UAE: Zayed Sustainability Prize announces 30 finalists

AD Media Office
AD Media Office

Abu Dhabi - Ten winners to be announced at awards ceremony this January



By Staff Report

Published: Thu 30 Sep 2021, 4:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Sep 2021, 4:50 PM

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering award for recognising sustainable solutions and humanitarianism, held its Jury meeting to elect winners for its current 2022 cycle, who will be announced during the Prize’s Awards Ceremony at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), this January.

A total of 30 finalists were confirmed and are now vying for 10 awards, across the five categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools. This year, the Prize received a remarkable 4,000 applications, marking a significant 68.5% increase in entries compared to the previous cycle, while attracting submissions from a record 151 countries, representing over three quarters of the world’s nations.

The Prize Jury, comprising former heads of state, government ministers and international business figures, convened through a virtual meeting to review shortlisted submissions identified by the Prize’s Selection Committee in August.

The ‘Health’ category finalists are:

>> Mamotest (Argentina), an SME that has an innovative approach to medical imagery through the use of teleradiology centres in underserved areas.

>> Medic Mobile (United States of America), an NPO that combines R&D and technical design to capture health data for primary healthcare.

>> Project Andiamo Ltd (United Kingdom), an SME that ensures scalable and transportable solutions by combing innovative 3D printing with advances in machine learning to automise processes for custom medical devices.

The ‘Food’ finalists are:

>> Safi Organics (Kenya), a fertiliser production SME working to tackle the challenges of rural farmers having to contend with expensive or inappropriate fertilisers that lead soil acidification and yield loss.

>> S4S Technologies (India), an SME that is committed to empowering rural women and harnessing new technology to reduce food waste and improve income for farmers.

>> Tecnologías AgriBest (Mexico), an SME that deploys biotechnology to improve farmer crop yield and facilitate cost savings.

The ‘Energy’ category finalists are:

>> ME SOLshare Ltd (Bangladesh), an SME that created an interconnected microgrid for peer-to-peer energy exchange to enable a more efficient distribution of electricity across rural communities.

>> Planet Ark Power (Australia), an SME that utilises AI and IoT through the first fully two-way electrical grid to reduce energy costs.

>> Tongwei New Energy (China), an SME that integrates smart aquaculture and solar photovoltaics to enhance food security through an innovative business model.

The ‘Water’ category finalists are:

>> Boreal Light GmbH (Germany), a designer and manufacturer SME that creates affordable solar water desalination systems for off-grid communities in Africa.

>> OffGridBox Inc (United States of America), an SME that deploys microfiltration and UV sterilisation for water purification and desalination through solar.

>> Wateroam (Singapore), an SME committed to tackling the global challenge of contaminated water through portable water filters to serve disaster-hit and rural communities.

The Global High Schools’ finalists presented project-based, student-led sustainability solutions, with finalists divided into 6 regions. The regional finalists include:

The Americas: Iniciativas Ecológicas (Venezuela), Instituto Iberia (Dominican Republic), and Liceo Arturo Alessandri Palma (Chile).

Europe & Central Asia: JU Gimnazija “Bihać” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Liceo Europeo (Spain), and Romain Rolland Gymnasium (Germany).

Middle East & North Africa: Eastern Mediterranean International School (Israel), Gifted Students School (Iraq), and Umm Al Arab (United Arab Emirates).

Sub-Saharan Africa: Daddies Firm Foundation School (Ghana), Lighthouse Primary and Secondary School (Mauritius), and Sharia Assembly of Uganda (Uganda).

South Asia: The BlinkNow Foundation (Nepal), Hira School (Maldives), and Man Kuwari Hansa Higher Secondary School Barela (India).

East Asia & Pacific: Bohol Wisdom School (The Philippines), UWC ISAK Japan (Japan), and Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy (China).

In his remarks, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The Zayed Sustainability Prize continues to further the legacy and values of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and in particular his vision for humanitarian and sustainable progress throughout the world”.

The Prize’s Director General went on to say: “As the UAE celebrates its Jubilee this year, the Prize aligns perfectly with the “Principles of the Fifty”, the blueprint for progress that our wise leadership announced earlier this month to expand the country’s positive economic impact globally. The Prize has already improved the lives of millions around the world and will continue to expand as a force for good that contributes to a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

He added that the extensive participation level from knowledge-based economies and emerging markets alike, reflects the current direction towards greater social inclusivity as the world gears up for COP26 and expediated climate action resiliency in the evolving context of post-pandemic recovery.

The Chair of the Jury and former President of the Republic of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, added: “The innovation and diversity demonstrated in this year’s applications, including inspiring projects envisioned by the youth, is a testament to the Prize’s ongoing ability to engage sustainability pioneers, worldwide, while offering a platform and steppingstone for transformation and added human impact”.

Grimsson noted that the cycle postponement last year was a necessary step to protect the Prize’s global participants with the advent of Covid-19, however, it enabled the Prize to attract and capture the inspiring concepts developed by forward-thinking organisations in response to one of the world’s most unprecedented crises.

In the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, each winner receives USD600,000. The Global High Schools category has six winners, representing six world regions, with each winner receiving up to USD100,000. Since its launch in 2008, the US$3 million Prize has, directly and indirectly, transformed the lives of over 352 million people across 150 countries. Today, the Prize remains a catalyst for addressing the world’s most pressing issues as it continues to drive and deliver long-term impact to various communities around the world.


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