Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity award winners of $1 Million Global Maker Challenge

Yekaterinburg, Russia, The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (the Global Prosperity Initiative), an initiative of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), on Thursday revealed the four winners of its Global Maker Challenge.

The four winners and twelve runners-up each received a signed certificate of accomplishment by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Each of the four winners were awarded US$100,000, whilst the twelve runners-up were awarded US$10,000 each. In addition, each winner will gain valuable recognition, global exposure and mentorship from established global organisations, taking the total value of the prize to US$1 million.

Following a rigorous assessment process led by 37 judges and in coordination with MIT University’s Solve Initiative, the four winners, The Rumie Initiative, TruTrade, GARV and A2P Energy, were revealed during an award ceremony at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, and was attended by ministerial delegates from the UAE and around the world,.

including Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, and LI Yong, Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The winners were praised for successfully creating new and sustainable technological innovations to support the four critical development themes of the Global Maker challenge � Sustainable Energy, Digital Divide and Digital Literacy, Rural Transformation and Zero Hunger, and Sustainable Cities.

The socio-economic issues encompassing the four challenges affect over one billion people around the world. The ‘Sustainable Energy’ challenge tackled the challenge of providing people living in rural and isolated communities with access to low carbon energy. India-based social enterprise, A2P Energy Solution, was announced as the most innovative entry under this theme. The solution collects paddy straw in balled form, then processes it into pellets that can be used as a source of renewable energy. The burning of paddy straw is one of the biggest environmental issues facing India and can cause respiratory problems in children.

The ‘Digital Divide & Digital Literacy’ challenge focused on the need to provide access to reliable and affordable internet connectivity to people in remote areas. Canada-based non-profit organisation, the winning solution, submitted by the Rumie Initiative, delivers online learning resources to communities with limited or no internet connectivity. The company’s mission is to build a new model of education that is affordable, scalable, and can transform the lives of billions of people, regardless of whether or not they have access to the internet.

TruTrade, an African for-profit social enterprise emerged as the winner of the ‘Rural Transformation & Zero Hunger’ challenge. The judges were looking for entries that tackled the challenge of sustainably increasing food and cash crop yields for farmers all over the world. TruTrade impressed the judges with its innovative web and mobile enabled platform that integrates smallholder farmers into sustainable markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The solution gives farmers a reason to continue to invest and commercialise their operations. By generating more income, they can improve their family’s education and healthcare, which is critical for transforming rural communities.

Indian-based start-up company, GARV, was selected as the winner of the ‘Sustainable Cities’ challenge. The brief was to tackle the issue of reducing the spread of infectious, communicable diseases and prevent the next pandemic in cities. Garv created smart sanitation solutions for underserved communities in urban and peri-urban areas in developing countries. The company provides equitable access to integrated wash solutions in low-incomeareas, and believes this will have a much larger impact on the economic outlook and overall health of these communities.

Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), added: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid looks to the UAE to play a global role which far exceeds the expectations of a country with a small population. Indeed, we in the UAE punch way above our weight when it comes to philanthropy, when it comes to arts and culture, when it comes to business, finance, industry, and hopefully, in the very near future, when it comes to advanced manufacturing. So, with its focus on solving the most pressing real-world problems, the Global Maker Challenge is a natural fit with both the philanthropic work and the vision of His Highness � to create a thrusting, connected, outward-looking UAE, investing the wealth it has derived from the past into future industries that will help generate new prosperity for the world.”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity combines the Global Maker Challenge, an online open-innovation platform designed to promote and accelerate global prosperity through product innovation; and the Global Prosperity Award, a prestigious global accolade that recognises and rewards corporate social responsibility that advances resilience, community, harmony and dignity across the world, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Global Maker Challenge brought together a community of ‘makers’ inspired to solve some of the world’s toughest societal challenges. Following the initiative’s launch at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018, over 1,100 submissions from 83 countries were submitted. Sixteen finalists pitched their ideas at a two-day event held in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in April this year. MIT Solve coordinated a high-profile judging panel made up of 37 global innovation experts from a range of UN agencies and organisations, global companies, NGOs, business accelerators, incubators and academics.

A gift from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the world, The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Initiative for Global Prosperity is an ambitious and impactful worldwide extension of the UAE’s own transformational vision, built on four core values: resilience, community, harmony, and dignity

Source: Emirates News Agency