The University of Chicago Urban Labs and the Delhi government have announced the finalists in the Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi, an effort to improve air and water quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities. The Challenge is a project of the Tata Centre for Development and is supported by Tata Trusts.

The finalists from the crowdsourcing competition are each competing to win up to Rs. 2 crore to work with the Urban Labs’ Energy & Environment Lab, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India), and the Delhi government to pilot and test their ideas. If the results are promising, the selected program could become a model for other cities in India and beyond.

The winners will be announced at an event on October 21st. The seven finalists were selected among nearly 250 ideas from students, researchers, entrepreneurs, non-profit and for-profit organizations and citizens from across India and around the world who submitted ideas for the challenge, which launched last December.
Ashish Khetan, Vice Chairman of the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission said, “All of the seven finalists have shown a deep passion and commitment to help solve Delhi’s environmental problems. Any one of these innovative ideas could transform our city. We look forward to working with the eventual winner or winners and the University of Chicago to make Delhi a clean and prosperous city.”

“Because of the scope and diversity of all of the ideas we have received for the Delhi Challenge, selecting these seven was extraordinarily challenging,” said Michael Greenstone, director of the University of Chicago Urban Lab’s Energy & Environment Lab and EPIC-India. “But we are confident that these ideas have high potential for improving Delhi’s environment and the lives of its citizens.