BU Climate Innovation Challenge

The application has closed.

In Boston, the effects of climate change are more than hypotheticals; they’re our daily reality. The City of Boston’s “Climate Ready Boston” details the threats we face, including rising sea levels, soaring temperatures, and frequent extreme weather events—all of which disproportionately impact our most vulnerable communities.

Yet, there is hope. Young people across the country are rising to the occasion, acting not just as our future leaders but as present, fierce advocates for a more sustainable and just world.

At Boston University, we already have students working on amazing projects, from decarbonizing the BU Charles River Campus to creating a touchless dispenser for common single-use dental supplies that reduces waste in dental offices.

How can I get involved?

If you have an idea for how Boston can face climate change—no matter if your idea is taking shape or is fully developed—we invite you to apply! You may address any of the following issues or something entirely different. Just make sure your idea directly impacts the City of Boston.

  • Mitigating extreme heat/cold effects
  • Promoting climate justice
  • Addressing sea level rise
  • Flood prevention and management
  • Zero emissions

Related Events

We also invite you to these events, where you’ll connect with industry leaders, learn first-hand from environmental experts about the effects of climate change on Boston and its communities, and more!

Info Session and Ideation Workshop

Fri, Dec 1, 12:00 PM


What if I don’t feel ready to apply yet?

If you’re passionate about fighting climate change and advancing climate justice but don’t have a concrete idea for how to do so yet, that’s okay! Sign up to get invitations to events where you’ll hear from experts in the field, exclusive tips for making your application stand out, and more.

Plus, you can save your progress in the application and return to it as many times as you want before the deadline, so feel free to get your application started now and work on it over time. And don’t forget to read our application “cheat sheet” that goes into detail about what the judges will be looking for in your answers.

Am I eligible for this challenge?

If you’re a current BU student or class of 2023 alum then you’re eligible! Whether you’re pursuing engineering, literature, or social work, we want to hear your ideas. We believe that innovation is at its best when it’s fueled by a diversity of thought and backgrounds, and hope to see applications originate from all 17 BU schools and colleges!

What happens when you win?

Winners of the challenge will receive a piece of the $15,000 prize—the largest prize of any previous Changemaker Challenge. However, this is more than a competition. Along the way, you’ll get invaluable feedback from experts in sustainability and innovation, individualized coaching, and more.

Let’s build a brighter, more resilient Boston, together.

This year’s Changemaker Challenge is brought to you by Innovate@BU in partnership with BU Sustainability, BU Engineering Product Innovation Center, BU Spark!, the BU Initiative on Cities, the Earth & Environment Graduate Student Association (EEGSA), and the Boston Climate Action Network.

Details & FAQs

Explore the FAQs

Application Cheat Sheet

Read our insider's guide that takes you through the application question-by-question.

Read the Guide

Additional Support for Finalists

In addition to prize money, additional specialized technical support is available to the finalists including software, AI, and hardware resources.

Learn more