DUBAI, 22nd October 2016 (WAM) – The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), has received 137 applications to participate in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The Award is worth USD 1 million and aims to find solutions to the global problem of water scarcity.

Suqia announced that registration for the award is now closed, following the deadline being extended to 30 September 2016. The award gained interest from leading corporations, research centres, institutions and innovators from around the world to compete to find sustainable and innovative solar-energy solutions for water scarcity.

“The UAE Water Aid Foundation works to achieve the directives of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to build a knowledge-based economy, with a focus on technology, research, development, and innovation. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award contributes to achieving the National Innovation Strategy, launched by His Highness, to transform the UAE into one of the most innovative countries in the world. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award has gained local, regional, and international attention throughout the various campaigns we have organised, especially in the Netherlands, India, Germany, UK, Italy, and China.

This has added to the coverage of the Award with international events such as COP21 in Paris, the Solar Decathlon in California, the Carbon Ambassadors Programme in Dubai, and other activities that coincide with the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, in addition to a number of universities in the UAE,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suqia.

“Suqia is committed to achieve the objectives set by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The Award motivates Suqia to continue its efforts in humanitarian aid development, and enhance its international humanitarian mission to strengthen local, regional, and international cooperation.

Suqia is a beacon of the UAE’s attempts to help the planet, by providing sustainable solutions for water scarcity to reduce contamination of drinking water throughout the world. Suqia also participates in international efforts to supply clean water, and eliminate water-related life-threatening diseases, while protecting clean water from being polluted,” added Al Tayer.

A majority of the applications for the award were put forward by 26 UAE-based applicants. This reflects the commitment of all government and private organisations to achieve the vision of the wise leadership. Suqia also received 14 applications from Egypt and 10 from India, 5 each from Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, and South Korea, 4 applications each from the United Kingdom, Kuwait, and Italy, 3 applications each from Bahrain, South Africa, France, Brazil, Qatar, Japan, Greece, and the United States of America, and 36 applications from other multinational organisations. Suqia is working to achieve the objectives set out by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to combat poverty and disease.

Suqia is spearheading research into solutions for water shortages in drought-affected areas by providing drinking water, and clean water from modern techniques, and purifying water using solar power.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award has three categories. These are the Innovative Projects Award for Small and Large projects, the Innovative Research and Development Award for National and International institutions, and the Innovative Youth Award. The names of the winners will be announced during the first quarter of 2017. The criteria for the evaluation includes technology, design, environmental alignment, creativity, innovation, health and safety, and sustainability,” said Mohammed Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of Suqia.

The Innovative Projects category is for organisations that succeed in innovating distinguished projects to produce, desalinate, or purify water using solar power. This category consists of two sub categories: the Small Projects category is for projects by for-profit or non-profit companies, and government or non-government organisations. Projects must have a capital expenditure of up to USD 10 million.

The Large Projects category is for projects by for-profit or non-profit companies, and government or non-government organisations. Projects must have a capital expenditure exceeding USD 10 million.

Applicants for the Innovative Research and Development category must submit innovative technologies or a prototypes for using solar energy to produce, desalinate, purify, or effectively manage water resources. This has two sub-categories: The National Institutions category is for educational or non-profit institutions and research centres in the UAE.

The International Institutions category is for educational or non-profit institutions and research centres outside the UAE. Applicants for the Innovative Youth Award must present innovative technological solutions to address water scarcity exclusively using solar energy to produce safe drinking water. Applicants must be younger than 40. The project must be developed and implemented by individuals, not groups.

WAM/bashir