Submit your environmental ideas to Western's WISE competition

Western’s Ideas for Sustainability and the Environment (WISE) Competition was established in 2014 to foster innovative and high-impact ideas that reduce or eliminate today’s most pressing environmental concerns. The aim of the competition is to generate ideas and initiatives among Western’s students around the topic of sustainability, and officially recognize the winning ideas.

Separate competitions have been established for undergraduate and graduate students. Over the course of two months, students are encouraged to identify a current environmental problem faced at an institutional, local or global level, and highlight their idea(s) for mitigating this problem. Social and economic considerations must be included. Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee, and finalists within each competition will be invited to pitch their idea to the committee in a brief oral presentation. The grand prize for the winning proposal within each competition will be $1,500.

Western will award novel, yet well-developed ideas that aim to reduce society’s environmental footprint. We are looking for your ideas on what needs to be done, how it could be done, how much it will cost/save and what the expected outcomes are. Ideas can be around waste reduction, the increase of public transportation or cycling, implementation of green roofs, inventions geared towards reducing environmental impacts, etc. It is important to address environmental (e.g., how much water is being saved?), societal (e.g., how will this improve human health?) and economic (e.g., will this lead to commercialization of a new product?) aspects. Entries can be made by single applicants or teams. The selection committee reserves the right to not award prizes, based on the quality of the applications.


November 27, 2017

WISE Competition launch

January 8, 2018 - EXTENDED TO JANUARY 15

1-page proposal application deadline

January 9 – 18, 2018

Judges review all entries and determine up to 5 finalists in each category (graduate and undergraduate)

February 2, 2018

Top entries in each category (up to 5) will be notified and asked to create 8-page report on idea

February 26, 2018

Candidates submit 8-page report

February 27 – March 9, 2018

Judges review all entries

Week of March 19, 2018

Presentations from candidates; judges determine winner (1st, 2nd, 3rd place for each category)

TBD (late March/early April)

Winners announced at the Innovation & Impact Symposium

First place: $1,500; second place: $1,000; third place: $500 (separate prizes for undergraduate and graduate students).

Please visit: for full contest details and for information on previous award winners.