The Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination (GPID) has several categories to ensure that a wide range of innovative technologies and business models are recognized and rewarded. The award aims to achieve different types of innovation in desalination technologies, such as membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, or thermal distillation. The award also considers innovative business models, such as those that focus on sustainability, affordability, or diffusion, so to recognize the diverse and important contributions that individuals and organizations are making to improve access to clean, affordable water through desalination.
In addition to recognizing technical and commercial innovation, the water desalination award also focuses on the social and environmental impact of desalination projects. For example, projects that have demonstrated a positive social impact, such as those that have helped improve access to clean water for underserved communities, or projects that have minimized the environmental impact of desalination, such as using renewable energy or the adoption of sustainable practices. By considering these broader impacts, the award can recognize the full range of innovative efforts that are driving progress in the field of water desalination.
The GPID Awards
For 2023, the GPID Medal will be awarded to the best overall solution, evaluated according to technical, business and impact KPIs.
Impact Medals will be awarded for the best projects in the following categories: Making Water Accessible, Water Positivity & Disruptive Technology Innovation, Zero-Carbon Footprint, and Net-Positive Environmental Impact.
Making Water Accessible
Water Positivity & Disruptive Technology Innovation
Net-Positive Environmental Impact
Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) in new plants
- Reduce CAPEX to obtain water
- Maximize new production capacity per $ invested
Improved KPI: $CAPEX / m3OUT per day
CAPEX in revamping existing plants to make them efficient and sustainable
- Reduce CAPEX to update existing plants
- Maximize installed production capacity per $ invested
Improved KPI: $CAPEX / m3OUT per day
Consumables & Chemicals
- Minimize the cost of consumables per unit of desalinated water
Improved KPI: $C&C / m3OUT
Energy & Decarbonization
- Minimize the energy consumption per unit of desalinated water
- Minimize the GHG emissions per unit of desalinated water
Improved KPI 1: MWh / m3OUT
Improved KPI 2: KgCO2 / m3OUT
Environmental Impact (Disposable)
- Reduce impacts from brine's disposal in aquifers
Improved KPI: Reduction of the impact on salinity and dissolved oxygen of the receiving free water.
Reduction of toxic chemicals used in water pre-treatment or as scale inhibitors and antifoulants in the desalination process
Beyond Water (New Value Streams)
- Maximize the market value of the desalination process in addition to the value of fresh water
Improved KPI: $ / m3OUT
The Impact Categories
Applicants can be individuals, teams, or legal entities.
The application period will start on 1 February 2023 and end on 30 June 2023.
Applicants should register on the website and fill in the required information.
Once applications are collected through the GPID website, the GPID team will check that applicants have provided all relevant information/documents and, if applicable, interact with applicants to complete the submission phase.
Next, the International Jury will conduct an evaluation based on technical (clarity and pertinence of the project’s objectives, and the extent to which the proposed technology is ambitious, and goes beyond the state of the art), business (quality and effectiveness of the technology pilot development plan, assessment of risks, and appropriateness of the effort and overall resources required; capacities of the applicant team), and impact KPIs (likely scale and significance of the contributions from to the proposed technology to the development and sustainability of humankind; suitability and quality of the measures to maximize expected outcomes and impacts).
The candidate with the highest overall score will be awarded with the GPID.
The candidates with the highest ratings in each category will be awarded an Impact Medal.
The GPID winner and Impact Medal winners will have access to a 12-months acceleration program to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Jury plays an important role in the process of evaluating projects, technologies, and business models for the GPID. The Jury is responsible for carefully reviewing and assessing each candidate based on a set of technical, market, and impact criteria. This may involve examining the technical aspects of the project or technology, considering the potential market demand and impact on the industry, and evaluating the overall impact that the project or technology may have on society.
The Jury consists of three groups of experts one in the technical domain, one in the business domain and one in the impact on society, who bring their knowledge and expertise to the evaluation process. These experts may come from academia, industry, or other relevant organizations, and may have a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
Ultimately, the role of the Jury is to ensure that the best and most deserving candidates are recognized and rewarded for their contributions to the field of water desalination.
The Jury prides itself on being a diverse group, representing a wide range of backgrounds and viewpoints. This diversity allows the Jury to bring a holistic approach to evaluating and selecting the most deserving candidates for the GPID.
The Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination (hereinafter, “the Prize” or “GPID”) is governed by these Prize Guidelines. The Prize Guidelines summarize rules of the competition.
