IDB and FEMSA Foundation launch water, sanitation and waste management innovation awards

 The FEMSA Foundation is a social investment vehicle that supports corporate sustainability in its social and environmental dimensions. Through its WATER initiative, the Foundation funds projects that foster the conservation of water resources and promote their adequate use as well as sanitation and hygiene practices, not only for the present but also for future generations. It is divided into three programs: Watershed Conservation, Water and Sanitation, and Capacity Building and Applied Research. In addition, its early childhood development area supports projects that aim to help children between 0-5 years of age, in particular those in a situation of social vulnerability, reach their maximum development potential and transform their communities.

The IDB-FEMSA Awards offer four prizes of US$10,000 and US$5,000 to innovative solutions to the problems of access to drinking water, sanitary services, and final disposal of solid waste in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Creating innovative solutions to provide drinking water, build or improve existing sanitation networks, and manage solid waste in a sustainable way is paramount for improving the lives of millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The ninth edition of the IDB-FEMSA Awards today opened a call to all innovators in the region. The Award seeks to provide an incentive to startups, products or initiatives that are already impacting in a positive manner the water and sanitation sector, in order to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in a vital sector for the region.

In this edition, there will be four winning categories. The Inter-American Development Bank and the FEMSA Foundation will award a first prize of US$10,000 and a second prize of US$5,000 to initiatives located in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Argentine Undersecretary for Water Resources Management and the Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA) public company will give an additional first prize of US$10,000 and a second prize of US$5,000 to initiatives developed in Argentina.

The jury will select eight finalists, who will have a chance to compete for the final prize and present their solutions to an audience of experts and sector leaders. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony to be held Nov. 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires during the International Water Association (IWA) Congress.

In previous editions, the IDB-FEMSA Award handed out prizes to initiatives such as AGUA PARA LA VIDA (Water for Life) for its project NeatWork –a software tool for water projects in poor rural communities of Nicaragua– and its training program for rural systems management. Another former winner, AKVO, was recognized for its development of innovative and sustainable digital technology applications and tools that have helped improve water and sanitation management in rural areas of our region.

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