” the Delegation stated.

Prizes from 1,000 to 3,000 euros

What will Climathon Podgorica actually look like on November 28th and 29th? During the 24-hour program – 12 hours for each day of the event – the 10 selected teams will develop the ideas with which they applied, with the support of experienced mentors and guidelines from lecturers, who are already skilful in the area of environmental activism, entrepreneurship and community innovation. At the end of the event, the teams will present their ideas, and the jury will announce the winners, who will win valuable prizes, as follows:

  • First-place team: 3,000 euros;
  • Second-place team: 2,000 euros;
  • Third-place team: 1,000 euros.

What kind of ideas are eligible? Teams can apply with any idea for a product or service, the application of which in the local community would improve:

  • waste prevention (so-called “zero-waste” solutions);
  • more adequate disposal and/or treatment of generated waste (e.g. addressing illegal landfill problems or insufficient popularity of recycling, etc.)
  • reuse of raw materials previously sent for disposal (composting of organic waste, creative reuse, i.e. the so-called upcycling, etc.);
  • any problem from the waste management spectrum (e.g. food waste) that you want to tackle as a team!

Educational programmes, software solutions and any new product or service, the introduction of which would make Podgorica a cleaner city, and which the registered teams want to implement, either through a company or a non-profit organization, are eligible. In addition to the main event, reserved for the last weekend in November, preparatory training will be organized for 10 competing teams on November 21st. In addition to cash prizes, the best solutions will receive the support and mentorship of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the further development and implementation of ideas after the completion of the competition.

More information about the event can be found on the Climathon Podgorica Instagram page, and for everything else you can contact the organizers via e-mail: climathon@mnest.me.