Rourkela among 50 Champion Cities in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

  • Rourkela selected to advance in Global Innovation Competition uncovering most Transformative Urban Solutions to Emerge during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Idea to build sustainable solar powered cold storage solutions empowering small farmers and street vendors, managed by Women Self Help Groups
  • 2 cities selected from India among 630 applications from 99 countries


Rourkela: Rourkela is one of 50 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition organised by Bloomberg Philanthropies,  that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries. Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) Commissioner Dibyajyoti Parida has congratulated all the stakeholders for this recognition.

The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. Along with Rourkela, one more Indian city Pune has been selected in the 50 finalist cities.

“Rourkela proposed to address the challenges faced by small farmers, vegetables and fruits vendors by establishing solar powered cold storage solution at various city locations; managed and operated by women self help groups. The project has options to distribute and deliver fresh fruits and vegetables at door step of citizens through battery operated vehicles. This will help in the sustainable economic growth of the stakeholders. I believe that Rourkela will excel in achieving the vision and will subsequently find a place in the top 15 cities in the final leg under the Global Mayors Challenge”, informed RMC Commissioner Dibyajyoti Parida in a press brief, today.

As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Rourkela city now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June 23 through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, on this occasion.

Deputy Commissioner RMC, Sudhansu Kumar Bhoi is leading the proposed project, being implemented under the guidance of Commissioner RMC, Dibyajyoti Parida. Prasanta Kumar Nayak, has been designated as the project manager for the same. The initiative is being implemented with technical support from agro tech and clean energy startup Koel Fresh Pvt Ltd. Led by Koel Fresh CEO, Ashutosh Nayak, a team of current students and alumni of NIT Rourkela is working on the project.


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