Design Engineering

Two new XPRIZE competitions take on water scarcity and women’s safety

By Design Engineering staff   

General XPRIZE

Nearly $3 million purse waits for inventions that harvest water from air or trigger emergency alerts autonomously.

16-oct-xprize-water-safety-625At a United Nations Day reception in New Delhi this week, the XPRIZE Foundation launched two new competitions: the Water Abundance XPRIZE and the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. Sponsored by Tata Group and Australian Aid, the Water Abundance XPRIZE promises US$1.75 million to the first technology that can reap a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy and at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.

While there are many machines that can presently harvest up to 5,000 liters a day, using condensers or brine solutions, they are power hungry or otherwise expensive to run. Clean water abundance is an poignant issue for India, where the contest was announced, due to over use of groundwater in the country that’s created sever water shortages. Globally, more than 780 million people in 43 countries are facing water scarcity due to lack of availability, uneven distribution and access, and contamination. 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$1 million Women’s Safety XPRIZE challenges contestants to create a device that can 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.



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