With Two New Competitions, XPRIZE Tackles Water Scarcity and Women’s Safety

Oct 24 2016


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The Water Abundance XPRIZE and Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE, Launch in India

New Delhi (October 24, 2016) -- At a United Nations Day reception today in New Delhi, Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE, and Zenia Tata, executive director of Global Expansion at XPRIZE, announced the launch of two new competitions: the Water Abundance XPRIZE and the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE.

Aimed at sparking breakthrough solutions to two urgent grand challenges, the US$1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE sponsored by Tata Group and Australian Aid aims to alleviate the global water crisis with energy-efficient technologies that will harvest fresh water from thin air. The Water Abundance XPRIZE challenges teams from around the world to revolutionize access to fresh water by creating a device that extracts a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter. The two-year competition includes five months for team registration, seven months for initial solution development and twelve months to complete rounds of testing and judging by expert panels. 

The US$1M Women’s Safety XPRIZE sponsored by Anu and Naveen Jain will leverage technology to empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures women’s safety. The winning team’s solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and at an annual cost of US$40 or less. The 20-month competition includes four months for team registration, six months for initial solution development and ten months to develop and test final solutions for judging by expert panels.

Teams for both the competitions will be judged based on the standards they set in their plans, as well as the performance and scalability of their solutions.

Following are statements from XPRIZE and sponsors of both competitions:

Zenia Tata, executive director, Global Expansion, XPRIZE said, “The launch of these two new XPRIZEs in India puts us on an unstoppable path for grand impact. India is becoming a leading global innovation hub and that itself speaks volumes of the caliber of innovators and entrepreneurs this country hosts. We want to cultivate this spirit and encourage exponential breakthroughs that will positively transform the lives of a billion people.”

Sponsor of the Women’s Safety XPRIZE, Anu Jain shared, “Ensuring women are safe is the foundation for economic prosperity and safer communities. When government’s fail to keep their people safe, community members and entrepreneurs share a collective responsibility to rapidly respond to those threats. With the power of technology, the Women’s Safety XPRIZE will help arm communities in an unprecedented way.”

Co-sponsoring the Water Abundance XPRIZE, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, CTO, TATA Group, said, “Water is a precious resource. We need to remind ourselves that only 2.5 percent of all the water on the earth is fresh water. Globally, we are dealing with the twin problem of scarcity and distribution of usable water. We are excited to mobilize the brightest minds to help generate solutions through the Water Abundance XPRIZE. We are confident that the outcomes driven by XPRIZE will provide innovative fresh water access options.”

“More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and yet water scarcity is an increasingly urgent issue,” added Chris Elstoft, Australian Government, co-sponsor of the Water Abundance XPRIZE. “Transforming scarcity into abundance is a significant challenge. We believe that the answer lies within the crowd. The Water Abundance XPRIZE will leverage both technology and crowd-sourcing to drive global impact.”

XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, launched these competitions in India to cultivate a wider, more diverse innovation ecosystem while also encourage problem solvers to directly address dire problems close to home.

For more information on the Water Abundance XPRIZE, visit water.xprize.org.

For more information on the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE, visit safety.xprize.org.

XPRIZE is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

About Tata Group
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities they serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $116 billion (as of March 31, 2016). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communication and Indian Hotels.

About Australian Aid
The world has changed—and our aid program is changing too. Today, many developing countries are growing rapidly, with aid representing an increasingly small proportion of development finance. To be effective in this new context, the Australian Aid program is becoming more innovative and catalytic, leveraging other drivers for development, such as private sector investment and domestic finance. We are recasting our aid program in light of this new development paradigm. For more information, you can visit: http://dfat.gov.au/aid/pages/australias-aid-program.aspx.

About Anu Jain
Anu Jain is an entrepreneur with a deep commitment to philanthropy. She currently heads Community Relations at iNome and is the primary driver for employee involvement in charitable community giving. Anu plays an active role in social initiatives in her local community as well, as a Board member of Bellevue LifeSpring, an organization dedicated to serving underprivileged families in the Bellevue, WA area. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Board of Pratham, a non-profit entity dedicated to improving the quality and access of education across India, which has impacted over 5.7 million children since its inception.

About Naveen Jain
Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. He is the founder of Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, iNome, TalentWise, Intelius, Infospace, in addition to serving as an advisor to the UK Longitude Prize and as a member of the Explorer club. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes, WSJ, INC and Huffington Post. As a board trustee and vision circle member at the XPRIZE Foundation, he is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions that address global challenges in health, education, poverty, agriculture, and access to clean water.

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