1.TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
a) The Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination is an independent technical, business, and social award for building a sustainable world by driving innovation, bringing about next-generation desalination and water treatment, accelerating the advancement of research, technology, environmental and social science disciplines related to water, and enabling research institutions, organizations, NGOs, companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to build a better future.
b) The European House – Ambrosetti (hereinafter, “the Organizer”) is a legal entity that manages the Prize on behalf of Saline Water Conversion Corporation – SWCC (hereinafter, “the Founder”) and facilitates the applications submission and selection process under the present Prize Guidelines.
c) The International Jury is a body annually selecting the Prize winners from among the applicants, and to whom the Organizer has delegated the exclusive authority to select the Prize winners. The definition of the composition of the International Jury is the unquestionable prerogative of the Organizer.
d) The candidate for the Prize is a person, or a group of persons, or a legal entity competing for the Prize. Candidates admitted to the competition by the Organizer under these Prize Guidelines will be ranked according to the results of the evaluation of the International Jury.
e) Application submission is a computer-generated form used for filing application submissions and being filled-in by the applicants in accordance with the procedure defined in the present Prize Guidelines.
f) The selection process is the annual cycle of the Prize, comprising the following key stages: submission of applications, evaluation of applications, awarding of the Prize.
g) The Prize package is the monetary and non-monetary part of the Prize established by the Organizer and distributed among the Prize winners according to the International Jury resolution. The amount of the monetary part of the Prize is determined annually by the Organizer and published on the GPID website.
h) Awarding the Prize is the resolution of the International Jury documented in the minutes signed by the Chairperson/Co-chairs of the International Jury.
i) The winner of the Prize is a candidate selected by the International Jury applying the rules of the Prize Guidelines.
j) The GPID Medal is awarded to the overall most innovative solution chosen by the International Jury applying the rules of the Prize Guidelines. Impact Medals are awarded to the most impactful solutions chosen by the International Jury applying the rules of the Prize Guidelines, up to a maximum of one for each impact category into which the award is divided.
k) The impact Categories are defined by the Organizer, at is sole discretion, in order to identify solutions that meet specific innovation needs.
i) The Organizer may revise these Prize Guidelines at any time to provide additional information or to improve the quality of the GPID. Unanticipated issues that arise may require modifications to these Prize Guidelines. The Organizer reserves the right to revise the Prize Guidelines as it, in its sole discretion, deems necessary. All registered people or entities will be notified of revisions in a timely manner.
a) The Prize is awarded annually. The Prize calendar is published on GPID website.
b) Applications submitted that concern innovative solutions related to water desalination, water treatment, and associated subjects are accepted for consideration if they propose an improvement in terms of (Categories):
I. Reduced capital expenditures for new plants per unit of production capacity.
II. Reduced capital expenditures for revamping existing plants per unit of production capacity.
III. Reduced cost of consumables and/or chemicals per unit of desalinated water.
IV. Reduced energy consumption per unit of desalinated water and reduced GHG emissions per unit of desalinated water.
V. Increased market value of the desalination process apart to the value of fresh water per unit of desalinated water.
VI. Reduced impacts from brine’s disposal in aquifers.
c) The Prize is not awarded:
I. For the same innovative solution twice.
II. To the members of the International Jury and to former members of the International Jury during the first two years after their resignation therefrom.
d) The working language of the Prize is English.
e) All costs of competing in the Prize are the responsibility of the competing applicant.
3.SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION PROCEDURE
a) Citizen of any state can submit their application.
b) The application can be submitted during the period indicated as "Submission Period" in the calendar published on the GPID website.
c) Basic requirements for the submission of application will be as follows:
I. The applicant can make the application for himself/herself, for a group of people, or for a legal entity. In the latter two cases, he or she must possess adequate authority to make the application. The Organizer reserves the right to verify that the applicant has adequate authority.
II. The applicant must submit the application through the GPID website by filling in all fields marked as mandatory and, if helpful, also filling in the fields not marked as mandatory. The completion of the fields must be done by providing true and correct information. The applicant is solely responsible for the truthfulness of the information submitted. The Organizer reserves the right to verify the information entered and/or to ask for further details or additions. Failure to provide this information may result in exclusion from the award at the sole discretion of the the Organizer.
III. As of the date of submission, each applicant must own, or hold appropriate license rights to, all technologies, methods, resources, and Intellectual Property included in the application submission. Applicants are solely responsible for verifying these requirements.
IV. In completing the application, the applicant must indicate at least one "Impact Category" on the GPID website.
V. The applicant can make a request for between one and five innovative solutions included (Candidate Solution). Each Candidate Solution will be evaluated independently of any other Candidate Solutions of the same applicant.
VI. The applicant may stop completing the application at any time and resume completion later. Once the applicant has pressed the "Submit" button, the application will be considered completed and will no longer be editable by the applicant. The applicant will receive an email confirming that the application has been submitted. The Applicant can make a submission for another Candidate Solution only after pressing the "Submit" button related to the previous Candidate Solution.
