UAE: Up to $3 million on offer for Zayed Sustainability Prize winners

A total of 30 finalists will compete for 10 awards across five categories

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 4:11 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 7:10 PM

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award for recognising excellence in sustainability, has received some “excellent” and “impressive” solutions and projects as its finalists, a jury member said.

“Every year, the calibre of the submissions and Prize finalists astounds us. This year is no exception,” Dr Andreas Jacobs, a jury member of Zayed Sustainability Prize and chairman of INSEAD, said during an interview.

The jury met recently in Abu Dhabi to elect winners for its current 2023 cycle, who will be announced during the awards ceremony at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January.

A record 4,538 applications were received from 152 countries. A total of 30 finalists have been selected, who will compete for 10 awards across five categories: health, food, energy, water and global high schools.

With 1,426 entries, the food category has shown a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in submissions.

Dr Jacobs noted that climate change has an impact on all aspects of food security, including access, availability, utilisation, and stability.

“The Prize includes a category for food solutions that aid in the reduction of hunger and malnutrition, the increase of agricultural or other food processing productivity, and the enhancement of sustainable food production. This increase indicates that both countries and businesses are aware of the need for more sustainable food sourcing. Young ventures and well-established companies understand this need and are providing impressive solutions.”

Many of this year’s finalists proposed sustainable solutions that tackle environmental issues while also empowering local community members by unlocking their entrepreneurial potential. Many of those solutions leverage next generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things to drive impact.

“We had so many excellent solutions and projects this year, so it was difficult to elect the finalists. Ultimately, we look at three factors: how innovative, disruptive, or transformative the project is, the scale of its current and potential impact on the quality of people's lives and, most importantly, how the project reflects the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s core values of sustainability and humanitarianism.”

Since its launch in 2008, the $3 million prize has changed the lives of more than 370 million people across 150 countries.

In the health, food, energy, and water categories, each winner receives $600,000. The global high schools category has six winners, representing six world regions, with each winner receiving up to $100,000.

“My advice to future applicants is to be specific about how you intend to broaden the reach, scale, and impact of your sustainable solution or project,” Dr Jacobs added.

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