ReThink Brine Challenge seeks to find innovative ways to reduce the quantities of the brine discharge produced by desalination processes
Round Three invites five teams from UAE universities to develop prototype construction material or COVID-19 medical solution from brine discharge samples
EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE,announced today it will be delivering 1200 litres of brine discharge to five participating teams in support of Round Three of the Sandooq Al Watan ‘ReThink Brine’ Challenge, to enable the development of prototype construction material or COVID-19 medical solutions from the samples.
Sandooq Al Watan, the national initiative launched by prominent Emirati businessmen to support research projects for the post-oil era, launched the Centurium Prize Challenge named ReThink Brine in 2020 to protect the Arabian Gulf ecosystem and marine life, enable an eco-friendly construction and real estate sector, address the UAE’s water scarcity challenges, and support the UAE’s Water Security Strategy 2036.Taking place over the course of three years, the scope of the Challenge was expanded in August 2020 to include innovative medical solutions to COVID-19 such as disinfectants to aid in the fight against the pandemic.
There are five teams from four UAE universities shortlisted for Round Three of the ReThink Brine Challenge; New York University Abu Dhabi, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, American University of Sharjah, and Zayed University. Each team will receive brine discharge samples from EWEC in order to create prototypes of their proposed solutions on how to turn brine into a construction material or COVID-19 medical solution, using 100-200 litres of desalinated water.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: "Since the launch of the ReThink Brine Challenge we have been impressed at each stage of the judging process by the innovative ideas proposed to find viable construction material or medical solutions from brine discharge. We would like to congratulate the five teams from the four universities shortlisted for Round Three of the challenge, and we are proud to support them in their prototype development by providing 1200 litres of brine discharge. We look forward to seeing the prototypes being demonstrated and moving to the final round of the challenge.
Hind Baker, Director-General of Sandooq Al Watan, said: “Ensuring sustainability and protecting the environment in the UAE is in line with Sandooq Al Watan’s mandate to ensure a prosperous post-oil future for the Emirates. With that objective in mind, the ‘ReThink Brine’ challenge was launched to find ways to reduce the quantities of brine discharge produced by desalination processes. Having the Emirates Water and Electricity Company on our side in this mission – with its considerable weight in the sector – offers a major boost to our efforts."
"Ultimately, we strive to promote and support innovation and innovators, and provide talented UAE citizens with promising opportunities to thrive and accomplish great success, as mandated by our wise leadership,” Baker added. “The ‘ReThink Brine’ challenge is a platform for us to do just that, allowing us to explore bold solutions to this issue – which is particularly important here in the UAE – and offer the needed support to turn these ideas into concrete projects."
The Challenge is sponsored by the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Aldar Properties, in partnership with EWEC. A judging committee of experts and representatives from sponsoring and partnering and other entities will oversee the competition, where a total prize purse of AED3.4 million will be awarded in increasing steps as ideas are screened. The winning team will take the final prize of AED2.5 million.
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About Emirates Water and Electricity Company
Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) drives the planning, forecasting, purchase and supply of water and electricity in Abu Dhabi and beyond. EWEC performs its role as the sole procurer of water and electricity from independent producers, ensuring the short- and long-term balancing of bulk supply and demand for distribution companies. EWEC is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. For more information please visit: www.ewec.ae.
About Sandooq Al Watan
Sandooq Al Watan is a community initiative launched by a group of prominent Emirati businessmen that seeks to promote a sense of social cohesion in Emirati society. The initiative aligns with the UAE leadership’s vision for a sustainable development and a better future for the country and its citizens. It is rooted in the UAE’s national values of charity, generosity, and social solidarity, and synchronises community efforts to forecast and plan for the future.
Sandooq Al Watan seeks to steer investments into the UAE’s human capital with projects and initiatives that focus on the strategic sectors that most affect people’s lives. The fund reflects the private sector’s commitment to social responsibility and highlights its critical role in supporting development projects, initiatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Sandooq Al Watan supports talented individuals, provides professional guidance for young Emirati professionals, supports start-ups that seek to make a positive social impact and promotes research and innovation.
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