World Water Day

11th Hour Racing and Bluewater announce 2nd Annual Urban Water Challenge

11th Hour Racing and Bluewater promote human ingenuity to tackle urban water threats with the second annual Imagine H2O Urban Water Challenge offering one million dollars in awards funding and investment.

In honor of World Water Day and the 2019 theme, ‘leaving no one behind’, 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater Group announced the second annual Urban Water Challenge, a global innovation competition that empowers entrepreneurs to deploy water technologies within fast-growing cities globally.

The Founding Partners of the Challenge, 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater Group, collectively committed up to $1,000,000 in pilot award funding and investment opportunities to jumpstart and scale innovative water solutions.

“11th Hour Racing drives solution-based innovation to challenge the issues facing the health of the Earth’s waters, which is linked directly to our own health,” said Jeremy Pochman, Co-founder and Strategic Director of 11th Hour Racing. “The Urban Water Challenge provides unique access to vetted water solutions for cities and communities, bringing together new opportunities for on-site treatment and plastic pollution control, as well as innovative, off-grid access to safe drinking water through affordable, capital-efficient alternatives.”

The 2019 Challenge unlocks deployment awards to test and validate novel, planet-friendly water technology solutions in major cities to inspire their wider adoption globally. This year, the Challenge will also feature a discovery track for promising ideas in breakthrough technology categories.

Drinkwell, one of the 2018 Urban Drinking Water Challenge winners.

Pictured above, Drinkwell, one of the 2018 Urban Drinking Water Challenge winners, is addressing the problem of safe water access in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The challenge will empower promising water technology startups and end users to deploy innovative, decentralized solutions and strive for a sustainable, plastic-free water future. Photo credit: Drinkwell

“The world faces mounting severe water stress due to global warming as well as increasing threats of contamination to urban water supplies and ecosystems,” said Anders Jacobson, co-founder and CEO of Blue, the Stockholm-based sustainability impact-driven financial institution owning Bluewater. “Blue is supporting the Challenge because we believe human ingenuity will play a vital role in unleashing new technologies and business models that help us address these issues and get us back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. By combining driving innovation and supporting deployment through Bluewater with initiatives like Urban Water Challenge and focusing investments into the water industry, Blue hopes to create a unique water community which can accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable water innovations.”

The 2019 Challenge will identify technology startups across three primary themes: Drinking Water; Water Reuse and Recycling; Ecosystem Health. Each theme will be defined by specific problem statements to ensure that the solutions sourced through the Challenge meet the real needs of customers in diverse markets. The winners will be showcased at an award ceremony and series of events during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, August 25-29.

The 2018 inaugural Challenge received 160 applications across 54 countries. Three winners received pilot funding awards to monitor lead contamination in the US, remove arsenic in Bangladesh and digitize water infrastructure in India.

About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O (IH2O) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally. Since 2009, the organization’s water innovation accelerator has helped over 100 startups with the resources, insight and visibility to launch and scale their businesses. In 2017 and 2018, IH2O portfolio companies received 30% of early-stage investment in the water sector. In 2019, IH2O will launch its first hub outside the United States. IH2O Asia will be a Singapore-based, regional accelerator program that bridges global innovation to cities and communities across Southeast Asia. http://www.imagineh2o.org/urban-water-scarcity

About the Founding Challenge Partners
11th Hour Racing establishes strategic partnerships within the sailing and maritime communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean. Since 2010, 11th Hour Racing has been harnessing the power of sport with an innovative and comprehensive approach through three primary areas of engagement: sponsorships, grantees, and ambassadors. Please visit us at www.11thhourracing.org.

Bluewater is a world leader in innovating, manufacturing, and commercializing water purification technologies and solutions for residential, business and public use that harness the company’s patented second-generation reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from water, including micro plastic fibers, lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine, and lime-scale. Bluewater is wholly owned by Blue, a Stockholm-based global investment company that serves as a catalyst for innovations that can solve some of the major challenges facing our planet and all living on it. Please visit us at http://www.bluewatergroup.com or www.blueab.se

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