ModulusTech, a Pakistani startup specialising in providing one-stop, flat-packed, energy-efficient housing solutions, has been conferred upon with a Special Commendation Award at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation-Global CleanTech Innovation Programme Global Awards 2017, which were held in Los Angeles recently. The startup led by Nabeel Siddique has been recognised for its efforts in developing affordable housing for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
ModulusTech was previously declared the winner of the Pakistan chapter of the awards late last year, where the company was honoured along with four other startups from the country for their efforts in fostering clean technologies. Along with ModulusTech, other Pakistani companies to represent the country at the global awards included Biotech and Aerosync.
According to details provided by UNIDO, ModulusTech has been recognised for developing low-cost, energy-efficient housing solutions for refugees and IDPs that can be assembled by three people in three hours with a unit cost of only $3,000. The housing solution comes fully equipped with plumbing and the electricity it provides produces 50 times less greenhouse gas emissions compared to concrete buildings.
The innovations introduced by this talented team of Pakistani entrepreneurs makes it possible for large, cost-effective housing colonies to be set up in short time. According to information available on ModulusTech’s website, the material used for these housing solutions is locally available, has a low-carbon footprint and minimises wastage.
Given that the flow of refugees in various parts of the world has sparked a crisis as countries struggle to cope with the influx and provide the incoming populations with decent modes of shelter, innovations of the kind introduced by ModulusTech take on great importance. Pakistan itself has long struggled with providing housing solutions for refugees and IDPs, and the startup’s efforts in this regard can prove to be significant. In addition, the fact that ModulusTech has prioritised solutions that take into account the effects of climate change – one of the most profound challenges of our times – makes its efforts all the more creditable.
With forced displacement of populations becoming a problem faced at all levels – national, regional, global – policymakers the world over are struggling to provide affordable housing. In such a world, ModulusTech’s efforts take on increased importance, and its recognition at the global level shows the significance of its innovations.
About the award ceremony
Coming to the award ceremony, according to a press release, clean technology innovators from Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, Thailand, South Africa and India were honoured at the 2018 GCIP Global Week and Cleantech Open Global Forum. Leading entrepreneurs from around the world were also present with the award-winners to celebrate the progress, achievements and successes of clean technology innovation in addressing global environmental and sustainability challenges.
According to details available on UNIDO’s website, GCIP is a joint initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNIDO, and is conducted in partnership with the Cleantech Open, a Los Angeles-based Cleantech incubator programme. Each startup that is recognised receives training and mentoring, and is put in contact with potential investors, customers and partners. In addition, every national GCIP receives funding worth $1 million to $2 million from the GEF, which is matched by a further $2 million to $6 million-plus in co-financing (including in-kind) from in-country public and private sector partners.
Speaking to the participants, GEF Chairperson and CEO Naoko Ishii, stated: “Today, GCIP is the cornerstone of GEF support for small and medium enterprises. Innovation is critical to solving today’s global environmental threats. And, recognizing the central role of the private sector, we hope to do even more in the future. We need scalable, innovative ideas that embrace the opportunity that new technologies provide us with.”
UNIDO Director General LI Yong was also present at the occasion and thanked the entrepreneurs “for the transformative impact” of their innovations and “for their contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals relating to clean energy and to green industry, innovation and infrastructure.”