Inspirational human innovation was the overall winner at the WEX Global Awards 2020 for water and energy innovation, announced at a ceremony at Valencia’s Oceanogràfic on 4 March, which toasted the success of water companies across the world for their efforts in facilitating urgent circular economy measures to protect the planet.
The lucky victors on the night – which formed part of the three-day WEX Global 2020 conference at the Oceanogràfic aquarium complex in Valencia, Spain – included companies active in Dubai, the USA, the UK, Ireland, Jamaica, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Portugal. Their award-winning work spanned areas ranging from solar desalination, to wastewater reclamation, non-revenue water reduction, and the transformation of seawater into valuable resources. John Z. Bentley, Executive Partner & Water Sector Leader at IBM Services gave the keynote speech, on the connected future.
There were eight awards categories in total, and the winners were chosen from shortlists by the event’s seven judges: Oliver Grievson (Z-Tech), Gaëtane Suzenet (International Impact Partners), Miguel Angel Ayllon (Idrica), Lila Thompson (British Water), Frank Rogalla (FCC Aqualia), Ryan Welsh (City of Cincinnati) and Leon Awerbuch (International Desalination Association). An additional award for Circular Economy was selected by WEX Global and Idrica, the main sponsor. One more award was presented to the winner of the Innovations Forum sponsored by Aqualia, this having a different panel of judges presided over by Frank Rogalla, Director of Innovation & Technology at Aqualia..
The winners on the night, for innovation in each of the following categories were as follows:
- Process Technology: Desolenator for Solar Desalination project in Dubai
- Water & Energy: APG-Neuros for the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Denver, Colorado, USA
- Water and/or Wastewater Management: CAMBI for the Basingstoke (UK) Sewage Treatment Works
- Operations: SCUBIC Technology in Aveiro, Portugal
- Infrastructure: Miya & Jamaica National Water Commission, KSA NRW Reduction Co-Management Program
- Technology: DuPont OxyMem Drop-in MABR Modules Enhance Wastewater Treatment Plant Capacity – global applications
- Finance/Partnerships: Saudi Water Partnership for the Dammam Independent Sewage Treatment Project, Dammam, KSA
- Desalination: Acciona for DREAMER: Environmentally-friendly Desalination System Concept; Transforming Seawater into Valuable Resources, Spain
The WEX Global & IDRICA Circular Economy Water Award 2020 went to Uganda‘s National Water & Sewage Corporation, and the Aqualia Award for Innovations 2020 went to Desolenator for Desolenator Solar Desalination, Dubai.
Other companies shortlisted for the awards included Perceptive Engineering, Drylet, SUEZ, MobyGIS, Utico, INLOC Robotics, Vienna Water Monitoring Solutions, Deer Technology, and the Centre for Water Systems at the University of Exeter.
Judge Gaëtane Suzenet said it was “an honour” to be part of the WEX Global Awards. “Congratulations to all the winners for bringing new heights to the European water and energy innovation landscape! The path of innovation is always tough and those who take the challenge should be rewarded.”
William Janssen, CEO of Desolenator, winner both of the Process Technology and Innovations awards, said Team Desolenator was “overjoyed” about the award of two prizes for their work on sustainable seawater desalination. “We want to share our continued commitment to WEX as the leading platform within the Water and Energy nexus. See you at WEX 2021!”