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Bureau of Reclamation Shares Prize Competition Tips - Join Its Webinar!

USBR Brackish Groundwater Desalination Research Facility

As an essential part of the team that administered this year’s Desal Prize, the Bureau of Reclamation helped spur the creation of water treatment technologies that use renewable energy. Now, they’re hosting a webinar to share how they did it. Join them next Tuesday to get an insider look at how this federal lab played the key role in a worldwide prize competition—and what it might mean for your lab.

The Desal Prize is an international competition that challenged innovators to create cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable desalination technologies that can provide potable water for humans and water for crops in developing countries. The Bureau of Reclamation provided the resources, experts, analysis, and more to help the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) manage the competition.

This spring, five finalist innovator teams faced off at Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, N.M. In a demonstration set up and judged by the Reclamation team, each competitor had to prove that their technology could turn the area’s very brackish water into water clean enough for drinking and farming. (To see more, check out Bloomberg’s video, "Burning Man for Water Geeks.")

The three winning teams received grant funds totaling $400,000, which they are using this summer and fall to implement their technologies with small-holder rural farmers in developing countries.

This groundbreaking collaboration shows that federal labs and prize programs can mutually benefit and reap long-term rewards for their mission-centered work. While helping find innovators with new water solutions, Reclamation also advanced their own mission. What they learned will help them address water problems in the western U.S, such as the California drought.

At 2 p.m. ET on July 21, Saied Delagah and Yuliana Porras-Mendoza of Reclamation’s Research and Development team will present a webinar to share the full scope of their agency and lab roles, plans, and results. From their experience, you’ll learn why your lab should participate in federal prize competitions and how to do it successfully.

Saied and Yuliana will share:

  • The benefits of participating
  • How they reduced a 6-year project plan into 1.5 years and cut costs in half
  • How they managed the project, including timeline, budget, and scope
  • The lab’s role in criteria development and judging
  • Tips for working with a partner agency
  • What they learned and next steps.

If you want to know more about how you can make incentive competitions, open innovation, and crowdsourcing work for your lab, don’t miss this free webinar! Register today and get ready to learn.

The Desal Prize prize, launched in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, is part of the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development.


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