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Zayed Sustainability Prize Submission Of Application For Global Innovators Is Ongoing

Zayed Sustainability Prize

The 2021 edition of the Zayed Sustainability Prize is now open for application submission. This is a prize award for those who are driving innovative, impactful, and inspirational sustainability solutions in five distinct areas; Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.

Basically, it is recognizing pioneering solutions and technologies that can change the world. Therefore, if you have innovative solutions in the area of health, food, energy, and water or you are guiding high school students to implement solutions in these areas, this is for you.

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The Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize fund is organised by the Abu Dhabi Government in honor of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Late Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It is organised to honor and continue his sustainability and humanitarian legacy.

It was implemented in 2008, and the first award ceremony was held in 2009. Since then, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has rewarded innovators and visionaries whose achievements have furthered the global proliferation of innovative, impactful and inspirational sustainability solutions.

Altogether, over 318 million people have been directly and indirectly impacted by the sustainability solutions including school projects of the 76 recipients of the Prize winners.

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Categories Of The Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize awards five categories. It recognizes organisations that can demonstrate innovative, impactful and inspirational sustainability solutions in the following areas but are not limited to:


  • Ensuring access to essential and affordable healthcare
  • Ensuring access to maternal and new-born healthcare
  • Ending epidemics (AIDs, Malaria, Tuberculosis, etc.)
  • Preventing and treating water-borne, communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Reducing illness from pollution, hazardous chemicals, and contamination.


  • Decreasing hunger and malnutrition
  • Increasing agricultural or other food processing productivity
  • Enhancing sustainable food production


  • Ensuring access to affordable and reliable clean energy
  • Increasing the production of clean energy
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Introducing new forms of clean energy or other technology innovations


  • Ensuring access to safe and affordable drinking water
  • Ensuring access to sanitation and hygiene
  • Increasing water use efficiency
  • Improving water quality

Global High Schools

The Global High Schools category recognizes high schools or secondary schools, from six global geographic regions that propose innovative and sustainable projects in these areas; health, food, energy and/or water. The global regions are: The Americas, Sub-Sahara Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific

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Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

The application must be submitted by the students and supported by the school management. Also, the project must;

  • Demonstrate how they meet the three criteria: innovation 20%, impact 50% and inspiration 30%.
  • Be able to be implemented and operational within one to two years;
  • Benefit the school community and/or their local/regional community for several years.

The intent of the prize for schools is to encourage students to develop and implement their sustainability ideas and not for administrative projects or educational reforms at the school. Also, it is not for past achievements, but it must inspire students to take active roles in sustainable development.

Generally, organisations in all the categories must demonstrate a clear vision and long-term plan to further deploy their solution and scale up their impact. Also, it must inspire others to follow suit by advancing sustainable and human development.

They must also be eligible for each category, and organisations must be a small or a medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a non-profit organisation.

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Prize Award

The total prize fund is USD 3 million, which will be distributed as follows;

  • Health USD 600,000
  • Food USD 600,000
  • Energy USD 600,000
  • Water USD 600,000
  • Global High Schools USD 600,000 (divided amongst six schools; awarding each up to US $100,000)

Note that, there is no alternative to the cash award. After the award is received, it shall be used by the winners, per category, to further the ideas and ambitions within the winning submissions.

In addition, the award may be subject to withholding tax (if applicable) and/or income tax or other applicable tax which shall be payable by the winner, as applicable.

The award may be revoked and a refund required if discovered that a winner submits misleading information, or perhaps infringes the intellectual property rights of a third party.

How To Apply For Zayed Sustainability Prize

The submission of application is in the following stages;

  • Prepare and identify the award category most suitable for your organisation.
  • Create an account using your email.
  • Complete the online application form.
  • Submit your entry via the online portal.
  • Acknowledge your entry.

Thereafter, evaluations will be made in three stages before the final winners can be picked.

Finally, the overall winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2021 will be announced at the annual awards ceremony in the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2021.

To read more, click here

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