Australian government partner with Tata group for USD 1.5 million prize

Melbourne: Australian government has partnered with Indian major Tata group and US-based XPRIZE to run a USD 1.5 million global ‘Water Abundance Prize’ challenge for innovators who use energy-efficient technology to harvest water from air. The open challenge is for innovators, scientists, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers with new ideas to showcase use of technology in improving affordable access to clean water in high humidity areas where water is either unavailable or inaccessible.

An official statement here said that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop encouraged innovators across the globe to take on the Challenge during her visit to XPRIZE headquarters, a non-profit organisation specialising in encouraging technological advances to meet global development needs.

The top prize award of USD 1.5 million will be given to the creator of the most innovative and effective device which uses energy-efficient technology to harvest water from air, producing a minimum of 2,000 litres of water per day from the atmosphere, using 100 per cent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per litre.

In addition to this, five prizes worth Australian dollars 67,000 will be awarded to the other finalists. Only one per cent of the earth’s water resources can be used for human consumption.

“This ground and surface water is unevenly distributed, which can lead to the spread of disease, conflict over resources, irregular migration and slowed economic development. Water scarcity is a particularly acute problem in our Indo-Pacific region,” Bishop said.

Teams have until March 31st to register, seven months for initial solution development and twelve months to complete rounds of testing before being judged by an expert panel.