A Global Call for Scalable Biobased Construction Material Solutions

The Built by Nature Prize, the world’s first awards programme focused on biobased construction materials, is very pleased by the response to our inaugural call for submissions, and proud to announce that we have received 297 applications in total, 243 of which have qualified past the first screening.

Built by Nature is also encouraged by the global distribution of submissions: 51% from Europe; 14% Asia; Africa 13%; North America at 12%, South America at 7% and Oceania 3%.

At the end of March, we’ll look forward to providing updates on the Prize semi-finalists. In the meantime, the Built by Nature team, our partners and judging panel wish to thank all of those who have participated in this unique Prize programme – to help redefine sustainable building and regenerative cities, and to create positive outcomes for the climate, nature and local communities.

Submitted solutions


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About the Prize

The Built by Nature Prize is designed to identify, highlight and reward scalable, market-ready innovations in biobased construction materials. This helps Built by Nature transform a sector. And for entrants, it means promotional exposure and importantly, access to our network of frontrunners and industry leaders for mentoring and potential collaboration. And through the monetary incentive – a €250,000 grand prize out of total funding of €500,000 to be awarded – Built by Nature will help spur renewable, low-carbon material innovations to reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings and cities.

Seize the chance to win a grand prize of €250,000, part of a total prize fund of €500,000.
Gain valuable exposure and storytelling opportunities as one of up to 20 semi-finalists.
Connect with an international frontrunner network for mentoring, access to potential investors and new markets.

Prize journey

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Meet the jury

Dr Yasmeen Lari Honorary Advisor
Arief Rabik Chair and Founder of Bamboo Village Trust
Ariel Shtarkman Managing Partner of Undivided Ventures
Mae-ling Lokko Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Architecture
Stig Hessellund Architect and Project Manager, Realdania
Ana Belizario Commercial Head, Urbem
Liz Ogbu Designer and Spatial Justice Activist


Purpose and Scope of the Prize

Why is Built By Nature offering this prize?

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Built by Nature is offering this prize for two main reasons:

  1. To inspire decision-makers around the world with the range of biobased construction materials emerging in the market

  2. To understand the different barriers that innovators face so we can help overcome them

What is the prize money for?

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The prize money is designed to further the positive impact of an organisation applying biobased materials for the built environment. The money must be used for activities that further the public good, such as improving the impact of a product, sharing openly accessible research and learnings, or creating a pilot for social benefit.

What prizes are there? If my organisation doesn’t win the big prize, do we still have a chance to win another prize?

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The Built by Nature prize offers EUR 500k in prize money, with a chance to receive up to 250k in funding for first prize.

Beyond the first prize, semi finalists have a chance to win one of a handful of runner-up prizes for submissions that demonstrate excellence in carbon, nature, and social benefits. In addition to these runner-up prizes, there will also be additional prizes in the form of in-kind support with the objective of helping to address challenges indicated by the submitting organisation.

What is meant in the prize application by ‘solution’?

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We are looking for products, materials, or services. A solution being submitted should be potentially scalable in nature. Out of scope for the prize, at least this year, are things like research projects, concepts, or buildings.

Qualifying Criteria

What qualifies my organisation to apply for the BbN prize?

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To qualify for the BbN prize, applicants must have:

  • A legally incorporated organisation that is operational

  • A biobased material solution intended primarily for the built environment

  • Piloted their solution or have it already accessible in the market

  • Not yet reached a scaling up phase (yearly revenue is not yet above EUR 1 million)

What if I am in the process of incorporating but have not successfully done so by the application deadline?

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Unfortunately, we cannot consider your organisation for the prize this year. But you would be eligible next year.

My solution includes some biobased content and some non-biobased content. Where do you draw the line?

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Your solution must be composed of a majority of biobased material to qualify.

Does my organisation need to be located in specific areas to qualify for the prize?

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No, the prize is global and any organisation, regardless of location, can apply. However, you do need to be legally able to accept funding from abroad, next to a handful of other essential criteria. These criteria are provided in the first part of the application.

What will the prize team look for when selecting a winner?

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The prize team will review applications in two rounds.


In the first round, we are assessing solutions based on:

  • Whether they address critical problem, such as certain impacts of building materials, with a differentiated approach

  • To what extent they generate positive impacts compared to the status quo in terms of carbon, nature, and social aspects

  • Whether they are viable to scale in order to expand their impact in regional markets


In the second round, we are judging semi-finalists based on the following:

  • The innovative aspect of the solution – whether approach, material, or model

  • To what extent the solution has positive impacts compared to the status quo in terms of carbon, nature, and social aspects

  • How organisation intends to use the prize money to advance its impact

Types of Organisations that Qualify

It seems like my organisation or solution is too established to qualify, but I would still like to engage with the prize. Is there any way for me / my organisation to do so?

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Yes! You can also become a mentor (with a small amount of time) to an earlier organisation in your region. If interested, please contact partner@builtbn.org

You can also help us get the word, ensuring we reach organisations that could benefit from the prize. Contact press@builtbn.org for the Built by Nature Prize and request a media kit for some content that you can directly share with your network.

It seems like my organisation or solution is too early to qualify. Will there be another prize next year?

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Yes, we expect to offer the prize again next year. 

If you would like, you can also provide us with some basic details about your solution and organisation, which will be shared with other funders and industry front-runners. For more information, email prize@builtbn.org.

What if my organisation supports the application of biobased materials in the built environment, but we don’t produce a building material ourselves?

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If you would like to support the acceleration of the uptake of biobased materials you can contact us via partner@builtbn.org to become a partner, e.g., to amplify the Built by Nature Prize, to be a mentor for one of (semi-) finalists, or to become an early adopter of one of the materials.

Practical Prize Considerations

Will BbN have any requirements around taxes in my country?

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BbN will require from the prize winners / recipients a guarantee that (if applicable) any additional or local tax will be paid on the amount received if due, by the recipient itself.

What responsibility will BbN expect when granting the prize?

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With accepting the prize, the Recipient agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Grantor, directors, and employees from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorney's fees) arising and notify BbN immediately of any claim or action.

Timelines and Applying for the Prize

How can I apply for the prize?

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To apply, please use this link, which will take you to an application form that you can save and come back to.

When is the deadline to apply?

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The deadline to apply for the Built by Nature Prize is January 25th, 2024.

What is the timeline for the prize? What can I expect after submitting my application?

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After the Prize application closes on January 25th, 2024, we will then review applicants in February and announce Semi-finalists in March.

Semi-finalists will be asked to submit a second round application by the end of March, with the prize Jury deliberating in April and interviewing finalists. Winners will be announced on the 4th of June, 2024.

Additional Information

I’m having trouble filling in my application form due to technical difficulties. Who can I reach out to?

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Please email prize@builtbn.org for any additional questions not answered in our FAQ. 

I’m part of a media organisation. Where can I find information about the prize, and who should I contact?

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You can access our media kit. If you have any questions or would like to request an interview or quote, please email press@builtbn.org.