12 January 2020
Meet the Zayed Sustainability Prize finalists for start-ups
Ten candidates across five categories will be announced as 2020 winners on Monday. This Monday, 10 candidates from a total of 30 finalists will be announced as winners of the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize. The major international award now covers five categories, including health, food, energy and water. Education is addressed through its ‘global high schools’ category. This year, finalists include start-ups which have developed technologies to combat plastic waste and the spread of disease, as well as improving access to clean electricity. The winners will be chosen from across all categories and will each be awarded $600,000 (Dh2.2 million). Here, The National takes a closer look at some of those in contention.
What they do: Remove unwanted plastic and rubbish from waterways
Plastic pollution has undeniably had a devastating impact on our oceans. For years, marine life and habitats have suffered. Today, however, one social enterprise is doing its bit to restore the health of beaches, canals and rivers around the world.
RanMarine Technology invented the WasteShark, an autonomous drone which swims through water while clearing waste materials including plastics, oil, toxic algae and invasive plants.
The robot works by sucking up unwanted debris and collecting environmental data to understand changes to water quality. Its designers say it poses no threat to animals, emits no light or noise pollution and produces zero carbon or greenhouse emissions. “We chose to target this particular global issue because we love the ocean,” Oliver Cunningham, co-founder of the enterprise told The National. “It is not only the source of all life on Earth, it is also a thing of immeasurable natural beauty and fun. “We believe that building smarter, cleaner, more efficient cities is the key to ensuring that humans can live sustainably and happily on Earth.
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