Pitch for the Planet

The Carbon Zero Challenge’22 Grand Expo Day aims to facilitate researchers, early-stage startups, and innovators in presenting their ideas, problem statements, research work, and early-stage solutions in the field of circular economy challenges. This event provides a platform to showcase innovative approaches and contribute to the development of sustainable solutions. The following document provides detailed information about the areas of focus for the pitch and poster presentations, along with instructions for submission and the associated benefits for the winners

submission deadline – 22 July 2023

Date: 26th-28th July 2023

Time: 9 AM to 5.30 PM

Venue: IIT Madras

Areas of Focus

Solar Panel Recycle

Solar panel waste is a growing concern as older panels reach the end of their lifespan. A 2016 Nature Energy study projected that 60 to 78 million metric tons of solar panel waste may accumulate globally by 2050. Do have a solution to overcome these challenges?

Lithium Recovery

Annually, India generates over 50,000 tons of lithium-ion battery waste, with growth rates ranging between 40-80%, contingent on various models employed to project the expansion of electric vehicle adoption in the country. Do you have a solution for lithium recovery?

Regenerative Agriculture

According to the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) based in New Delhi, India, the country experiences an annual soil loss of approximately 15.35 tonnes per hectare, leading to a depletion of nearly 9 million tonnes of nutrients and reduced crop productivity. Do you have a solution to regenerate agriculture and increase soil health?

Circular Economy in Sanitation and Biomethanation – Nutrient and Other Product Recovery:

Traditional sanitation systems often fail to harness the full potential of waste materials, resulting in missed opportunities for resource recovery and sustainable practices. The linear approach to waste management overlooks the valuable nutrients, organic matter, and energy potential present in waste streams. Inadequate infrastructure and limited awareness about the benefits of circular economy principles in sanitation further compound this challenge. As a result, valuable resources are lost, and environmental pollution persists. To achieve a circular economy in sanitation, there is a need to develop and implement innovative technologies and processes that enable the recovery of nutrients, production of biogas, and other valuable products from waste streams. Additionally, raising awareness and fostering collaboration between stakeholders in the sanitation sector are crucial in driving the adoption of circular economy practices, ultimately transforming waste management into a sustainable and resource-efficient process.

Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen, being 100% sustainable, does not release polluting gases during its combustion or production processes. Its inherent storability enables it to be conveniently preserved for future use, beyond the immediate time of production, offering flexibility in application and timing.

Submission Process

If you have an idea, problem statement, research work, or early-stage start-up project in any of the aforementioned areas, please submit through the following link: 



  1. The competition is open to researchers, students and early-stage startups involved in projects focused on circularity in resource conservation.
  2. Participants must be affiliated with a recognized research institution, university, or early-stage startup.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. The submission should include a detailed abstract outlining the objectives, methodology, findings, and potential impact of your research work, early-stage start-up project, or problem statement.
  2. If applicable, include supporting materials such as charts, graphs, diagrams, prototypes, or demos to enhance the understanding of your submission.
  3. Clearly indicate the area of focus (e.g., Area 1: Circular Economy Challenges from the Renewable Energy Sector) in your submission.
  4. The deadline for submission is 22nd  July 2023. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria:

Presentation Format:


Project Pitching:

Selected participants will be given a specific time slot to deliver a live pitch presentation during the Grand Expo Day. The pitch should concisely highlight the key aspects of the research work or early-stage start-up project, or problem statement, including objectives, methodology, findings, potential impact, and proof of concept (if applicable).

Submission Format:

  1. Prepare a concise project pitch document that highlights the key aspects of your research or startup project.
  2. The project pitch should include:
      • Title of the project
      • Name(s) of the researcher(s) or startup team members
      • Affiliation(s)
      • Abstract summarizing the project (maximum 250 words)
      • Introduction and problem statement
      • Methodology or approach
      • Expected outcomes and impact
      • Key challenges and mitigation strategies
      • Brief timeline of the project
      • Contact information (email address and phone number)
  3. The project pitch document should be in PDF format, with a maximum of 3 pages (excluding the title page).
  4. Ensure that the document is well-structured, easy to read, and visually appealing.


Poster Presentations:

Selected Participants will also be required to prepare a poster summarizing their work. Guidelines for poster dimensions and content will be provided upon acceptance of submissions

Submission Format:

  • Create a digital poster that visually represents your research or startup project.
  • The poster should include:
    1. Title of the project
    2. Names of the researcher(s) or startup team members
    3. Affiliation(s)
    4. An abstract summarizing the project (maximum 500 words)
    5. Introduction and problem statement
    6. Methodology or approach
    7. Expected outcomes and impact
    8. Key challenges and mitigation strategies
    9. Key findings or preliminary results (if applicable)
    10. Contact information (email address and phone number)
  • The poster should be in landscape orientation and saved as a high-resolution image file (e.g., JPEG or PNG).
  • Ensure that the poster is visually appealing, well-organized, and easy to read.
  • The project pitches and posters will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    1. Originality and innovation
    2. Relevance to circularity in resource conservation
    3. Potential impact and scalability
    4. Clarity and coherence of the presentation
    5. Visual appeal and design
A panel of experts will review all the submissions based on criteria such as innovation, feasibility, impact, and relevance to circular economy challenges. The judging panel will assess each submission independently and score them based on the evaluation criteria. The selected participants will be notified via email. Prizes will be awarded based on the rankings and available resources.

Benefits for Winners:

Direct Entry to the Second Round:
Winners with a valid proof of concept will receive a direct entry to the second round of the Carbon Zero Challenge 2023*.


Mentoring and Training:
Winners without a valid proof of concept will have the opportunity to participate in mentoring and training sessions to develop a valid proof of concept.


Networking Opportunities:
All participants will have the chance to connect with industry experts, potential investors, and like-minded individuals working towards a sustainable future.

Intellectual Property:

  • By submitting a project pitch and poster, participants acknowledge that they retain the intellectual property rights to their projects.
  •  However, participants grant the competition organizers the right to use and showcase their project pitches and posters for promotional and informational purposes.


*terms and conditions apply

The Carbon Zero Challenge’22 Grand Expo Day provides an excellent platform for researchers, early-stage startups, and innovators to present their ideas, research work, problem statements, and early-stage solutions in the field of circular economy challenges. By participating in the pitch and poster presentations, you can contribute to the development of sustainable solutions and potentially advance to the next round of the Carbon Zero Challenge. We look forward to receiving your submissions and welcoming you to the event.

Contact Information:

For any queries or clarifications regarding the competition, please contact Dr.Renu S at  czeroc@iitm.ac.in or 9566092982..

Note: These guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the competition organizers. Participants are advised to regularly check for updates on the competition website or contact the organizers for the latest information.