Aug 12, 2020

Great interest in Stockholm Junior Water Prize

With less than two weeks to go before the award ceremony, excitement is growing around Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020. The jury is hard at work to select the winners who will receive the Stockholm Junior Water Prize on 25 August. Interest in the People’s Choice Award has also exceeded all expectations, with nearly 60,000 votes cast.

The 2020 edition of Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be remembered as a testimony to human perseverance and ingenuity, with 29 countries managing to hold national competitions despite the outbreak of Covid-19. The national winners have presented water-related projects that contribute to solving major global challenges and one team will now be awarded with the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize for their achievements.

“The jury has been very impressed by the quality of this year’s submissions, so picking a winner is probably not easy. It is so inspiring to see the amazing projects which really could make a difference,” says Ania Andersch, Senior Manager for Stockholm Junior Water Prize at SIWI.

Who the winner is will remain a well-guarded secret until 25 August at 2pm CET. This is when H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who is the official Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, will announce the winner of Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020 and the recipient of a Diploma of Excellence. The festive virtual award ceremony, which can be followed by anyone, also includes a digital flag parade, speeches, and the announcement of the winner of the People’s Choice Award. The latter is a new feature, where the general public can vote for their favourite project. When the voting period ended on 10 August close to 60,000 votes could be counted.

“We are very happy to see that so many people follow the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and wanted to cast a vote. It is also worth noting that all the finalists have received votes,” Ania Andersch says.

She encourages anyone interested in water and development to check out the finalists’ own presentations of their projects on the webpage for Watertank, the alumni network for all Stockholm Junior Water Prize finalists. Watertank started in 2016, but SIWI has been organizing Stockholm Junior Water Prize as an international competition since 1997 so by now there is a sizeable community of finalists who stay in touch and continue to collaborate.

“Stockholm Junior Water Prize is so much more than a competition; it is also an ongoing partnership where people form friendships and help each other solve problems for the benefit of people and science,” Ania Andersch says.

On 18 August, all the 2020 finalists are invited to the KTH Royal Institute of Technology for a virtual tour of the school and a seminar, including a session on how to take innovations to the market. For many of the young innovators, participating in Stockholm Junior Water Prize is only the beginning of a successful career.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize award ceremony will take place during WWWeek At Home, a unique series of virtual sessions with world-leading water and climate experts, which will be held between 24 and 28 August 2020. The WWWeek At Home content would normally have been presented at World Water Week, the leading annual event on global water issues, but after it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, the sessions will now be open to anyone, free of charge. Check out the programme here.