Connect for Good: Low Power Wireless Sustainability Challenge

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We are incredibly grateful for the enthusiasm and talent demonstrated by all participants.

Once again thanks for the enthusiasm and participation to this engineering challenge!

Read about the winners of the challenge here.

Attention engineers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and developers!

Nordic Semiconductor launches the Connect for Good: Low Power Sustainability Challenge in partnership with Mouser Electronics, Soracom, and Crowd Supply.

Join us in a global effort to improve the world by using your creative minds and skills to solve issues related to sustainable living and the environment.

We seek project submissions utilizing low-power wireless technology to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The challenge focuses on four of the goals that relate to cities and sustainability: Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13: Climate Action and Goal 15: Life on Land.

The most innovative idea will receive a grand prize of $20,000 and in-kind project support. The first 100 valid entries will receive an nRF9160 Development Kit valued at over $150. If needed, further kits can be purchased at

Submit your projects by October 12th, 2023. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.

Enter the challenge now.

Who can enter

Organizations, individual engineers, start-ups, and students are invited to submit. Strong submissions will be live projects that address the key elements of the sustainability goals described above.  All entries must be able to utilize the nRF9160 Development Kit and cellular connectivity.

Join the Challenge Telegram group for the latest updates!

How to enter

Step 1. Submit your entry via this form. You will be asked for a comprehensive project description, including which sustainability goal/s you are addressing, details of your team, and images or videos that support your idea. 

Step 2. If you are one of the first 100 valid entries, we will provide you a free nRF9160 DK to begin to develop your project.

Step 3. Update your submission with a progress report and images via this form. Updating us on your progress is not mandatory, but the jury will value projects demonstrating project development. 

The Connect for Good Challenge Prizes

Hardware prize: 

The first 100 valid entries will receive a nRF9160 Development Kit valued at over $150 

Each of the 100 kits will include a SIM card from Soracom loaded with a 2GB/month cellular data package valued at $900. 

Note - if you are based in a country where iBasis nor Soracom (which were the two sim cards we provided with the free kits) don't have LTE-M or NB-IoT coverage, you must source a local SIM card. The nRF9160 SiP only supports the LTE-M and NB-IoT protocols. See here for a list of supported countries.

After receiving your development kit, we encourage you to update your submission with a progress report and images. We’ll also share your project on Wevolver social channels, exposing you to a global engineering audience. 

Submission criteria for free hardware:

  • The submission must clearly explain how the project can use the nRF9160 Development Kit in a project related to the Sustainable Development Goals indicated above.

  • The submission uses LTE-M or NB-IoT cellular connectivity.

  • The submitted idea is not related to the creation of weapons or illegal material.

  • The entrant is located within the challenge’s shipping limits. (Check your region here).

First prize:

Cash prize and support

  • $20,000 cash prize to invest in your idea. 
  • A partnership with the challenge sponsors to accelerate the development of the submitted project. The partnership may be a combination of technical, design, business advice, prototype development, or other manufacturing assistance. The package will be tailored to give the winner the resources and support they need at their specific production and business stage. This includes but is not limited to the following:

Hands-on support and access to resources:

  • Support in technology selection.
  • Support to design for manufacturing.
  • Support to scale your production. 
  • Support in providing a costings for production and prototyping.
  • nRF Cloud Services 1-yr subscription  for up to 500 devices for an nRF9160 based device. This covers all features, including location services and device management. (Valued at $3,000 USD)
  • Soracom will include technical services support to assist in configuring the cellular connectivity platform for the prize winner’s application.
  • A Soracom global SIM card for each connected device up to a maximum of 500. Each card will include 2GB/month of cellular data, regardless of where it is designed or deployed, and will provide access to Soracom’s connectivity cloud platform. 
  • Consideration for a fast-track engagement with Crowd Supply to fund the production and distribution of the winning design.**

Exposure to the sponsor and partner’s professional network: 

  • Exposure to potential customers.
  • Access to experts in the community and judging panel.
  • Global exposure in various media outlets.
  • Customized public relations package, including a feature on and mention in an industry-wide press release.

Enter the challenge now.

Second prize:

  • nRF Cloud Services 1-yr subscription  for up to 200 devices for an nRF9160 based device. This covers all features, including location services and device management. (Valued at  $1300 USD. )
  • A Soracom global SIM card for each connected device up to a maximum of 200. Each card will include  2GB/month  of cellular data, regardless of where it is designed or deployed, and will provide access to Soracom’s connectivity cloud platform.
  • Customized public relations package, including a feature on and mention in an industry-wide press release.

Third prize:

  • nRF Cloud Services 1-yr subscription for up to 100 devices for an nRF9160-based device. This covers all features, including location services and device management. (Valued at $650 USD).
  • A Soracom global SIM card for each connected device up to a maximum of 100. Each card will include 2GB/month of cellular data, regardless of where it is designed or deployed, and will provide access to Soracom’s connectivity cloud platform.
  • Feature in the winner's announcement published on and in an industry-wide press release.

