ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, February 7, 2019/ — The Zayed Sustainability Prize submissions for the 2020 edition are open to applicants from across the African continent. The UAE’s pioneering global award for rewarding innovation, impact and inspiration in sustainable development solutions has announced that from 30thJanuary to 30thMay, it will be inviting organisations and schools to submit their entries in one of its five categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
Building on the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and since being established in 2008, the Prize’s winners have delivered direct and indirect positive impact to more than 318 million people around the world. Formerly known as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, a strategic refocus, in April 2018, has seen the Prize broaden its scope from an initial focus on energy, to address global sustainability priorities.
The Prize’s five categories are designed to closely align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reward global organizations that empower and enhance disadvantaged communities – while also inspiring schools to nurture the next generation of sustainability leaders. While the scope of each submission may vary, examples of winning solutions and school projects include: the facilitation of access to healthcare technologies in rural regions, improving food security and encouraging sustainable agriculture, delivering greater access to energy for off-grid communities, offering affordable clean drinking water and sanitation solutions, as well as enhancing education, training and advocacy.
Over the past decade participation from Africa has been growing and for the 2019 edition of the Prize, Africa received more entries than any other world region, reflecting the continent’s rapidly-growing innovation ecosystem. Additionally, African innovators won in two of five categories including Food and Global High Schools. To build on this, more innovators from the continent that create positive and sustainable solutions for the region’s people, are encouraged to enter into the 2020 edition of the Prize.
Speaking ahead of the launch, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The Prize’s broader recognition of sustainability solutions marked a significant milestone in the Prize’s evolution, in line with the UAE leadership’s vision to support ideas and efforts aimed at building a sustainable future. Inspired by Sheikh Zayed’s vision for global sustainability and humanitarianism, the Prize now recognizes more innovations, reaches more communities, and further underlines the priority of human impact, in everything we do.”
“Building on the Prize’s 11-year track record of awarding exceptional innovations, we hope to continue attracting and rewarding the world’s foremost sustainability pioneers, while encouraging an agenda that supports an integrated approach to resolving global sustainability challenges,” he added.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize has a three-stage evaluation process, beginning with the due diligence conducted by a reputed international research and analysis consultancy. Following this, the shortlisted entries undergo evaluations by a Selection Committee to determine the finalists. From these finalists, a Jury selects the winners, in all five categories, including winning schools from six world regions. The regions are: The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific.
The evaluation criteria for the Health, Food, Energy and Water categories are:
Impact: Significant and tangible outcomes on the quality of people’s lives.
Innovation: Distinctive characteristics to change the “status quo” and potential to catalyse opportunities that will have a disruptive positive impact and transformative change.
Inspiration: The potential to scale up project outcomes, in the next decade, and the ability to inspire others.
For the Global High Schools category, their projects should be designed to deliver positive educational impact, including providing access to quality education and ensuring students are given key skills and enhanced abilities to achieve their goals. Similar to the other categories, each project should ideally demonstrate new and innovative approaches and be inspirational to others.
Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020 will be announced at the annual awards ceremony held during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in January next year.
Winners of each category will receive US$600,000 in prize funds to enhance and develop their existing solution. In the Global High Schools category, six schools from six world regions will receive up to US$100,000 each, to create or enhance a school or local community project.