Expo 2020 Dubai: start-ups 'get in the ring' to battle out ideas on sustainability

Finals of a contest to find water, food and energy solutions will take place at the Dutch pavilion

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The Netherlands pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai will be the ground for metaphoric boxing bouts between companies vying to find answers to environmental and energy issues as part of a worldwide competition.

The Get in the Ring tour will begin with virtual rounds on September 29 in the UAE, followed by events in the Netherlands and Jordan in December.

The contest is called the Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour and is part of Get in the Ring, the brainchild of the Unknown Group, a Dutch venture capital firm.

"At Unknown, we love opportunities to collaborate with embassies and governments to support start-ups,” said Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, chief operating officer of the Unknown Group.

Get in the Ring is a global start-up competition that hosts events in more than 100 countries.

Contestants will tackle water, energy and food challenges. The top 15 finalists will have a chance to pitch their innovation early next year at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The final will be held at the Dutch pavilion in a mock boxing ring in January next year.

Lody Embrechts, the Ambassador of the Netherlands in the UAE, said Gulf nations were keen to become more self-sufficient with food supplies and secure fresh water for agriculture and consumption.

“These water, energy and food sectors will have to operate in close co-ordination, as a nexus,” he said.

“The inextricable links between these critical domains – water, sustainable agriculture and efficient energy production – are critical if we are to take responsible climate action.”

Dealing with scarce resources such as water and food is a theme at the Dutch pavilion.

It features a giant cone covered with edible plants and a solar-powered rain shower as real-life examples to address the issues.

More than 25,000 start-ups from 109 countries have applied to other Get in the Ring events over the past year.

For more information, visit: https://unitingweftour.com/

Updated: September 08, 2021, 11:10 AM