**Subject to an agreement with Crowd Supply

Judging Process and Panel

The challenge entries will be reviewed by a five-person judging panel of leaders from Nordic Semiconductor, Mouser Electronics, Crowd Supply, Soracom, and Wevolver. 

The judging panel will reward projects that push the boundaries of how the hardware is applied. Successful designs will meet the following submission requirements:

  • Feasibility of solution, technically and commercially.
  • Level of innovation in the use of the technology deployed.
  • To what extent does the project impact the SDG’s. 
  • Utilization of cellular technology from Nordic Semiconductor.
  • Utilization of LTE-M or NB-IoT cellular connectivity.
  • Quality of submitted videos & images to support the idea.

Submissions that provide an update on their project progress will be looked upon favorably by the jury. Update your submission with a project progress report via this form. 

The judging process

Stage 1: 

The judging panel will select a top ten from the submissions received by the closing date.

Stage 2: 

Each of the top ten finalists will be asked to join a 30-minute call during which their solution is presented to the judging panel to demonstrate which of the Sustainable Development Goals it addresses and the estimated impact on each.

Stage 3: 

The judging panel will then select the winners, who will be announced via social media and an industry-wide press release. 

Submit your idea here.

Technical support

The Nordic Developer Academy provides an interactive online learning resource for those wanting to acquaint themselves with Nordic Semiconductor solutions better. 

For help with your project, get in touch with Nordic's Tech Support Team at DevZone, where more than 40 engineers are working full-time to find solutions to your questions. The average response time is less than 24 hours!

Key dates

Challenge launch: April 13th, 2023

Challenge closes: October 12th, 2023

Winner announcement: November 15th, 2023

Enabling low-power cellular IoT applications: The nRF9160 DK

The nRF9160 DK is an affordable, pre-certified single-board development kit for evaluating and developing the nRF9160 SiP for LTE-M, NB-IoT, and GNSS. It also includes an nRF52840 board controller that, for example, can be used to build a Bluetooth Low Energy gateway. For technical details on the nRF9160 DK, check out the product tech spec.

The nRF Connect SDK includes everything needed to get started, application layer protocols, examples, peripheral drivers, and more. The kit can easily be connected to our cloud solution, nRF Cloud. The nRF Link Monitor tool located in nRF Connect for Desktop provides an AT command interface that enables you to test your link, and extract information about the network.

More resources

Read more about how the nRF9160 DK is enabling sustainability projects. 

Smart Hives: Beehavior monitoring

Ashridge - Flow monitoring

Smart Vineyard

Low-power wildlife tracker

IoT technology to deliver positive energy impact

Where’s the hype in IoT now?

Enter the Connect For Good Challenge here.

About the host: Nordic Semiconductor

We play a key role in the realization of the wireless future. We remain passionately committed to ultra-low-power wireless technology done right. Our award-winning Bluetooth Low Energy solutions pioneered ultra-low power wireless, making us the global market leader. Our technology range was later supplemented by ANT+, Thread, and Zigbee, and in 2018 we launched our low-power, compact LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT solutions to extend the penetration of the IoT. The Nordic portfolio was further complemented by Wi-Fi technology in 2021. Our technology is used by world-leading brands in a wide variety of applications, including wireless PC peripherals, gaming, sports and fitness, mobile phone accessories, consumer electronics, toys, healthcare, and automation.

About the sponsor: Mouser Electronics

Mouser Electronics is a worldwide leading authorized distributor of semiconductors and electronic components for over 800 industry-leading manufacturers. We specialize in the rapid introduction of new products and technologies for design engineers and buyers. Our extensive product offering includes semiconductors, interconnects, passives, and electromechanical components. Mouser Electronics has a strong commitment to customer service. That’s why we’ve won awards for our legendary worldwide customer service excellence. We understand the value of having a knowledgeable person there to answer your questions quickly. Mouser Electronics continues to grow globally, focusing on providing the widest selection of the newest products that get innovative designs to market faster and easier.

About the connectivity provider: Soracom

Soracom is a cellular network provider built for IoT devices and reliable connectivity across urban and rural areas around the world. Experience multi-carrier coverage and automatic failover, with no need for user intervention from a single SIM or eSIM. Soracom’s network is the top choice for intelligent device deployments seeking to conserve data use and quick, secure private network setup. Experience full MVNO capabilities, unified management for connectivity options from cellular and LPWA to Wi-Fi and satellite with zero-touch provisioning services, and advanced integrations with leading cloud providers. Soracom customers can count on leading-edge technical capabilities and expert support to anticipate and overcome challenges in the field and reduce the cost of operating IoT networks at scale.

Funding and distribution partner: Crowd Supply 

Crowd Supply is a curated, full-service crowdfunding and incubation platform where engineers launch and sell the world's best hardware. We launch projects, accept orders, market products, support customers, process payments, handle accounting, ship packages, distribute to partners, manage inventory, and deal with all the painful operational details along the way.