25. May. 2021
Tuesday 18 May was the grand finale of the accelerator programme Next Generation Water Action with exciting prizes for a number of young entrepreneurs and academics. For Grundfos and the Foundation it was also an opportunity to collaborate more deeply and each contribute toward a shared goal.

Water is a massive global challenge, and while the burden of fixing the sustainable water challenges of the world should not be on the youth, there is no doubt that they should be represented in the discussions. It is, after all, the issues that have not been dealt with which they will inherit. We believe that we are heading towards a sustainable future by engaging the Next Generation in the global discussion about the future of the water sector. That was why the Foundation decided to support Next Generation Water Action.

"From February to April, more than 100 young people participated in a kick-off and solution development phase with bootcamps, mentor sessions and keynotes. A number of teams can now look forward to participating in the 2021 World Water Week and the IWA World Water Congress in 2022."
Marie Louise Møllebæk Pollmann-Larsen, DTU Skylab

The Finale included live pitches and jury Q&A, and people from five countries across the globe participated in the show: In Lyngby, Accra, Nairobi and Seoul, participants were invited to the Danish embassies while participants from India joined via Zoom due to the COVID-lockdown.

Finale på DTU

Finale celebrations at DTU Skylab: Photo: Candid Photography by Judy Wanjiku Jørgensen

Young entrepreneurs track

The following startups won Scholarships to participate in the IWA World Water Congress 2022:

  1. Denmark: 4Life Solutions
  2. India: Agromorph Solutions
  3. Kenya: WaterKiosk

The two best startups were awarded guest passes for World Water Week 2021, sponsored by the Foundation:

Acceleration Scholarhip

Young Academics: Recovery of Phosphorus from Municipal Wastewater (Ghana) won an Acceleration Scholarship. Photo: Embassy of Denmark, Accra Ghana.

Young Academics track

The following groups were granted 1,000 euro acceleration scholarships:

These most promising ideas won Scholarships to participate in the IWA World Water Congress 2022:

The finalists of the Grundfos Challenge were awarded guest passes for World Water Week 2021, sponsored by the Foundation:

Vinderne af Grundfos Challenge er fra Kenya

The Kenyan winners of Grundfos Challenge Most promising solution and best overall score won tickets for World Water Week 2021 and IWA World Water Congress in 2022.

The programme has also provided the participants with access to a global network which they can build on going forward.

Grundfos Challenge

Grundfos’ specialists were ready to provide the students with a challenge, among others Waste Water Senior Specialist Bruno Kiilerich and his colleagues:

“As challenge owners, my colleagues and I provided a challenge which the groups could choose to work on. Besides this, we have provided five groups with sparring and feedback on their solutions, pitches and blog posts in the course of the programme,” Bruno explains.

Bruno Kiilerich and his colleague Looren Villacorte Ople participated in the Grundfos Challenge semifinal jury, selecting the finalists of the Grundfos Challenge.

Head of Water Treatment in Grundfos, Flemming Hedegaard, participated in the finals jury that selected the winners:

“Both Grundfos Challenge winners have very local approaches. In Kenya, the students decided to work on solutions that remove poisonous chromium from tannery waste water using a nano-composite. 75 % of the Kenyan tanneries do not treat their waste water, and the industry is quite large, so the solution could really benefiot the health of the Kenyan people. In Ghana, the students came up with a solution to recycle phosphorus from waste water using recycled aluminium and coffee cherry tannins. The solution needs a bit of work, but is certainly worth exploring, and that’s why we decided to offer them an acceleration scholarship,” says Flemming Hedegaard.

Finalejuryen udfordrede finalisterne.

The jury challenged the finalists . Photo: Candid Photography by Judy Wanjiku Jørgensen