The future demands new thinking, new approaches, and new solutions. The Palladium Challenge Fund, managed in partnership with Kyeema brings in ideas from a network in over 90 countries and partnership with over 1,600 organisations globally to source innovative responses to global challenges. We fund organisations and initiatives that:
- Pilot new technologies and innovative approaches
- De-risk start-up ventures
- Deliver outcomes from innovative financial mechanisms
- Support the convening of innovative challenges
2023 Technology for Humanitarian Action
Submissions for the 2023 Challenge Fund have now closed.
Through this challenge fund, we’re seeking proposals from organisations that offer innovative and sustainable solutions to humanitarian crisis – unlocking the value of technological innovation or scaling existing innovations. We’re particularly interested in proposals that empower local communities and offer sustainable long-term solutions.
Innovations could include, but are not limited to:
• Early warning and predictive analytics
• Blockchain to aid humanitarian monitoring
• Social media to guide needs assessment
• Digital cash transfers, both anticipatory and responsive
• Drone technology to aid distribution
• 3D printing to facilitate local production of goods
• Biometrics and digital IDs to aid monitoring and tracking
We are looking for solutions that:
• Pilot new technologies and innovative approaches
• De-risk start up ventures targeting humanitarian response and / or address constraints in the humanitarian system
• Convene groups around innovation for humanitarian response
• Scale existing innovations
2022: Measuring the Value of Nature
Space4Good will develop the ‘Carbometrica’ Measurement, Reporting & Verification (MRV) tool for remote-sensing biomass and carbon assessment of agroforestry and afforestation projects. Funding will enable the development of a new AI and machine learning algorithm for the South East Asia ecoregion. This will increase the rigor and reduce costs of calculating and verifying carbon credits, accelerate NBS carbon project development, and has high potential for replication in additional ecoregions such as Africa and Latin America.
Treeconomy is developing an AI machine learning tool for tree detection and measurement for mixed UK woodlands. This funding will be used for technical team labor costs, remote sensing data, and ground-truth data capture. This will reduce costs, increase speed and accuracy for forest surveys and carbon calculations, enhance rigor and trust in the impact of reforestation projects, reduce risk, reduce barriers of entry for rural landowners and farmers, and have wide potential applicability globally.
2022: Jobs for Refugees
Incluyeme.com will partner with the National Technological University of Argentina, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and 600 employers to train and place Latin American refugees in well-paying jobs. The project aims to build local capacity and relationships across the university, AWS, private sector, and refugee-serving groups to train and place marginalized populations in the growing digital fields. Finance will be used to outreach to refugees, provide training and student support services, and connect graduates with employment opportunities. The success of this project in the cloud computing industry makes it highly replicable globally.
CONCAT Tech will focus on training and placing female Palestinian refugees in the tech industry. The project will build digital and soft skills of female Palestinian refugees, promote their digital skills, and increase awareness of CONCAT digital services for companies seeking to support marginalized populations through their web development spending. The project showcases a scalable social enterprise model that can reduce barriers to women’s representation in the tech industry. It has strong replication potential in the digital industry, which has two million open development roles.
Lira-Magoya Investments in Uganda will provide training, employment, and sales opportunities in cassava farming and processing for refugees from South Sudan. The project will use the finance to provide training in cassava production and processing, distribute seeds to outgrowers, and expand cassava processing capacity. The project aims to prove the broad impact of a cassava processing facility to support a network of outgrowers and employ refugees in agro-processing. The project will adapt to climate change by demonstrating the viability of high-yield, drought-resistant varieties and developing markets for tractor tilling services and seed sales. Cassava outgrowers will improve nutritional outcomes as farm families consume cassava they grow, and increase farm incomes by selling a portion of production.
2021: Valuing Nature
Oyster Heaven aims to unlock the proven conservation benefits and promising commercial opportunities of oyster reef regeneration, by providing missing technologies and protocols that would allow the regeneration and conservation of this natural capital to become scalable and monetisable. One of the key benefits of oyster reefs lies in their ability to sequester (among others) carbon, nitrogen and phosphates from water at far lower opportunity cost than land based ecological interventions. Growing recognition of the damage caused by these substances has created incentive for a trading scheme in phosphates and nitrogen (similar to existing carbon credit trading schemes). This creates an opportunity to develop a profitable business model around regenerating lost oyster reefs. The core objective is to develop and test a key innovative technology (biofilm) as a growth medium for oyster beds. Longer term this would inform a set of products, tools and protocols which would allow oyster reef regeneration to be scalable, affordable and sustainable.
The Nakau Programme
The project aims to assist indigenous landholders in Erromango, Vanuatu to generate financial incentives to protect their ecosystems, which can then deliver a pathway for sustainable development and livelihoods, as well as co-benefits associated with ecosystem services such as carbon emission reduction and local nature-based resilience. The project aims to establish and trial an innovative approach with the Erromango Forest Carbon project by aiming to design, test and strengthen an innovative and sustainable business model to manage an island-scale forest carbon project.
The project aims to scale this innovative nature-based solution through improving land use planning approaches on an island scale and finance the development of community level land management activities to support forest restoration efforts and diversify livelihoods of community members. This business model and unique methodology will be established with the support of Nakau and their implementing partners Live and Learn Vanuatu to support local communities to manage their own forest carbon project and benefit sharing.
The overarching aim is to build a marketplace for buyers to purchase ecosystem services credits* produced by keystone species**. Through the sale of ecosystem services credits, the pilot will demonstrate the ability to transfer funds from buyers to local communities and wildlife justice initiatives in a transparent, traceable and trusted manner, establishing a higher monetary value for living keystone species that far supersedes its value when dead. Funds from off-setters will go towards supporting wildlife justice initiatives and communities responsible for the protection of keystone species.
This pilot project is based on the forest elephant and their habitat in Gabon. African elephants are keystone species, meaning they play a critical role in their ecosystem. Also known as “ecosystem engineers,” elephants shape their habitat in many ways. For example, during the dry season, they use their tusks to dig up dry riverbeds and create watering holes many animals can drink from. The primary objective is to create a blockchain minimum viable product (MVP)*** to provide trust, transparency and traceability in the exchange of all forms of value between stakeholders around healthy natural capital.
* Ecosystem services credits are incentives offered to farmers or landowners in exchange for managing their land to provide some sort of ecological service.
** A keystone species is an organism that helps hold the system together. Without its keystone species, ecosystems would look very different.
*** A minimum viable product (MVP) is an early version of a product that is designed to ensure that product vision and strategy are aligned with market needs.