Laura Karlin / WWF Finland

INNO Student Challenge

Do you have an innovative idea to protect nature? WWF can help you realize this idea! Participate in the INNO student challenge and get the chance to win €10.000,- and professional coaching sessions.

  • Submissions for 2021/2022 are now closed.

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Our forests are on fire and our icecaps are melting. Our waters are full of plastic, animal species are going extinct at alarming rates and ecosystems are collapsing. We live in a time of ecological and climate crisis. The world needs new innovative solutions to conserve nature. The world needs you!

Submissions for 2021/2022 are closed. Try again next year!

What is it?

The INNO Student Challenge is a part of the INNO-fund. The INNO-fund supports innovative conservation projects from Dutch foundations. In our rapidly chaing world, we need these projects more than ever. WWF organizes this challenge to help passionate students and recent graduates (max. two years after graduation) realize their innovative ideas that protect nature. We provide the three best ideas with a grant of € 10.000 and professional coaching sessions.

Do you have an achievable idea that revolves around sustainability and protecting nature? Then you may be the change that the world needs! Scroll down to find out if you can participate. 

What can you win?

  • The three best ideas win € 10.000,- each to realize their idea.
  • The three best ideas receive professional coaching sessions.

Nature needs you

Can you participate?

  • You are registered at a Dutch University, higher professional education (hbo) or secondary vocational education (mbo). Recent graduates can also participate, within two years after graduation.
  • You study and live in the Netherlands.
  • You are at least 18 years old and not older than 30.
  • You do not have an organization yet, however, you do want to start one.
  • The total budget of your project is not higher than €100.000.
  • Your project stimulates nature conservation in an innovative way.

See here which conditions you need to fulfil: 

Cheryl Ramalho

How will you be judged?

The jury will judge projects based on: 

  • The innovativity of the idea
  • How the idea protects nature and promotes sustainability
  • How the candidate intends on using the grant
  • The chance of success: do you have the knowhow and most importantly the passion to make this project a success?

The process explained

  • First you need to submit your application. You need to do this before the deadline of 15 January 2022. 
  • A WWF innovation-team judges the applicants based on the criteria mentioned above and chooses 10 finalists. 
  • On 15 February 2022 the ten finalists will be announced. Are you one of these geniuses? Then you need to hand in a project plan before the 15th of March. In this round, the jury will look at feasibility and financial justification.
  • On April 15th 2022 the ten finalists need to pitch their idea to the jury.
  • In May of 2022 the ten finalists are invited to the award ceremony where the three winners will be announced.

    Questions? Visit our FAQ page or contact us! We are more than happy to answer all your questions. 

Is your idea going to save the world?

Man houdt onderzoeksapparaat vast en staat op een auto Martin Harvey / WWF


Many students submitted their ideas and the 8 best ideas were selected by an internal jury of WWF. These 8 finalists are now working on a more comprehensive project plan and are creating a pitch to convince the judges that their project should win. The three best projects each win €10.000 and professional coaching sessions. The 8 finalists are: Biosphere Solar, AI for Wildlife, Karbon Biru, Ephora Solutions, ECOPANEL system, Decentreelise, Ecogenesis VR & Build your Greenhouse.

Read more

The best ideas of 2020

40 students submitted their inventive ideas to protect our nature. A jury selected three winners. They received €10.000 and professional coaching, which will hopefully help them to realise their project in the future. The winners are 'Green Healthcare', 'Picking up good Vibrations' en 'Reshore'.

Read more
opzetten drone Conservation Media / WWF-US

Need inspiration?

Since 2003, the INNO-fund support Dutch foundations that take an innovative approach to nature conservation. To provide you with some inspiration, multiple testimonials of organizations that were supported by the INNO-fund are listed here.

Read more


Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. You can also find many answers at the FAQ page. If you cannot find your answer there, please let us know via and we will contact you as soon as possible.