10 Entrepreneurs Share CHF1.75 million to Tackle Global Freshwater Crisis
By 2030 the global demand for water will exceed sustainable supply by 40%
Climate change and expanding populations are causing rivers and lakes to dry up
UpLink, the open innovation platform of the World Economic Forum, has announced the first group of 10 water-focused entrepreneurs who will each receive CHF175,000 to scale their start-ups
Winners of the Global Freshwater Innovation Challenge come from seven countries and have developed innovations using biosensors, chemical-free wastewater treatments and desalination solutions
The challenge is part of a five-year $15 million investment to drive innovation in the freshwater sector, provided by a leading global conglomerate
Securing the world’s global freshwater ecosystems, under increasing threat from climate change, population growth and consumer demand, has become more critical than ever. To tackle this escalating crisis, UpLink, the open innovation platform of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with global conglomerate HCL Group, has announced 10 water-focused entrepreneurs who will share CHF1.75 million ($1.9 million) from HCL Group to scale their innovations.
Access to water plays a critical role in food production, education, job creation, health and well-being and the preservation of the natural world and is vital to achieving the UN’s 2030 sustainability agenda. However, global demand for water will exceed sustainable supply by 40% by 2030, with huge implications for the global economy and society.
The 10 start-ups are the winners of the Global Freshwater Innovation Challenge, the first of five challenges under HCL and UpLink’s Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative. Launched in September 2022, the challenge called for innovative solutions that would strengthen data-driven decision making, improve freshwater resilience in the face of climate change and restore water quality around the world.
Through a $15 million investment over five years, HCL Group is supporting UpLink and the Forum’s Global Water Initiative to launch a series of innovation challenges and create an innovation ecosystem for the global freshwater sector on UpLink.
The 10 water-focused entrepreneurs, or “aquapreneurs”, were chosen from 227 solutions submitted to the cha