Frequently Asked Questions

View a printable version of the Adelaide to Zero FAQs (PDF, 104KB)


What is Carbon Neutral Adelaide?

The Government of South Australia and Adelaide City Council have formed a globally unique partnership to establish Adelaide as the world’s first carbon neutral city.

The partnership will achieve carbon neutrality whilst driving economic and employment opportunities. Importantly, Adelaide will be transformed into a vibrant, sustainable 21st-century city and will become a global test bed for innovative technologies.

What is the Carbon Neutral Adelaide boundary?

The Carbon Neutral Adelaide area follows the entire Adelaide City Council municipal area as outlined in the downloadable map.



The Adelaide to Zero Carbon Challenge is a way of generating new and innovative ideas to reach this target by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, generating new green businesses and ensuring Adelaide is a showcase city for renewables and clean technology.

The challenge complements existing initiatives and policies that position South Australia at the forefront of action on climate change and as a leader in renewable energy.

It will add to South Australia’s readiness to transition to a low carbon economy, protecting existing industries from the impacts of global warming and seizing new opportunities provided in a clean technology future.

We’re scouring the world to find the best ideas to reduce Adelaide’s carbon emissions. The Prize is the first initiative unveiled as part of the Adelaide to Zero Carbon Challenge.



What is South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize?

South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize is the first initiative unveiled as part of the Adelaide to Zero Carbon Challenge.

It’s a chance to hear from the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and generate new ideas that can help us cut Adelaide’s carbon emissions in four key areas:

A prize pool of $260,000 will be available to finalists in South Australia's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize to bring their ideas to life.

What can I win?

A total prize pool of AUD$260,000 is on offer to turn the best ideas into a reality.

The finalists of South Australia's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize will receive seed funding to help make their idea a reality. If you’re from interstate this funding will include return flights and accommodation to Adelaide, South Australia to work on and deliver your idea in partnership with a South Australian organisation.

What are the categories?

Entrepreneurs can pitch ideas that reduce carbon emissions in the following categories that also reflect Adelaide’s carbon emission profile:

What is the carbon emission profile of Adelaide?

In 2013, the City of Adelaide emitted 939,532 tonnes of greenhouse gas. Stationary energy and transport were the main sources of carbon emissions, contributing 60% and 35% respectively. Waste disposed to landfill contributed 5% of Adelaide’s emissions.


Who is eligible?

Anyone from around the world can pitch an idea to help cut carbon emissions that can be delivered in Adelaide.

You might be part of a start-up, university, a not-for-profit or community group, or it might just be you coming up with something fantastic on your own.

Who should apply?

We’ve kept the entry criteria open to encourage existing and potential entrepreneurs. This includes:

  • startups and small entrepreneurial businesses;
  • digital developers;
  • entrepreneurs who work from within bigger entities like universities;
  • innovators in the fields of business, technology and science; and
  • students with a great low carbon business idea.

Is the Prize only open to entrepreneurs?

South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize is the first part of the Adelaide to Zero Carbon Challenge. More opportunities to take up the Challenge will be announced in the coming months.

Can people from outside South Australia enter?

Yes, but you’ll need to partner with a local organisation to progress to the second stage of the assessment. This pre-requisite is mandatory.

If you need assistance, the Prize Team can help you find a local partner.



How do I apply?

You can apply online at

When do submissions close?

**IMPORTANT NEWS** Due to some online spaces publishing the incorrect closing date for South Australia's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize, we are extending the official entry period by one day to accommodate those that may have heard about the opportunity this way.

Entries now close at 5pm on Tuesday 31 May, Australian Central Standard Time.

What is the application process?

The Prize is a two-stage process. The best submissions will progress to Stage Two, where the ideas will be more fully developed and, if selected, supported by seed funding (Stage 2).

Stage One – Registration and Submission
Submissions open Tuesday 15 March, 2016
Submissions close Tuesday 31 May, 2016 (5pm ACST)

Assessment of ideas by expert judging panel
Wednesday 1 June – Tuesday 14 June 2016

Stage Two – Shortlisted ideas notified and prizes awarded*
Wednesday 15 June – October 2016

How long is the application process?

Your submission can be as short or as long as you like, although we prefer clear and concise. You can also upload extra materials such as diagrams or images to support your idea.


What are the Prize criteria?

There are a number of criteria that be used by the expert judging panel to assess the ideas submitted. We’re looking for ideas that will:

  • strengthen entrepreneurial and innovation capacity in low carbon technologies, renewables and clean technology;
  • generate new solutions for Adelaide to become the world’s first carbon neutral city;
  • reduce emissions in the City of Adelaide;
  • improve the liveability of Adelaide and the lives of our community;
  • develop new partnerships, attract investment and create opportunities for local business, new economy jobs, and industries; or
  • provide a catalyst for local action and behaviour change.

Projects must:

  • be delivered within Adelaide;
  • demonstrate how it will reduce Adelaide’s carbon emissions;
  • be an original work; and
  • involve a South Australian entity as a partner in the delivery of the project. (If you need help finding a local partner, the Prize Team can assist).

The judges will also prioritise ideas that have great potential but need an initial injection of financial and/or in-kind support to enable further development.

Do my ideas have to be original?

Yes, all submissions must be an original work created by applicants who must have all necessary rights to submit the entry. The entry can improve on another party’s existing design – but it must involve substantial new, original elements. Only these original elements will be considered when being judged. Any existing ideas must be clearly denoted.

How will ideas be assessed?

An expert judging panel will shortlist applications for further consideration against the Prize Criteria listed in the Terms and Conditions. Applicants selected for Stage Two will be asked for further supporting evidence of the capacity of the Applicant; a detailed budget; and a more detailed project or business plan.

Applications from interstate or overseas that reach Stage Two will need to secure a local partner. Help finding a local partner is available through the Prize Team if needed. Local participation is a mandatory criteria and a pre-qualification for Stage Two.

Who is on the expert judging panel?

Judges will have expertise in business, entrepreneurship, innovation and carbon reduction to assess submissions against the criteria. The expert panel will be finalised based upon the type of ideas submitted and may be determined by the technology or solution proposed.

An expert judging panel has been convened to review the submissions for eligibility for South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize - you can find the judges' bios here.


Ten finalists were selected for South Australia's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize by the independent expert judging panel and an eleventh Wildcard finalist was voted by the public. These finalists have receive $10,000 to progress their proposal before winner/s are announced in October.

The finalists were selected from 150 local, national and international entries and hail from South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the US. Other entries came from South Africa, Greece, the UK, Kenya, Taiwan, Malaysia, Colombia and France.

The ten finalists are:

Organisation Project description Location
BISTEG LLC and Arizona State University Develop solar thermoelectric technology to shade buildings and generate energy to power them US
BLKATU A drone mailbox delivery system Queensland
Clement Vehicles Develop a range of light-weight zero-emission transport options South Australia
EcoCaddy  An EcoCart which delivers small goods within the Adelaide City Council area South Australia


Large-scale power generation created using innovative carbon-neutral fuels Victoria
Ino8 A ‘leaning car’ which is as efficient as a bike and safe and comfortable like a car Victoria A secure carpool web app to reduce traffic South Australia
Peats Soil and Garden Supplies Third generation biodiesel technology made from liquid organic waste materials that can be used in any bio-diesel compatible vehicle South Australia
SustainSA A toolkit that helps deliver Carbon Neutral Heritage Buildings South Australia
Switch Automation An online energy monitoring system for buildings New South Wales/US
D Squared Consulting Australia’s first zero carbon city apartments at an affordable price South Australia