His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today presented the awards to the 10 winners of the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development 2023.
Winners of the 2023 Zayed Sustainability Prize were recognized in Abu Dhabi on January 16, 2023 (Photo: AETOSWire)
The award ceremony was held on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023.
The ceremony was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, HH. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; the Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of the Presidential Court, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan; the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan; and a number of Sheikhs and senior officials
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed congratulated the winners in the five categories, reaffirming the role of the Award as a global catalyst for sustainable development and humanitarian action.
In his remarks at the awards ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, “The UAE continues to lead important global initiatives at the heart of our mission to create a better future for all, both within the UAE and beyond its borders. The ambition of the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development spearheads these efforts. It creates a pathway to provide humanitarian assistance and solutions that positively impact the lives of communities around the world.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out that the year 2023, which marks the 15th anniversary of the Award, also represents a historic year for the UAE as it prepares to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). In this context, this year’s award is an important reminder of the need to further strengthen international collaboration in order to ensure greater mobilization for climate action and create opportunities for sustainable economic and social development in all nations, including the Global South
His Highness continued, “Over the past 15 years, the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development has successfully built on the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, and continued his bold humanitarian vision, ensuring that the resources of our great nation are fully utilized for the benefit of all. Today, the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development is an internationally recognized award that mobilizes innovators, social entrepreneurs, and youth to drive positive change for our planet and for all.
The Zayed Prize for Sustainability is the world’s pioneering development award, presented by the United Arab Emirates. It recognizes, promotes and awards $3 million to small and medium-sized enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and high school students who propose innovative and inspiring sustainable solutions in the areas of health, food, energy and water.
Through its 96 past winners, the award has transformed the lives of more than 378 million people worldwide since 2008, including in Vietnam, Nepal, Sudan, Ethiopia, Maldives and Tuvalu. In the categories of Health, Food, Energy and Water, each winner receives US$600,000. The “World Colleges and High Schools” category awards six schools in six regions of the world up to US$100,000 each.
His Highness emphasized the need to educate the younger generation to become the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow’s sustainable development. He also praised the “World Colleges and High Schools” category, which enables young people to play an active role in the socio-economic development of their communities.
Food” category: The French company Ÿnsect won the “Food” category. This SME produces insect proteins and natural insect-based fertilizers, and has established the first insect factory of its kind in Europe equipped with an innovative vertical farming and integrated biorefinery facility. Ÿnsect processes two insect species (Molitor and Buffalo mealworms) into high-end, high-value ingredients for the entire food chain: pets, fish, plants and humans. Ÿnsect is currently building its third production unit in France and already operates other sites in France and the Netherlands. By 2025, it will be able to produce 1500 tons of insect protein per month.
Over the past five years, Ÿnsect has improved the lives of 30 million people by providing sustainable, natural, premium nutritional products for fish farming (as an alternative fish feed to meet the nutritional needs of aquaculture) and human nutrition. The company’s current demonstration plant produces 30 tons of protein per month.
Health Category: The award went to Associação Expedicionários da Saúde (Brazil), a non-profit organization (NPO) that provides specialized medical and surgical care to geographically isolated indigenous communities in the Amazon through its mobile hospital complex. The objective of the mobile hospital complex is to provide access to the most difficult areas of the Amazon, guaranteeing the safety and comfort of patients and excellence in the quality of services provided. During six expeditions between 2015 and 2022, the nonprofit organization has performed more than 1,900 surgeries that have improved healthcare, including improved vision after cataract surgery.
Energy Category: In the Energy category, Jordanian company NeuroTech has developed Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms and a blockchain-based transaction system to provide refugee camps with reliable access to energy. The SME uses the concept of energy sharing by separating electrical loads into low and high priority streams. This ensures that beneficiaries receive the energy they need to survive, and additional energy is directed to low-priority flows based on energy availability. Sophisticated energy management and control reduces the stress of electricity consumption and educates consumers to use electricity more efficiently.
During its pilot phase, NeuroTech helped provide electricity to more than 10,000 Syrian refugees in Azraq. By optimizing the use and distribution of power, NeuroTech has helped ease the electricity constraints on the respiratory section of the camp’s main hospital, making it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can now use a personal nebulizer, a medical device used during the COVID-19 pandemic and for people with chronic respiratory disease.
Water Category: LEDARS, a non-profit organization from Bangladesh, won the “Water” category for its integrated water resource management model to address water scarcity in disaster-prone areas where water becomes unusable due to salinity and flooding. Their combination of technologies is helping to transform communities in Bangladesh so that people can have access to clean water and climate-smart livelihoods.
With LEDARS’ support, 5,250 biosand filters, 65 pond sand filters, 185 rainwater harvesting systems, and 69 barrier ponds have been installed in communities across Bangladesh, promoting year-round rice and vegetable cultivation on previously barren land. LEDARS’ initiatives have provided at least 15,881 families with access to clean water. As a result, more than 12 million gallons of water have been saved.
Jury President and former President of the Republic of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, said, “The 2023 winners have demonstrated an unprecedented degree of creativity and ambition in their solutions to the challenges of our time. We are confident that these winners will have a significant impact on communities around the world, and in turn accelerate important climate action goals to ensure a sustainable future for all.”
His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the award, said: “Since its inception 15 years ago by our nation’s wise leaders, the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development has become a key pillar of the UAE’s vision to drive inclusive climate action and sustainable development on a global scale. By bringing concrete sustainable development solutions to vulnerable communities around the world, the award honors Sheikh Zayed’s contribution to social progress and humanitarianism on a global scale.”
“Our 106 winners promote initiatives to address the most pressing issues of our time. Through their commitment to positive action, millions of people who lived without access to energy, water, medical care, or food in developing countries now enjoy opportunities for sustainable economic and social development, including access to quality education, decent work, economic growth, and better livelihoods.”
His Excellency Al Jaber added, “As the UAE prepares to host COP28 later this year, the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development is a vital reminder of the UAE’s commitment to accelerate the practical solutions needed to help societies mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
Since 2013, the award has recognized 46 secondary schools under its “Global Middle and High Schools” category from countries around the world. Students from these schools were recognized for their independently led project proposals that they implemented on their own. In total, they produced 7.2 million kWh of electricity, saved 5,700 tons of CO2 and had a positive impact on 427,408 people in their communities.
The winners of the “Colleges and High Schools of the World” 2023 category are:
Fundacion Bios Terrae – ICAM Ubate (Colombia), representing the American continent;
Romain-Rolland-Gymnasium (Germany), representing Europe and Central Asia;
Gifted Students School (Iraq), representing the Middle East and North Africa region;
UWC East Africa – Arusha Campus (Tanzania), representing Sub-Saharan Africa;
Dhaka Residential Model College (Bangladesh), representing South Asia;
Kamil Muslim College (Fiji), representing East Asia and the Pacific.
The winners were selected from a record 4,538 applicants by a panel of more than 40 experts. Jury members included His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, former president of the Republic of Iceland, ministers from the United Arab Emirates, Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Dr. Andreas Jacobs, president of INSEAD, and Jacobs Family Council, among others.
About the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development
The Zayed Prize for Sustainability is the pioneering global award for sustainable development in the United Arab Emirates and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Established in 2008, the Zayed Prize aims to stimulate sustainable development and humanitarian action by recognizing and rewarding small and medium-sized enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and high schools that offer impactful, innovative, and inspiring solutions in the categories of “Health,” “Food,” “Energy,” “Water,” and “Global Colleges and High Schools.
In 2023, the Zayed Prize will celebrate 15 years of humanitarian impact around the world. Through its 96 winners, the prize has positively influenced the lives of 370 million people in 150 countries.