PRECIOUS WATER!: Foundation challenges water innovators with a prize of two million euros

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The FAMAE Foundation launches PRECIOUS WATER!, an international innovation challenge with € 2,000,000 as prize amount aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses, students, researchers, NGOs, and community groups. Unique in its size and global scope, the goal of the competition is to support brilliant initiatives with a major impact on access to drinking water, water treatment, water preservation, improving water quality and reducing the waste of water.

A year ago, FAMAE launched its first international competition dedicated to waste recycling and waste reduction “Don’t Trash your cash!”. With prize amount of €1,000,000, it had a tremendous international response with 1,500 candidates from 70 different countries and 60 colleges and universities. Last spring, three projects were chosen and these participants shared the global prize amount.

Considering the scale of the environmental issues we have to address , FAMAE this year doubles the prize amount to two million euros for another crucial environmental concern : water! The stakes are high and the expectations for concrete, effective solutions, are immense, both in the developed and in the developing world.

“We can’t live without drinking water. And yet, according to the latest figures, 11% of the world population, more than 800 million people, don’t have access to it. In the North (the developed world), there are other problems which require a huge effort in innovation, particularly a more efficient use of water (especially in agriculture and in industry such as the textile sector, or even in your home), the treatment of wastewater, as well as the protection of water as a resource. Therefore, we have decided this year to be even more ambitious and we expect more audacious projects!” said FAMAE President & Founder, Eric Philippon.

A challenge open to the whole planet

The PRECIOUS WATER competition is the world’s largest innovation competition dedicated to water and open to the business world, academic teams, and the non – profit sector.

From November 15 candidates can submit their projects in French or in English, finding all the necessary information via the Foundation’s secure web platform:

The application process will end on February 15, 2019 . The selection of successful candidates and the evaluation of detailed projects will then take place until May 2019 with the prize award ceremony scheduled on May 18, 2019 at the Vivatech trade show.

The number of laureates will depend on the selection of the jury. Apart from the funding, the candidates will also benefit from guidance of the FAMAE Foundation members and its network (entrepreneurs, investment funds, partners etc) to assist them in the development of the financial, commercial, legal and marketing aspects of the project.

A prestigious jury and committed ambassadors

To select the projects and the laureates in spring 2019, FAMAE has already constituted a high – quality jury comprising:

– Diane d’Arras, President of the International Water Association (IWA)

– Bertrand Piccard, President of Solar Impulse Foundation – Geneviève Férrone , Vice – president of the Foundation “Nature et l’Homme”

– Marie – Stéphane Maradeix, Managing Director of the Carasso Foundation

– Aymeric Marmorat, Executive director of Enactus France – Éric Philippon, Founding President of FAMAE

– Jean Michel Dalle, Managing Director of Agoranov (Deep Tech incubator)

– Lionel le Maux, Entrepreneur active in the renewable energies sector

– Michel Fortin, Co – founder of Natureo (an organic food retail group)

A scientific committee composed of specialists from the IWA and major universities (École Polytechnique, MIT, ENS, McGill …) will assist the jury on technical issues.

The competition will also benefit of the support of several international celebrities such as American actors involved in sustainable development or Ecology.

The international partners
The PRECIOUS WATER! competition is supported by international partners. The prizes will be awarded together with well – known organisations such as the IWA (International Water Association), MIT and SOLAR IMPULSE to name just a few.

About the FAMAE foundation

FAMAE is an independent foundation created in 2017 by Eric Philippon and his family with the objective to support and highlight initiatives which allow us to reduce our environmental footprint in the major circular economy sectors: water, waste, energy, mobility, food, air etc. The vision of the foundation is based on the conviction that technological innovations, with the right financial support, will allow the acceleration of the necessary ecological transformation. To achieve this goal, the Foundation organises an international innovation competition every year with each time a different theme and significant financial support.

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