Zayed Sustainability Prize opens Applications to African Innovators
- The Zayed Sustainability Prize has called on African innovators who have solutions that tackle some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges to enter its 2021 edition with a prize money of $3 million.
- The scope of submissions varies, but the core elements of each entry must be the creative ways in which technology, software and solutions drive the successful transformation of people’s lives.
- Outstanding Zayed Sustainability Prize 2021 winners will be revealed in January next year during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize has opened applications for African innovators who have solutions that tackle some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges to enter its 2021 edition. The Applications close on 21 May.
Offering a total annual incentive pool of $3-million ($600,000 to the winner of each category), the award is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bid to incentive impact, creativity and inspiration through five categories of sustainability.
The Global High Schools category is divided into six world region winners, each school being eligible to assert up to $100,000 to start or extend their project through their loans.
To five group winners, the Zayed Sustainability Prize provides a $3 m prize money pool. Currently entering its 13th submission cycle, the award has already awarded a total of 86 winners whose approaches or school projects have changed the lives of 335 million people worldwide directly and indirectly.
Last year, 2373 submissions were received from 129 countries, with Nigeria among the top five countries in the world.
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The evaluation criteria
Although the scope of submissions varies, the core elements of each entry must be the creative ways in which technology, software and solutions drive the successful transformation of people’s lives.
Organizations should demonstrate that they increase access to vital goods or services for the health, food, energy and water categories and have a long-term strategy for improving living.
In addition, many technology-based approaches also integrate impactful long-term initiatives and processes such as practical skills training, social entrepreneurship, and gender empowerment.
Health, food, energy, and water category assessment focuses on three main criteria: impact, creativity, and motivation defined as follows:
- For “impact”, submissions must demonstrate improved quality of human lives in a social, economic, technological, infrastructural, or environmental capacity.
- For “innovation”, candidates should show a clear and unique value proposition, be disruptive or transformative, technically and commercially viable, and have been adopted in at least one market.
- The “inspiration” criterion requires organisations to demonstrate shared values with Sheikh Zayed’s sustainability approach, have the potential to influence behaviour and actions in the wider community, and encourage others to develop complementary solutions for the advancement of sustainable and human development.
In the category of Global High Schools, the project of each school should be structured to be student-led with focus on the students who are actively engaged in preparing, implementing and tracking processes.
Similar to the other categories, projects will demonstrate creative solutions that will also be impactful and motivating to others. The six world regions in the group of global high schools are: The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific.
The evaluation process
The Zayed Sustainability Prize has a three-stage assessment process for innovators, starting with due diligence carried out by an independent research and analysis consultancy.
This determines the eligible entrants and results in the selection of shortlisted applicants. Evaluations are then conducted by a selection committee of qualified foreign experts, consisting of category-specific committees.
Through this shortlist of applicants, the finalists are selected and then submitted to the competition jury to pick the final winners in all five categories.
The 2021 Zayed Sustainability Prize winners will be revealed in January next year during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
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