Thirty candidates will compete to win 10 awards and millions of dirhams in prize money at this year’s Zayed Sustainability Prize.
The shortlisted projects span artificial intelligence, smartphone apps, community infrastructure and affordable payment platforms.
Drones are well represented. One finalist, uses them to clean up the oceans, while another harnesses global drone data for disaster prevention and response.
Abu Dhabi launched the prize to inspire work on renewable energy. A record 2,373 entries from 129 countries were received this year – up 13 per cent on 2018.
"With another record year in terms of global entries, we have been encouraged by the calibre of the submissions," said Olafur Grimsson, chairman of the jury and former president of Iceland.
The finalists are judged in five categories – health, food, energy, water and schools – with the winners to be announced on January 13.
In the health, food, energy and water categories, each winner receives $600,000 (Dh2.2 million). The schools category has six winners – with each receiving up to $100,000.
The prize was first awarded by Abu Dhabi in 2008, and there have been 76 winners.
“I am inspired by the bold ideas of the 2020 finalists, who have demonstrated solutions that have the potential to deliver ... long-lasting progress," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director-General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize. "In their ambition to advance humanity, the 2020 finalists embody the values and legacy of our Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, and prove that the prize can act as a catalyst for engaging and encouraging like-minded pioneers and innovators.”