Zayed Sustainability Prize postponed until 2022

The major international award, which funds innovative projects to change lives for the better, was due to take place in January next year

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The annual award ceremony for the upcoming Zayed Sustainability Prize has been postponed for one year.

The major international award, which funds innovative projects that change lives for the better, was due to take place in January next year.

The decision to postpone the event was made due to the Covid-19 pandemic and because of the travel restrictions that would affect attendance for some of the global participants.

Entities that submitted their applications this year will be automatically moved to the 2022 cycle of the competition.

Since 2008, the UAE’s Zayed Sustainability Prize has been at the centre of a global effort to harness new technologies to make change.

Launched by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it covers five categories, including health, food, energy and water. Education is addressed through its 'global high schools' category.

Projects are judged based on how impactful they are when it comes to benefiting communities around the world through innovations such as renewable and solar energy.

This year, 10 winners shared an Dh11m prize fund, with each allocated Dh2.2m.

They included a Ghanaian teenager who created a smartphone application which used data analytics to predict and detect crop diseases.

A total of 2,373 projects put their work forward in the hope of winning the 2020 edition of the prize.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and director general of the prize, said the decision to postpone the award was made after careful consideration.

“The prize has impacted more than 335 million people, to date,” he said.

“We are also continuing to focus on accelerating the UAE-driven 20by20 initiative.

"It is pioneered by the Prize in partnership with several entities by donating past finalists’ and winners’ solutions to vulnerable communities around the world to improve their quality of life.”