Most Innovative Idea in Water Production

2 Submissions
Special Mention
Due:  31st Aug 2024

Challenge overview


Most Innovative Idea in Water Production - Special Mention Prize - Designed for TRL8-9 & Market Submissions.

Applicants should assess their technology's TRL and apply to all relevant Challenges, maximizing alignment with criteria and potential impact. For quick navigation between the GPID Challenges hosted by Wazoku Crowd, please visit the GPID Challenge Program Homepage.

The Most Innovative Idea in Water Production Challenge aims to recognize thought leaders, provide information about water technologies at market deployment level, and celebrate other developments in the thematic space. Special Mention Winners and selected shortlisted Solvers will have the opportunity to win cash awards subject to GPID discretion.

The Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination (GPID) Challenges aim to find and support groundbreaking solutions that:

  • Improve the environmental footprint of desalination processes.
  • Reduce energy consumption and operational costs.
  • Introduce new technologies and innovative business models.
  • Provide scalable and sustainable solutions to meet global water demands.

The 5 Challenges comprising the GPID will all close on August 31st, 2024, so be sure to take part before the due date to:

  • Change the world with your water production/desalination ideas;
  • Develop technologies with acceleration and boosting pilots in Saudi Arabia;
  • Have the opportunity to attend a global water conference to network with leaders across the industry. Shortlisted Solvers and Award Winners will be invited to the three-day Innovation Drive Desalination Event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 11-13 November 2024, with all expenses paid. 

The Most Innovative Idea in Water Production Challenge is organized to celebrate market development, scale, and innovative ideas and solutions that: show how they have innovated the desalination space for policy/economics. 

Solvers will retain all rights to any proposal submitted.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 31, 2024.

- Login or register your interest to start solving! -



The Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination, founded in 2023, is dedicated to advancing the technologies and practices of water desalination to address global water scarcity and improve the lives of people worldwide.

Pilot programs for awarded Solvers would be hosted at Saudi Water Authority (SWA) and Water Technologies Innovation Institute and Research Advancement (WTIIRA) facilities. The SWA, the world's largest producer of desalinated water, operates 30 plants and is committed to promoting sustainable water solutions through innovation.

Solvers who work for, are associated with, or have financial links to the GPID, SWA, or WTIIRA are not eligible to receive awards for this Challenge.

This Challenge is open to individuals, teams, and organizations from across the globe.

Previous winners of the GPID cannot be awarded again, and the prize cannot be awarded to the same innovative solution twice (e.g. for the Grand Prize in the Discovery Award and for the Materials Science Impact Medal category).

As of the date of submission, each applicant must own, or hold appropriate license rights to, all technologies, methods, resources, and Intellectual Property (IP) included in the submission.

To learn more about the GPID, visit our dedicated Showcase.



Desalination and associated technologies  are a massive area of development worldwide to provide fresh, potable or usable water for millions of people. Water scarcity is a pressing global issue, affecting over a quarter of the world's population. This process is particularly crucial for regions like Saudi Arabia, where water scarcity poses a significant challenge. 

Desalination helps to meet the global demand for fresh water by converting seawater into potable water using advanced technologies. With 97% of Earth’s water in oceans, desalination is crucial for overcoming freshwater scarcity. Through methods like reverse osmosis and distillation, it removes salt, providing a sustainable solution.

However, there is a pressing need for further innovation in water production and desalination to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize environmental impacts.

The GPID seeks to drive the next generation of desalination technologies, ensuring sustainable and accessible water resources for all.

The Challenge

The Most Innovative Idea in Water Production Challenge for TRL8-9 and Market submissions is designed for those Solvers with details about developments in the desalination market space, personal experience innovating policy and economics around the topic, and those with market-defining solutions and technologies at a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The GPID's aim with this Challenge is to recognize and celebrate market solutions. While there is no listed cash prize for this Challenge provided by the GPID, Solvers will have extensive cash incentives, networking opportunities, and venture capital conversations should they win/be shortlisted at the Innovation Drive Desalination Event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in November 2024.

Participants in TRL8-9 value the opportunity to market their technology/solution, network with water leaders at an exclusive event, and drive real-world impact within the innovation community.

The Special Mention(s) for this Challenge will be awarded to some of the most effective ideas in desalination.

All shortlisted Solvers will be given access to Saudi Water Innovation Center (SWIC) services and resources - an incubation program with a leading venture capital in water. This will help to supercharge Solvers' technologies, solutions, and desalination/water technology programs as well as directly connecting you to decision makers across academia, industry, and private ventures.

Please note: if asked to express impact estimates of a technical or economic nature in the submission form of your TRL8-9 application in this Challenge, Solvers should use a 25-year business plan for a 500,000m3/day reference desalination plant based on currently-marketed technologies as your data point. If a Solver were to refer to a desalination plant with different characteristics, they would have to describe their parameters and explain their choices. Any other characteristics of the reference desalination plant may be assumed by the applicant at its own discretion and declared in the application procedure.

To learn more about the GPID Challenge Program and see commonly-asked questions, please visit the GPID Challenge Program Homepage here.



