HCL and UpLink announces winners of zero water waste challenge


Davos: HCL Group, and UpLink on Wednesday announced the top 10 water-focussed entrepreneurs, who will receive a financial award from a total pool of 1.9 million, as part of the Zero Water Waste Challenge.

The Zero Water Waste Challenge is the second out of five innovation challenges, under HCL Group and UpLink’s Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative.

The focus of this year’s challenge aimed at capturing and protecting freshwater supply, water reuse and recycling of materials and saving water in agriculture.

HCL Group committed $15 million investment in total to drive freshwater sector innovation for five years until 2027.

In less than a year, HCL Group’s commitment saw a 10x return on its investment as the first cohort of ‘Aquapreneurs’ collectively raised $54.5 million after joining the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem.

Announcing the winners, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCLTech said, ” In light of the current global climate change crisis and increasing scarcity of freshwater resources, the urgent need for innovative solutions to manage our freshwater supplies cannot be overlooked.

She added that, “These innovations reshape our approach to water, optimizing its use and conservation. HCL stands committed to supporting these innovations for a positive global impact. Congratulations to the winners of the Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative 2024.”

The top 10 water-focused entrepreneurs or “Aquapreneurs” were selected from a pool of 192 global applicants.

Out of these, most of the applications were from Africa (16%), Asia (18%) and Europe (13%).

These Innovators come from eight different countries and are bringing cutting edge innovative solutions in areas such as greywater reuse, rainwater capture, advanced filtration, precision agriculture, and data analytics and AI.

Olivier Schwab, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum said, “Climate change, pollution and overuse pose a grave threat to the planet’s freshwater supplies”

He added that “UpLink and HCL are building an innovation ecosystem around early-stage, water-focused entrepreneurs that will provide them with the resources, expertise and vital funding they need to thrive”.

Two of the top 10 innovators were selected to present their solutions at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in 2023:

“We are thrilled and humbled to be recognized as a Zero Water Waste challenge winner,” said Karina Peña, CEO and Co-founder of FieldFactors, “joining this cohort will allow us to bring our technology to the global stage, increasing community resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

FieldFactors is a water technology start-up providing circular solutions for urban water management and climate adaptation.

“Being named an Aquapreneur is validation for our vision to eliminate urban water pollution” said Asim R. Bhalerao, CEO of Fluid Analytics, “we look forward to working with HCL and UpLink, World Economic Forum to bring our vision to life globally.”

Fluid Analytics Inc. is a water analytics company committed to addressing urban water pollution.

With unique mathematical and machine-learning models trained on diverse datasets, Fluid Analytics Inc. has successfully deployed solutions, monitoring over 1.5 billion litres of urban water pollution and enabling the treatment and reuse of 800 million litres daily.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here