SDG Accelerator

The SDG Accelerator provides support to student teams working on SDG-related projects, to scale-up their innovations through the different innovation phases, aiming to achieve a social impact and to enable students to learn about innovation as a discipline, while developing their own ideas.

How does it work? Students supported by the SDG Accelerator have periodic coaching sessions regarding the social innovation process. The students use their own ideas as case studies for the coaching activities. Periodically, they will be invited to present their progress in front of a panel of experts. In those periodic presentations, students will articulate their progress and needs. The experts evaluate how the needs may be covered within support from the SDG Accelerator program, or from other sources of support for social and technological innovations.

Who can apply? In a first phase, the SDG Accelerator has supported student projects initiated by the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative, and in particular by the SDG Summer School and by Dual Degree Master Programme. As interest in the SDG Accelerator has grown, projects from other University of Geneva students will be considered.

What are the criteria? The three main selection criteria are : Significant Impact. How does the proposed project address the SDG? More specifically, how does it relate with SDG Indicators and metrics, and what are the expected outcomes? Clear Feasibility. Does the team have a well-­developed, realistic plan to achieve the goals of the project? Has the team identified the right partners and domain experts needed for the implementation? Well-defined Needs. Has the team a clear idea of what the main challenges facing the project are, and what resources (human, technological, scientific, financial) are needed to overcome these challenges?

Submission guidelines

Submit your proposal for the SDG Accelerator to Jose Luis Fernandez Marquez ( Include brief answers to the following questions.

The Project

  1. What is the name of the project?
  2. Who are the people already involved in the project? (name, institution, email, role in the project)

The Problem

  1. Tell us about the problem you are trying to solve? Use metrics where possible: for example approximately how many people are affected, and how does the problem impact their lives?
  2. Which SDGs is this project tackling? Which targets and indicators are relevant?

The Solution

  1. Tell us in few lines how your solution would address the problem?
  2. What other approaches have been tried before? What makes your solution better?
  3. In an ideal case, what are the expected impact of your project in 5 years?
  4. In which stage is your project? Which are the major achievements to date?
  5. Which geographical areas will benefit from your solution?

SDG Data

  1. Which types of data are you consuming or producing in this project?
  2. How are these data related with SDG targets or indicators?
  3. How will the project share the data it generates?

Impact and Risk

  1. How will you measure and evaluate the impact of the project?
  2. Who are the key partner to ensure the impact of your solution?
  3. How do you plan to sustain and grow the impact of your project?
  4. What are the major risks in this project and how would you mitigate them?

Needs and budgets

  1. Which are the main needs preventing your project from moving forward?
  2. What types of resources would you need to cover the main needs of your project?