His Excellency Engineer (HE Eng) Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, the minister of environment, water and agriculture of Saudi Arabia, honoured the recipients of the global prize for innovation in desalination. Syed Shah from water technology company Aqua Membranes, US, was awarded the grand prize for his project ‘Revolutionising reverse osmosis (RO) through 3D printed spacers’.
HE Eng Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Abdulkariem, the governor of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), officials and dignitaries were present at the event. With a total value of US$10m, the prizes focused on environmental aspects of the desalination industry, energy consumption reduction and business model transformation. Five other winners were recognised for meeting SWCC vision, international standards and innovation. These winners were chosen out of 105 participants representing 27 countries from research institutions, universities, entrepreneurs, and professionals employed in the global water desalination industry.
They were: Arian Edalat from Active Membranes, US, for the project ‘Next generation of desalination membranes’; Quantum Wei from Harmony Desalting, US, for the project ‘Batch RO’; Nick Heineman from Desolenator, the Netherlands, for the project ‘Desolenator: Pioneering a world-first solar-thermal desalination solution at Scale’; Hany Said from Mega Vessels Water, US, for the ‘Mega vessel’ project; and Mohamed Anwar from Schneider Electric, France, for the project ‘Desalination plant digital twin powered by dynamic process simulation’.
HE Eng Al-Fadley said that the prizes align with its water strategy, which integrates trends, policies, legislation, and practices within the water sector. HE Eng Al-Abdulkariem added that the corporation position as the world’s largest water producer, delivering a 11.5 million m3/day underscored collaboration, technical knowledge exchange, innovation, R&D, and prioritising funding for projects to ensure the sustainability of water resources and global access.