Seoul to host “Seoul Global Challenge 2021” to seek for innovative solutions to improve air quality in Seoul subway; finally selected teams to receive a cash prize of 690 mil. won

– The Challenge 2021 consists of the technology competition and the academic paper competition to find “Innovative Technology to Improve the Air Quality in the Seoul Subway”

– Any company, university, and research institute from around the world can submit their ideas

– Seoul will accept the application from Oct. 14 for the next three month at its website( and do screening and offer assignments for eleven months

– The awarding ceremony will take place in December 2021

SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will host the "Seoul Global Challenge 2021," an international R&D competition that will take place over the next 11 months. The Challenge will invite global companies, universities, and research institutes to seek for innovative solutions to urban problems Seoul is currently facing.

Seoul Global Challenge 2021
Seoul Global Challenge 2021

The "Seoul Global Challenge 2020" was held from August 2019 to February 2020. The Challenge 2020 brought together 106 companies from the world, including the United States, France, Japan, Canada, Finland, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Ten finalists’ solutions were installed in the Seoul Subway to test their effectiveness in reducing fine dust levels.

This year, the subject of the Challenge 2021 is "Innovative Technology to Improve the Air Quality in the Seoul Subway." Through the technology competition and the academic paper competition, a total of 25 teams will be selected, and they will receive a cash prize of 690 million won (approximately US$ 600,000).

Any company, university, and research institute with interest may submit their ideas by the end of this coming December. Around ten teams qualified at a preliminary round will be granted a total of 800 million won (approximately US$ 695,000) for the prototype development for up to six months. The amount will be provided differently, depending on the technology. Additionally, expert mentoring services and the space for making trial products will be offered upon request.

The competition technologies are about the reduction of particles that occur from typical wear-in; the improvement of fine dust removal performance; the improvement of measurement technology; and integrated management of air quality in the subway station. Up to 200 million won (US$ 174,500) in prize money will be given to the finally selected team that will pass the performance evaluation.

Those interested in the academic paper competition can fill out the application form and submit it with the paper proposal by the end of November. Seoul will do a preliminary screening in December to select those who will go through the paper evaluation. Those who pass the preliminary screening may submit their paper by September 2021.

The three themes of the academic paper competition are the interrelationship between the outside atmosphere and the subway air quality; the reduction of indoor fine dust in the subway; and the reduction of viruses in the subway. Only papers that have never been published before can be accepted. Up to 10 million won (approximately US$ 8,700) will be given as a cash prize to the finalists.

Kim Eui-Seung, Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, said, "I hope that the Seoul Global Challenge 2021 will serve as an opportunity to gather the capabilities of talents from around the world and leap forward in related innovative technologies and research levels."

More information about the Challenge — from how to participate in it to detailed evaluation methods — is available in Korean and in English on the website:

SBA Seoul Global Challenge Media Team
[email protected]


Vince is a tech geek, has a passion for sharing knowledge and loves to tinker with different gadgets. Whenever he gets a new gadget he just open the box and figure out how the gadget works without reading the manual.

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