Zayed Sustainability Prize: Sheikh Mohammed awards 10 winners at Expo 2020 Dubai

Through its 86 winners across the five categories, the prize has till date positively impacted the lives of 370 million people around the world.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 2:37 PM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, awarded 10 winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize on Monday during a ceremony held as part of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Prize’s $3 million annual fund rewards winners $600,000 in each category. Winners announced in the five different categories include: Mamotest from Argentina (health), S4S Technologies from India (food), SOLshare from Bangladesh (energy) and Wateroam from Singapore (water).

In the fifth category of global high schools, there were six winners from the six regions of the world: Instituto Iberia from Dominican Republic (the Americas), Liceo Europeo from Spain (Europe and Central Asia), Eastern Mediterranean International School from Israel (Middle East and North Africa), Sayidina Abubakar Secondary School from Uganda (Sub-Saharan Africa), Hira School from Maldives (South Asia) and UWC ISAK, Japan. Each school has secured up to $100,000 to start or further expand their project.

The Prize winners include innovative initiatives to provide high-quality breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to women living in underserved areas, solar dehydration technology to help rural women become micro-entrepreneurs, a peer-to-peer energy exchange network offering e-mobility solutions and addressing energy poverty in Bangladesh, and developing a system to tackle the global challenge of contaminated water through portable water filters.

Health: Mamotest from Argentina

Mamotest is a social impact enterprise committed to providing all women the opportunity to access high-quality breast cancer early diagnosis and treatment, regardless of their geographic, social, or economic background.

By providing a comprehensive solution that includes awareness, state-of-the-art equipment and tele-diagnosis, Mamotest can serve more than 60,000 women per year, saving the healthcare system $15 million annually. Till date, the first tele-mammography network in Latin America has benefitted 510,000 women.

Pepe Guillermo, founder, Mamotest, said the Prize will help them scale their solution exponentially and provide equitable, accessible healthcare for breast cancer diagnosis by removing geographical and financial barriers. “We are ready to scale our technology exponentially and save millions of lives.”

Camila de Pamphilis, chief operating officer, Mamotest, noted: “Since our establishment in 2011, Mamotest’s focus has been to reach more and more women and democratise access to early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in order to defeat it.”

In in the initial stages of the pandemic, Mamotest had to close their centres but managed to utilise their know-how to offer and implement tele-diagnosis of lung RX to detect possible Covid-19 positive cases in several public hospitals across various parts of Latin America such as Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Paraguay.

Food: S4S Technologies from India

S4S Technologies is an SME that created a novel technology – the solar conduction dryer – to help rural women in India reduce food waste and increase income. The electricity-free solution S4S Technologies developed converts post-harvest farm losses into value-added products, helping farmers increase their profit between 50 per cent to 200 per cent.

The solar conduction dryer is a low-cost, easy-to-install, solar-powered food processing technology that produces preservative-free, nutrition-rich food. It prevents 22,500 tonnes of produce each year from going to waste and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Winning the Prize, Nidhi Pant, co-founder, said will help S4S scale their impact further to 800 women entrepreneurs and 12,000 farmers.

“We are proud that we can showcase the work of our team and empower women farmers, on a global platform like this.”

Dr Vaibhav Tidke, CEO, and UN Environment Leadership Awardee, formed S4S Technologies with his colleagues back in 2008 to solve three problems – malnutrition in women and children, food wastage, and the low income of farmers – while simultaneously reducing gender inequality and promoting female entrepreneurship.

Their patented, UN award-winning solar conduction dryer is modular and affordable, with no upfront payment required (they offer a 100-day payback period) and is extremely efficient at preserving nutrients. It is an electricity-free food dehydrator that reduces moisture content in agro-produce so that farmers and rural women can preserve their produce for up to one year without using any chemicals. Women using this technology can add $1,000-$1,500 to their annual income.

Energy: SOLshare, Bangladesh

SOLshare is a small and medium enterprise (SME) that has created a system that brings affordable solar electricity to households and electric vehicles across Bangladesh. The SOLshare system empowers households with solar home systems to sell their excess power to peers through a microgrid, or back to the national electric grid, using the ‘SOLbox,’ enabling a more efficient distribution of electricity across rural communities while increasing household incomes. The ‘SOLbox’ is an internet-of-things device that allows users to monitor their electricity consumption and sell their excess electricity using their mobile phones.

SOLshare was founded by Dr Sebastian Groh, managing director, in 2014. Dr Groh and his team at SOLshare found a way to extend solar electricity across Bangladesh by connecting households with solar home systems to people who lack access to electricity, through interconnected microgrids.

To date, SOLshare has connected nearly 2,000 households and microbusinesses, benefiting about 10,000 people, 60 per cent of which are women and children, and 500 entrepreneurs, 25 per cent of which are women. The microgrids produce a little over 95 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, reducing around 68 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Through additional Covid-19 response activities, SOLshare indirectly benefited another 30,000 people outside their microgrids by providing healthcare packages and energy use appliances.

“The world needs new thinking to reduce energy poverty and carbon emissions. SOLshare does just that to equip vulnerable communities with much-needed energy services,” Dr Groh said.

SOLshare aims to converge the energy and transport sector in Bangladesh, connecting the 6 million solar home systems with the 1.5 million electric vehicles. This would create an optimised charging and electricity infrastructure, creating a reliable electricity grid where more than 100,000 electric vehicles can be powered by solar PV, drastically reducing carbon emissions while doubling electric rickshaw drivers’ income. They have implemented 6 electric vehicle charging stations in Bangladesh, powering nearly 400 electric three-wheeler vehicles.

Water: Waterroam from Singapore

Wateroam is an SME committed to tackling the global challenge of contaminated water through portable water filters to serve disaster-hit and rural communities. The system has been deployed in over 38 countries, providing safe drinking water to more than 150,000 people, including in Vanuatu (Cyclone Harold relief), Indonesia (earthquake relief), Nepal, The Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia.

Wateroam’s flagship solution system, the ROAMfilter Plus, produces high-quality safe drinking water at a significant speed of 2400 L/day – without the dependence on electricity. The ROAMfilter Plus is a lightweight portable system that weighs only 2.5 kg, allowing anyone to easily transport the system over any terrain. It can be brought swiftly into hard-to-reach locations.

“We now have the opportunity to develop a wider variety of innovative, affordable water filtration solutions to tackle the ongoing global water crisis,” said David Pong, a social entrepreneur who serves as the co-founder and CEO.

The SME aims to provide 30 million people globally with access to safe drinking water while also aiming to develop a complementary software product that includes simple-to-use kits that enable quick water testing.

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