The Global Prize in Desalination is primarily interested in solutions from Solvers, research institutions, universities, corporates, R&D units, and start-ups which will be evaluated based on their potential to meet the following requirements:

Must-Have Requirements:

  • Technology – relating to the clarity and relevance of project goals and extent to which the proposed innovative solution is ambitious and goes beyond the state of the art.
  • Business Model – relating to the quality and effectiveness of the pilot innovative solution development plan, risk assessment, and adequacy of overall effort and resources required, and capabilities of the applicant individual / team. This includes economic feasibility, sustainability plan demonstrating business continuity beyond the pilot, risk assessments, and adequacy of overall effort and resources required.

    Please note: the “business” criterion will be used only in the evaluation of applications received for the “Breakthrough Award” Section.
  • Impact – relating to the likely magnitude and significance of the proposed innovative solution’s contributions to human development and sustainability, and suitability and quality of measures to maximize expected outcomes and impacts. This could be viewed through the capability of your solution or through its disruptive potential.
  • Team - relating to the knowledge and experience of Solvers, Solver teams, or Solver organizations, their responsiveness and professionalism, and the innovation and creative thinking displayed in their solution.
  • Governance/Legal - relating to the compliance with the law, rights, and standard as stated within the Challenge.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the above assessment criteria of Technology, Business Model, Impact, Team, and Governance/Legal. Each assessment criterion will be graded from 0 to 5 by members of the International Jury, where:

  • 0 - The Candidate Solution does not address the criterion or is incomplete
  • 1 - The criterion is inadequately addressed or has serious weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
  • 2 - The criterion is addressed, but there are some weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
  • 3 - The criterion is well addressed, but there are weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
  • 4 - The criterion is addressed very well, and there are few weaknesses by the Candidate Solution
  • 5 - The criterion is successfully addressed, and all relevant aspects are covered by the Candidate Solution

To be eligible for the final Special Mention  ranking, a Candidate Solution must have a score of at least 3 in each of Technical Score, Business Score and Impact Score.



Please login and register your interest, to complete the submission form.

The submitted proposals must be written in English and can include:

- Personal Details
- Organizational Details (if applicable)
- Project Details
- Technical Questions
- Market Questions
- Required attachments include a pitch video (video or .zip format, Max. 50MB), a mass balance (if applicable), and any other extra details you wish to provide in an attachment (Max. 10MB).

For the Most Innovative Idea in Water Production Challenge, Solvers will be asked to provide technical, market, and pilot details in response to the following questions:


Can your innovation increase the new/installed production capacity per $ invested compared to the current state-of-the-art? Please provide details.

Can your innovation decrease the energy consumption per unit of desalinated water and/or minimize the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per unit of desalinated water? Please provide details.

Can your innovation minimize the quantity of consumables and chemicals per unit of desalinated water? Please provide details.

Can your innovation reduce impacts from brine’s disposal in aquifers? Please provide details.

Can your innovation increase the value of the process of desalination on top of/versus the value of fresh water? Please provide details.

Is your application foreseeing the use of digital/artificial intelligence to reduce the cost of a unit of desalinated water, or to increase the resilience of desalinated water production? Please provide details.


What are your addressable markets? How big are they? How big will they be in five years?

Who are the main competitors of your technology?

Are there any barriers (e.g. regulations, standards, investments, know-how) that prevent the adoption of and/or don’t allow the switch to your technology?


What are the main milestones for bringing your innovation to a commercial stage?

What do you need to achieve the mentioned milestones? (e.g. human capital resources, services, external partners)


Wazoku encourages the use by Solvers of AI approaches to help develop their submissions, though any produced solely with generative AI are not of interest.

Find out more about participation in Wazoku Crowd Challenges.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 31, 2024.

Late submissions will not be considered.


Feeling lost? Not sure what GPID Challenge is right for you? Here's a handy guide on how you can get started with our Wazoku Crowd GPID Challenges:

  • Early-stage: Visit the Discovery Award if you have ideas, concepts, technologies, and solutions at TRL1-3 or expertise in desalination! $100,000 Grand Prize (with $200,000 value in piloting) and up to 10 $50,000 Impact Medals available!
  • More Mature Submissions: Join the Breakthrough Award for more mature technologies and solutions with proof-of-concept or experimental validation. This Challenge also has a $100,000 Grand Prize (with $200,000 in piloting funding), and up to 10 Impact Medals ($50,000 each).
  • Are you at market level or a high TRL (8-9)? Visit our three dedicated Special Mention Challenges:
    • Most Innovative Idea in Water Production - celebrating the market-defining technologies and policies in the water industry. Special Mention winners and shortlisted Solvers may not have a listed prize amount, but will experience plenty of cash incentives, including the opportunity to go to the GPID event in November 2024.
    • Venture Capital Deal of the Year in Water Production - tell us all about market deals, developments, and upcoming technology/financial opportunities in the water technology and production industry! This Special Mention has no listed cash award, but has the same opportunities with the awards event in November and any cash incentives.

    • Most Impactful Lab/Accelerator in Water Production Technology - do you work for or know a trailblazing lab/accelerator/research team in the water industry? Tell us all about your work to be awarded a Special Mention and the opportunity to perhaps give a keynote speech at the conference!

Use the slider to explore how the Challenge process works:


Review & Accept



To start solving this Challenge, log in to the Challenge Center or register as a Solver

Start the conversation!

Visit the Wazoku Crowd Community to discuss this Challenge with other like-minded solvers.