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.
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.
Young entrepreneurs track
The following startups won Scholarships to participate in the IWA World Water Congress 2022:
The two best startups were awarded guest passes for World Water Week 2021, sponsored by the Foundation:
Young Academics track
The following groups were granted 1,000 euro acceleration scholarships:
- Daegu Challenge: SludgeX (Denmark)
- Rambøll Challenge: Floodizens (Kenya)
- LE34/GWCL Challenge: PipeData (Denmark)
- NITI Aayog & AIM Challenge: Colorimetric Affordable Test Strips (India)
- Grundfos Challenge: Recovery of Phosphorus from Municipal Wastewater (Ghana)
These most promising ideas won Scholarships to participate in the IWA World Water Congress 2022:
- Grundfos Challenge: Chromium Recovery from Tannery Wastewater (Kenya)
- Rambøll Challenge: Ekvatam (India)
- NITI Aayog & AIM Challenge: Peater (Denmark)
The finalists of the Grundfos Challenge were awarded guest passes for World Water Week 2021, sponsored by the Foundation:
The programme has also provided the participants with access to a global network which they can build on going forward.
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.