Effective Sewage Treatment in Italian National Parks

42 Submissions
$20,000 USD
Challenge under evaluation

Challenge overview


This Challenge is looking for an innovative technology for the purification of the urban-style sewage in Italian national parks, a technology that would bring efficiency while being tightly constrained by the demands to preserve the landscape aspects of the national park as well as Mediterranean marine life and terrestrial environment.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.


The restrictions imposed by certain “sensitive” locations, for example, national parks, complicate the execution of basic maintenance services, such as purification of the urban-style sewage. This Challenge describes a real-life situation in one of the Italian, Mediterranean seacoast-located, national parks. The outdated wastewater purification equipment needs to be updated. However, these updates are complicated by the strict landscaping rules that are in effect in the national parks. It is therefore impossible to build new plants and buildings; only the existing buildings must be used. Furthermore, marine life and the terrestrial environment must be respected too.

The Challenge is looking for technologies that would allow us to dramatically increase purification efficiency while considering the reality imposed by the conditions of a national park. In addition, the Challenge is seeking to reduce the amount of sludge resulting in the purification process.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon the theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on July 3, 2023.

Late submissions will not be considered.


Iren is one of the largest and most dynamic multi-utility companies in Italy. It operates in many sectors including the generation and distribution of electricity, production of thermal energy for district heating, and gas. It also manages electric grids and provides integrated water services, as well as environmental and technological services.

Iren serves a multiregional area in the Northwest of Italy. It employs more than 10,000 people and provides a portfolio of services in the energy sector (2 million customers), integrated water sector (2.8 million customers), and environmental services (3.8 million citizens served). Iren is the largest operator in Italy in the production of thermal energy for district heating.

Iren operates mainly through its business units: Iren Energia, IRETI, Iren Mercato, and Iren Ambiente. The current Challenge is sponsored primarily by IRETI, the company dealing with integrated water service. IRETI also takes care of the planning, maintenance, strengthening, measurement, and development of water/sewerage networks.


Employees of the Iren Group and its subsidiaries (and members of their families) are not eligible to receive awards for this Challenge.

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