Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award has identified sustainable solutions to global water scarcity problem and provide the afflicted, the needy and disadvantaged people with access to clean drinking water.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched this award, which is organised by UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. To fulfil this mission, it supports research activities to develop innovative new technologies dedicated to producing, distributing, storing, monitoring, desalinating and purifying water using renewable energy.
The $1 million (Dh3.67 million) award boosts the global standing of Dubai and the UAE as a catalyst for innovation, a hub for innovators and an incubator for creators from across the world. Furthermore, the award helps to fast-track the UAE’s shift to a knowledge-based economy through increased focus on technology, research and development and innovation.
The winners of the first and second cycles commended the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award’s role for introducing their innovative technologies to new investors, giving them an opportunity to widen the scope of their projects and bring their innovations to new countries and thus to a larger number of needy people worldwide. The Award also equips the winners to upgrade and improve their technologies to be more efficient and cost-effective. In addition, it motivates them to develop their workforce and foster workplace innovation.
For the upcoming third cycle, Suqia has added the new ‘Innovative Crisis Solutions Award’ to the existing three categories, so more research centres and individuals can take part. The award has widened to cover new technologies for water production, distribution, storage, monitoring, desalination, and purification using renewable energy.
‘Ocean-energy powered projects’
“When we applied to participate in this Award, we evaluated the possibility of implementing five projects in three countries. Since we won the award, we have successfully implemented 35 projects in 15 countries. We appreciate the Award’s expansion, and we look forward to seeing submissions by ocean-energy powered projects, particularly for water desalination,” said Sid Vollebregt, managing director of Elemental Water Makers, Netherlands, and first-place winner of the ‘Small Projects Award’ category during the first cycle.
“The award was instrumental in enhancing the confidence of the local communities in our projects in Ghana and Kenya. It bolstered the credibility, reliability and reputation of our ambitious projects while providing us with sufficient funding to implement our new similar initiatives. The prestigious award is the key to bridging the communication gap between companies in our sector, as well as providing opportunities for new fruitful partnerships with other winners. Most importantly, through our cash prize, we were able to provide safe drinking water to nearly 75,000 people in Ghana and Kenya with the lowest costs.
Fighting water-borne diseases and viruses
Thousands of beneficiaries were not only given direct access to clean water, but they were also ensured protection from water-borne diseases and viruses,” said Sunil Lalvani, founder and CEO of Project Maji, Ghana, third-place winner of the Award’s ‘Innovative Research and Development Award — Global Institutions’ category during the second cycle.
Jan Radel, a German citizen residing in the UAE and winner of the ‘Individual Innovation Award — Youth’ category during the second cycle, highlighted that the award heightened global awareness of his project. It has also provided him with support for his future projects. “As for my cash prize, I invested it in my three projects developed simultaneously for Tanzania. Some of the money went to my efforts promoting innovation among high school Tanzanian students,” he added.
All companies, research centres and Research and Development institutes, innovators, and youths from all over the world, especially those who have innovative technologies that provide solutions to water scarcity, are invited to register for the third cycle of the award by May 31, 2021. The candidates can register online at www.suqia.ae. For inquiries, they can send an email to [email protected]