Xylem, a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative solutions for the world’s water challenges, has partnered with Water Alliance through its CSR arm Xylem Watermark to launch a first of its kind water innovation challenge for students in the UAE, called RE-NEW. Running from February to April 2021, the initiative aims to inspire young students from the ages of 8 to 18, to innovate solutions that will tackle the global water crisis and contribute to better water conservation habits in their communities.
Having coincided with the UAE’s National Environment Day (4 February 2021), the initiative is inviting school students to design a product, solution, or service that can improve water conservation efforts and safeguard water resources in the UAE and beyond.
The initiative’s themed approach will see participating students submit their entries on 22 March 2021, marking World Water Day. Following the first round of entries, the finalists will be coached by volunteers from Xylem and other Water Alliance partners for their final submissions. Coinciding with Earth Day in April 2021, the winner of the initiative will be announced and awarded a 3,000 AED cash prize that will be invested in the winning project or donated to a water charity working towards securing water for people in need.
Frank Ackland, Xylem’s Managing Director for the Middle East & Turkey, said: “At Xylem, we place water conservation and sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We believe that educating young minds about the importance of water conservation is key to solving the global water crisis because they will feel more empowered to play an active role in coming up with creative solutions to safeguard our most precious resource. We are proud to partner with Water Alliance to launch the RE-NEW Water challenge and look forward to seeing the innovative project entries, which will not only have a positive impact on our local communities, but will also help inspire the next generation to make sustainability a priority in their lives.”
With the support of a number of Xylem employees and Water Alliance partners, a series of online sessions – the RE-NEW Challenge Innovation courses – are being provided to students who enrolled in the programme to help motivate them and guide their thinking. The online sessions are hosted by industry experts on topics ranging from the value of water, recycling and reuse, brainstorming techniques for ideas, and how to pitch innovative solutions effectively.
Linda Merieau, Executive Director, Water Alliance, noted: “Safeguarding water is one of the key building blocks for a sustainable future, and young people have an essential role to play in contributing creative ideas for solutions that will help mitigate water challenges and build a world where safe drinking water is available for all. We are proud to partner with Xylem on this meaningful initiative, which will bring us one step closer to reaching our shared vision for a better tomorrow, all through the power of education. Our aim for this initiative is to help cultivate a generation of young innovators who are about the world’s natural resources, feel responsible for safeguarding them and practice sustainable habits to preserve them.”
In addition to students enrolled in various schools across the UAE, RE-NEW is also open to all young people aged 8-18 from schools, non-profit organizations and the children of employees in corporate entities.