98 TEAMS WORLDWIDE ENTER $1.75 MILLION WATER ABUNDANCE XPRIZE COMPETITION
XPRIZE – the global leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand
challenges – today announced 98 teams from 25 countries will compete for the $1.75 million Water
Abundance XPRIZE. Four Australian teams will take on this critical challenge.
The Water Abundance XPRIZE, sponsored by the Tata Group and Australian Aid (the innovationXchange
at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) is a two-year competition aimed at tackling global water
scarcity by incentivising teams from around the world to create and develop a pioneering decentralized
technology that can extract water from thin air using only renewable energy. Team members come from a
collection of diverse backgrounds and comprise of university students, startups, professional scientists and
To win, teams must create a device that extracts a minimum of 2,000 litres of water per day from the
atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than two cents per litre. The winning
device must be able to create decentralised access to water, giving people the power to access fresh water
whenever and wherever they need it.
A total of four Australian teams have registered to participate in the competition with two teams hailing from
Melbourne, one from Sydney and one from Newcastle.
“We are thrilled by the global response to the competition and the impressive number of diverse teams
ready to solve water scarcity,” said Zenia Tata, Executive Director of Global Expansion at XPRIZE.
“The competition is an opportunity for Australia to work collaboratively with neighbours in the Indo Pacific
region to find innovative solutions to solve the global challenge of water scarcity and improve the lives of
people living in communities that will benefit most from these breakthroughs.”
In addition to today’s announcement of the competitor teams, XPRIZE also confirmed the formation of an
Advisory Board of academic and technical experts to guide the Water Abundance XPRIZE, comprised of:
- Suman Chakraborty is head of the School of Medical Science and Technology, professor of
Mechanical Engineering and associate dean at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
- Marcus Howard is the Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene in the Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade and has worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 15 years.
- Dr. Gopichand (Gopi) Katragadda is group chief technology officer and innovation head for Tata
Sons. He also serves as a director on the boards of Tata Elxsi, Tata Communications, Tata
Teleservices, Tata Autocomp Systems and Flisom AG.
- Dr. Arul Shanmugasundram steers manufacturing and project sales business at Tata Group, where
he is responsible for development in multiple areas like sales, supply chain and logistics, along with
overseeing R&D and product development.
The Water Abundance XPRIZE was launched in India in October 2016 at a United Nations day reception
in New Delhi. The two-year competition will look to announce up to five finalist teams in February 2018 and
will then embark on final testing through July 2018. The winner for the prize will be announced in August
For more information on the Water Abundance XPRIZE and the teams that have entered, visit
www.xprize.org and http://water.xprize.org/