Verde Valley AZ (April 19, 2016) – The Arizona Community Foundation, in partnership with Republic Media and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, has announced the next challenge being offered under The New Arizona Prize. The Water Innovation Challenge offers $250,000 to a collaborative team in an Arizona community that develops the most innovative market-based, technological or entrepreneurial solution to advance the sustainability of its water future. “Community” may be defined as a town or city, county, tribal area, or an entire region.
Solutions must be scalable to address the defined community’s needs and, if successful, will also be replicable in other Arizona communities. Community-based, cross-sector collaborations are required, and projects in all stages of development are welcome.
Teams interested in competing in the Water Innovation Challenge must register online at http://wic.newarizonaprize.org between April 19 and July 15. Only one representative per team needs to register on the website. Once registered, each team’s leader will find:
- Rules for the Water Innovation Challenge
- Competition judges’ names, photos and bios, along with the scoring rubric they will use to evaluate submissions
- Directions for gathering and posting details of the team’s submission
- Details about the competition and processes related to registration, project submission, and judging
Final submissions are due on August 12 and judging will commence immediately.
Teams should be comprised of community/citizen leaders, local government or elected officials, colleges/universities, a business association (e.g, local chamber of commerce) or a leading company based in the community, the local water provider, local nonprofit leaders, and if rural, an agricultural or ranching cooperative or association or a leading agricultural business or ranch.
It is critical that teams be comprised of members who have the professional authority and organizational/community support to execute the proposed solution at the community level. Because government participation, agreement and/or formal approval may be necessary in order to implement the solution, teams are required to have at least one government partner to ensure that the proposed solution represents the broader community and has the necessary backing for successful implementation and expansion.
“We’ve learned that there are many highly effective water innovations that are ready for implementation at scale across a community; they’re simply in need of the catalytic resources and the community will to set them in place,” said Steve Seleznow, ACF’s President & CEO. “We hope this prize will incentivize communities across Arizona to move forward with innovative water sustainability solutions—be they brand new, off the self, or shovel ready.”
Launched in 2014, The New Arizona Prize is a philanthropic prize competition aimed at attracting new and innovative thinking to solve some of Arizona’s most pressing problems.
The first challenge offered under The New Arizona Prize banner was the Water Consciousness Challenge, with the $100,000 prize purse going to Beyond the Mirage (www.beyondthemirage.org), a team of videographers and marketers from the University of Arizona and Arizona Public Media. Their winning idea is a three-part, consciousness-raising digital strategy that includes an interactive web experience designed to educate and engage Arizonans about our water future, a full-length documentary film airing in April and May on public television in Tucson and Phoenix, and a classroom educational component.
The first two challenges offered under The New Arizona Prize have focused on water, Seleznow explains, because “after meeting with leaders in government, business and Arizona communities, it was clear that no issue needed to be addressed more urgently than the state of our water resources.”
Advisors and Prize sponsors agreed that focusing the first challenge on the education and engagement of Arizonans around our shared water future laid important groundwork for the Water Innovation Challenge, which now seeks actionable solutions that can fundamentally change communities.
Future competitions offered under The New Arizona Prize program may focus on other critical issues facing Arizona, Seleznow said.
Information about The New Arizona Prize can be found at www.newarizonaprize.org, which contains links to the Water Innovation Challenge website for team registration.