GE ecomagination and Aramco Entrepreneurship Center are pleased to announce the winners of the Renewable Energy Solutions for Seawater Desalination Challenge:


  • Jaime Mateus – Anfiro
  • Marco Rosa-Clot, Antonio Naviglio, Gianfranco Caruso – Florence University
  • Kim Choon Ng – National University of Singapore and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
  • Norbert Kuipers – TNO

To learn more about the Winners and their technologies, please click here

Challenge #70512



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GE + Aramco Entrepreneurship Center Ecomagination Challenge: Renewable Energy Solutions for Seawater Desalination


GE ecomagination and Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, a world leader in energy production, are committed to meeting real-world efficiency challenges as they evolve and intensify.


Currently, one of the world's most critical challenges is related to meeting growing water needs. Many countries rely on desalination to produce fresh water, but current techniques are typically energy-intensive. Water production using desalination is likely to contribute significantly to increased energy use worldwide.


GE and Aramco Entrepreneurship Center's mission is to drive energy efficiency in this area, with the ultimate goal of finding innovative solutions that provide measurable, scalable, and economically viable improvements in the process of seawater desalination.


NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company and Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, seeks to significantly lower the cost of seawater desalination using innovative renewable energy processes or new materials.





Participants in this competition vie for up to four US$50,000 cash prizes and may have the opportunity to collaborate with GE and/or Aramco Entrepreneurship Center to develop proposed solutions. Find out More>>




Successful technologies must:


  • Exceed current desalination benchmarks:
    • Cost ≤ $0.50/m3
    • Meet WHO standards for potable water (250-500 ppm NaCl)
  • Be implementable and economically viable in arid regions


Processes or materials with supporting data are preferred, but there is also a strong interest in highly innovative conceptual approaches.


Respondents must validate their cost projections by using the rubric provided here and in the Response Template. Cost reduction, technical feasibility, and ease of implementation will be considered in award determinations. Find out More>>



Global freshwater and groundwater resources are being depleted at an alarming rate all around the world. Freshwater scarcity, demographic changes, and industrialization are driving an urgent need to increase the global, sustainable supply of freshwater resources.


Over the coming decades, investments in water projects are forecasted to be $50 billion in Saudi Arabia and $300 billion globally. Water production will contribute significantly to increased energy use. Current desalination techniques are typically very energy intensive: energy consumption can account for up to 70% of the desalination costs.


The goal of this quest is to identify novel ways to lower desalination costs. These approaches might include development of new advanced materials, innovative uses of renewable energy, and/or integrating desalination with processes like mineral recovery.






See Official Rules for details here (See revised timeline on Challenge Website). Contest opens on April 15th, 2014. Must submit at least one entry by August 19th, 2014 by 5:00pm EST to be eligible. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.


View the NineSights Terms of Use and GE's and Aramco Entrepreneurship Center's Official Rules for this Challenge.



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Open Innovation Operations & Fastworks Integration