Tuesday 14 July 2020 - 10:59:01 am

Sandooq Al Watan launches new Centurium Prize Challenge


ABU DHABI, 22nd March, 2020 (WAM) -- Sandooq Al Watan, the national initiative launched by prominent Emirati businesspeople to support research projects for the post-oil era, is set to organise a new Centurium Prize Challenge entitled "ReThink Brine" to discuss how to reduce the quantities of brine discharge produced by desalination processes.

The challenge is sponsored by the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, and Aldar Properties, in partnership with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company, EWEC. The competition seeks 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.

Regarding the initiative, Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the EAD, said, "Brine discharge increases the salinity of the surrounding sea water, causing a reduction in oxygen levels that, in turn, impacts marine life. As the environmental regulator of Abu Dhabi, conserving nature and biodiversity is one of our fundamental responsibilities, and addressing brine discharge is one of EAD’s top priorities."

Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO at Aldar Properties, added, "Finding a meaningful use for brine discharge is an incredibly important challenge. If the discharge can be turned into construction material, this will further Aldar’s goals of reducing its impact on our planet and supporting R&D efforts into more sustainable building methods."

The Centurium Prize is part of the 'researcher.ae' platform, an initiative by Sandooq Al Watan, which has, to date, supported 168 researchers in the UAE.

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.

Participants can spend the Milestone Awards at their discretion, as long as it is used to complete their projects. After being reimbursed for all costs incurred during the competition, the final winner can allocate 50 percent of the grand prize for personal use, while the remaining amount is spent on further developing the final product.

WAM/Nour Salman