VII. Innovative solutions that were not awarded may be subject to application in subsequent annual cycles.
d) During the "Submission Period," the Organizer reserves the right to check the completeness of the application and request any further information. Failure to provide this information may result in exclusion from the award at the sole discretion of the Organizer.
e) When asked to express impact estimates of a technical or economic nature in relation to the proposed Candidate Solution, the applicant shall refer to a 25-years business plan for a 500,000 m3/day reference desalination plant based on currently marketed technologies. If the applicant were to refer to a desalination plant with different characteristics, he/she would have to describe their parameters and explain their choices. Any other characteristics of the reference desalination plant may be assumed by the applicant at its own discretion and declared in the application procedure.
f) The International Jury is composed of up to 25 members: leaders of renowned scientific organizations, prominent scientists with recognition in the field of water desalination and water treatment, business executives, state and public figures who have contributed to progress in the field of water desalination and water treatment. The Organizer engage and approves the members of the International Jury once every year.
g) The Chairperson/Co-chairs of the International Jury is/are chosen by the Organizer from among the members of the International Jury itself. The Chairperson/Co-chairs of the International Jury coordinate(s) its/their work together with the Organizer. The Chairperson/Co-chairs is/are entitled to compensation determined by the Organizer. In the absence of the Chairperson, the most senior member of the International Jury will take his place.
h) The Organizer may provide for the International Jury to have an Honorary Chairperson chosen by the Organizer from among eminent public figures who have made relevant contributions in the field of sustainable development. The Honorary Chairperson may be involved in the awards ceremony. The Honorary Chairperson is entitled to compensation determined by the Organizer.
i) The members of the International Jury have the right to:
I. Participate in all the meetings of the International Jury and in all the official events of the Prize, including the annual award ceremony.
II. Obtain all the relevant information on the activities of the International Jury and on the progress of the submission of applications and evaluation of applications processes.
III. Make proposals concerning the improvement of the International Jury work.
j) The members of the International Jury are required to:
I. Comply with the present Prize Guidelines and other fundamental documents of the Prize.
II. Abstain from any actions or statements that could prejudice the interests of the Prize or the Organizer’s business reputation.
III. Keep strictly confidential any information related to the work of the International Jury, including information about the applicants and the content of each application.
IV. Keep strictly confidential the decisions of the International Jury on awarding the Prize, up to the moment of official announcement of the winners is made in accordance with the procedure specified in these Prize Guidelines.
V. Not having, directly or through close family members, any financial or other interest with the applicants or members of the applicants' team.
k) Members of the International Jury may mention their status as members of the International Jury during their public speeches.
l) Members can be withdrawn by the Organizer from the International Jury for the following reasons:
I. Voluntary desire to leave the International Jury.
II. Inability to fulfill the duties of a member of the International Jury for health reasons.
III. Death of the International Jury member.
IV. Absence at meetings of the International Jury twice in a row.
V. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Prize Prize Guidelines.
m) The organizer has the right to resign up to one third of the International Jury members once a year.
5.EVALUATION OF APPLICATION PROCEDURE
a) The International Jury conducts the evaluation of the Candidate Solution during the period indicated as the "Evaluation Period" in the calendar published on the GPID website.
b) The assessment criteria are:
― Technical, i.e. clarity and relevance of project goals and extent to which the proposed innovative solution is ambitious and goes beyond the state of the art.
― Business, i.e. quality and effectiveness of the pilot innovative solution development plan, risk assessment, and adequacy of overall effort and resources required, and capabilities of the applicant individual / team.
― Impact, i.e. likely magnitude and significance of the proposed innovative solution's contributions to human development and sustainability, and suitability and quality of measures to maximize expected outcomes and impacts.
c) In order to make the work of the International Jury efficient, the Chairperson/Co-chairs of the International Jury may pre-analyze the Candidate Solutions received and decide to submit to the International Jury either the entirety of the Candidate Solutions received or a subset, and/or randomly distribute the Candidates Solutions among the jurors so that each can have a fair number of evaluations. For each Candidate Solution (of the total or of the subset) and for each criterion or sub-criterion, each assigned member of the International Jury will make an individual evaluation with a grade between 0 and 5 where:
― 0, the Candidate Solution does not address the criterion or is incomplete
― 1, the criterion is inadequately addressed or has serious weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
― 2, the criterion is addressed, but there are some weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
― 3, the criterion is well addressed, but there are weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
― 4, the criterion is addressed very well, and there are few weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
― 5, the criterion is successfully addressed, and all relevant aspects are covered by the Candidate Solution.
