Zayed Sustainability Prize
From left to right: Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, director general, Abu Dhabi Development Fund, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, Dr Bakheet Saeed Al Katheeri, chief executive officer of Mubadala Petroleum Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Zayed Sustainability Prize on Wednesday announced the launch of its 20by2020 initiative, which aims to support 20 developing countries around the world with 20 innovative sustainable solutions developed by the prize’s past winners and finalists.

“The 20by2020 initiative is a creative way to leverage the outcomes of the Zayed Sustainability Prize through greater impact [and] greater reach around the world by drawing on the innovative solutions created by prize finalists and winners,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, announcing the new programme from Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.

“Many more people will benefit through this initiative; by the end of 2020 sustainable solutions will be extended to vulnerable communities in 20 countries by impacting thousands of people in need,” he added.

The 20by2020 initiative is also being partnered by several other leading Abu Dhabi entities including the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, Abu Dhabi Global Market and Mubadala.

The winners of the 2020 edition of the prize are set to be announced next month in Abu Dhabi during the capital’s sustainability week. To date, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has awarded a total of 76 winners, with the prize impacting over 318 million people globally since its launch in 2008.

Al Jaber said that each of the 20 solutions would match a certain need in one of the 20 countries that they are applied in, highlighting how the prize went through its extensive database to select and find the appropriate solutions to apply.

“Because of that very rich experience accumulated over the past 10 years… we were able to define what are the gaps that do exist today in the field and then try to match them to their natural partner through this database.

“What we’re trying to do in 2020 is to put this in action with more emphasis… [on] clearly defined sustainable gaps that do exist today in nations… and match them with those [winners or finalists] who have the service, technology or solution,” he added.

Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and chairman of ADGM, said the 2020 initiative would also allow the prize’s past winners and finalists to take their innovations beyond their own countries where they have been mainly utilised.

“It is really about taking their product somewhere outside their geography where they usually operate.

“So the idea was to get some of these products, which are proven already [and have had a] significant impact distributed around the world,” he added.

Al Sayegh said that the initiative would also carry on past 2020 and would become a yearly initiative by the prize.

“In its first phase for the year 2020 we have enough funding for 20 countries and different products… Hopefully every year like we announce the prizes we will [also] announce that this initiative will continue.”

Global reach of Zayed Sustainability Prize winners

-318 million people impacted by prize

-157,400,000 people were connected to renewable energy

-7.1 million people gained access to clean and affordable water

-27.5 million people were connected to energy and modern technologies with 1.1 billion tons of CO2 saved

-70+ countries impacted