Each year, in North America, QBE Foundation partners with Leading Cities’ AcceliCITY program to run the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, a global competition seeking entrepreneurs whose ventures drive resiliency in cities. Cities are complex and challenging entities; urban areas have faced growing vulnerability and chronic stressors from natural disasters, economic shifts and changing demographics. The success of cities relies on their resilience to withstand these threats in the most sustainable ways possible. QBE North America and Leading Cities are embarking on a unique collaboration to seek out and support innovators whose ventures contribute to building thriving, resilient cities that can effectively manage and respond to physical, economic, and social threats. QBE and Leading Cities will both recognize and support these innovators, while providing feedback that helps to streamline their technologies and ideas. The QBE AcceliCITY program helps connect start-ups’ smart solutions directly with business users and provides the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities.
In 2020, green electricity start-up Bioo won the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, and received a $100,000 cash prize to help make their initiative a reality. Bioo has developed a unique way of generating electricity from nature that doesn’t damage any living being in the process and is 100% renewable. The technology has the potential to be utilised in a multitude of functions and across industries.
Their goal is to transform the world from the countryside to the city, beginning with applications for smart agriculture, using biological batteries, literally plugged in the soil that are able to activate autonomous sensors and wireless communication using soil and irrigation. They are also in the process of creating the Bioo Panel, an underground panel placed beneath grass level that generates and supplies energy from nature to light up parks and gardens. QBE has created a working group to further support finalists and alum of the program by providing advice and connections to further the development of their businesses.