Aquathon in Budapest: Competition to Find Solutions to Save Water
Fanni Kaszás 2020.01.21.
The Blue Planet Foundation and Design Terminal are launching an international innovation idea competition called “Aquathon: Find a Solution to Save Water!” The competition is open until March 1, 2020 to students and startups. Organizers are waiting for applications from competitors offering a digital solution to make water usage more efficient and which can be marketed internationally for widespread responsible water use.
Today, about 2.5 billion people live in areas affected by water scarcity, but by the middle of the century, more than half of the world’s population will be affected by some form of water shortage. This trend is accompanied by growing urbanization: by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, which will create a yet unprecedented demand for reliable and safe water supplies.
The Blue Planet Foundation, with the help of Design Terminal, Central Europe’s leading innovation agency, is looking for innovative solutions to promote the spread of responsible water use in households.
Hungarian President János Áder announced the establishment of the Blue Planet Foundation (Kék Bolygó Alapítvány) aimed at preventing and tackling climate change, back in 2017. The foundation was set up using nearly 234,400 GBP (about 80 million HUF), left to the Hungarian president by electrical engineer Miklós Balázs, who died in Manchester in 2013. The board of Blue Planet Foundation includes János Martonyi, former foreign minister and E. Sylvester Vizi, former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, both members of the board of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today, as well as Hungarian climate change expert Gábor Szűcs.
Gergely Böszörmény-Nagy, head of Design Terminal, said about the initiative: “Hungary seems to be fortunate, because most of the time, we only heard about the different environmental crisis situations in the news. However, global challenges, including water scarcity, do not leave our lives untouched either. Our water supply is a special asset, and we are responsible for preserving it for future generations.”
Nándor Csepreghy, director of the Blue Planet Foundation said about the ‘Aquathon’ competition and its aim: “Climate change has divided the world’s population into three large groups. Aquathon does not deal with ‘alarmists,’ neither with ‘climate skeptics,’ because the wisest are those who are seeking solutions to one of the greatest challenges of the age – solutions to address the effects of climate change and its consequences as a result of the water crisis. We are looking for common solutions that will help us all in the future.”
Startups and college or university students who want to help stop water wastage and excessive consumption will have the opportunity to testify in a 24-hour idea competition. Applicants are challenged to come up with a digital solution to prevent everyday water wastage, which can significantly increase the efficiency of individual water use at a residential level. It is not a prerequisite to have water management qualifications, anyone can apply who can come up with a digital innovation to solve the problem.
Candidate teams can refine their ideas with the help of mentors and present them at the end of the competition to a jury of national and international professionals. During the 24-hour “hackathon,” team members become part of an extremely intense, fast-paced development process. While working on their solutions they receive all the help they need from thematic workshops, mentors, and experts. The first three runners-up can continue to realize their idea with valuable prizes.
Registration for the event is open until March 1, 2020, on the event’s website. The aim of the ‘aquathon’ is that the innovative solutions chosen during the competition can be implemented in the future. The competition will be held between March 26-27, 2020.