d) To evaluate the "technical" criterion of each Candidate Solution, each jury member gives a grade from 0 to 5 as stated in 5.c. The overall evaluation of the "technical" criterion (Technical Score) will be the sum of the collected scores, removed the highest and the lowest, divided by the number, reduced by two, of members of the International Jury who gave their scores.
e) To evaluate the "business" criterion of each Candidate Solution, each jury member gives a grade from 0 to 5 as stated in 5.c. The overall evaluation of the "business" criterion (Business Score) will be the sum of the collected scores, removed the highest and the lowest, divided by the number, reduced by two, of members of the International Jury who gave their scores.
f) To evaluate the “impact” criterion of each Candidate Solution, each jury member gives a grade from 0 to 5 as stated in 5.c. to each impact category (see point 2.b) indicated by the applicant for the Candidate Solution. Each impact category is evaluated independently. The partial score of each impact category will be the sum of the collected scores, removed the highest and the lowest, divided by the number, reduced by two, of members of the International Jury who gave their scores. The overall evaluation of the “impact” criterion (Impact Score) will be the sum of the partial scores of the two highest categories, considering only those categories with a partial score of 3 or higher.
g) To be eligible for the final GPID Medal ranking, a Candidate Solution must have a score of at least 3 in each of Technical Score, Business Score and Impact Score. The Candidate Solution eligible for the GPID Medal ranking will be placed in order of Total Score (i.e., sum of Technical Score, Business Score and Impact Score). The five Candidate Solutions with the highest Total Score will proceed to the “Consensus Meeting” of the International Jury, in which the International Jury will decide the award of the GPID Medal at its sole discretion by a simple majority vote of those present at the voting. In case of a tie, the vote of the Chairperson of the International Jury or of the most senior among the Co-chairs will count double.
h) Candidate Solutions that are not GPID Medal winner will be eligible to compete for the Impact Medals. For each impact category, Candidate Solutions will be ranked according to their individual Impact Category partial score (see point 5.f). The five Candidate Solutions with the highest Impact Category partial score will proceed to the “Consensus Meeting” of the International Jury, in which the International Jury will decide the award of the Impact Medal at its sole discretion by a simple majority vote of those present at the voting. In case of a tie, the vote of the Chairperson of the International Jury or of the most senior among the Co-chairs will count double. A Candidate Solution can be a winner in more than one Impact Category
i) The International Jury may also suggest to the Organizer that special awards be given to Candidate Solutions that have not been awarded GPID Medal or Impact Medals but are particularly promising. This suggestion must be voted on by a simple majority of those present at the vote. In case of a tie, the International Jury President's vote will count double.
a) The prize is awarded in a high-level event by the Honorary Chairperson of the International Jury and/or by the Chairperson/Co-chairs of the International Jury or his/her authorized representative chosen among the International Jury’s members.
b) The applicants who are awarded the Prize (both GPID Medal and Impact Medals) also receive the honorary international title of the GPID Laureate and an award package and are admitted to the acceleration program dedicated to the development of their innovative solutions.
c) The monetary part of the Prize is paid to the laureates no later than 60 calendar days after the ceremony.
d) The Prize award ceremony can be organized during other high-level events. Winners shall participate to:
I. The official press conference.
II. Final rehearsal of the award ceremony.
III. Award ceremony.
IV. Gala reception and other events in accordance with the program.
e) At the award ceremony, the GPID Medal winner and the Impact Medals winners shall make a short speech.
f) At the award ceremony, the GPID Medal winner and the Impact Medals winners shall observe the black-tie dress code (black tuxedo for men or formal gown for women).
What is the GPID?
Through the Global Prize for Innovation in Water Desalination (GPID), we recognize and reward those making significant contributions to the field of water desalination and inspire others to join us in our mission to find sustainable water solutions.
Does the GPID include a monetary prize?
Yes. The GPID Medal will provide a $100,000 prize and each impact medal will provide a $50,000 prize.
Does the GPID include more than a monetary prize?
Yes. Any individual, team, or legal entity that is awarded with the GPID will be admitted to an accelerator program and will be able to use some piloting facilities of the SWCC or other partners.
When and where does the GPID take place? Can I participate remotely?
The application phase will be open from February 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023. The selection phase will be open from July 1, 2023 to September, 2023. Both phases do not require physical presence. The award ceremony will be held in October 2023 and will require physical presence.
Who should apply for the GPID?
Researchers / research groups / start-ups / companies / NGOs / Universities.
How many entities will be awarded?
1 GPID medal, up to 1 impact medal for each category.
Can companies participate if they have already raised funding?
Yes. Companies who have raised seed funding could still be awarded with the prize.