Prince William was joined today by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, at the first-ever Earthshot Prize Innovation Showcase.
During Prince William’s visit to the Middle East, His Royal Highness attended the event at the DP World Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and lauded DP World’s announcement of the ₤1 million investment to two Earthshot Prize Finalists, designed to scale their work in the UAE and Middle East.
The stunning Innovation Showcase profiled the ground-breaking solutions from the 2021 Earthshot Prize Finalists and included remarks from Earthshot Prize Council Members Prince William and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah who participated via video message, challenging the distinguished audience to help scale the Earthshot Prize solutions that will repair and regenerate our planet.
Prince William said, “We have reason to hope, our future is not yet set, and while the task ahead is great, we still have the ability to repair our planet, and create a better world. The Earthshot mission is more than just a prize. It’s a global team effort to spark urgent optimism and game-changing innovation to transform our future. I’m inviting all of you to join the Earthshot team and support our Finalists – the eco-innovators – to take their solutions to scale.”
Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan said, “The future is these Finalists and so many like them around the world. They remind us that human ingenuity is the ultimate renewable resource.” Queen Rania added, “Every sector has a role to play public, private, philanthropic. And the bottom line could not be clearer: If we work together, everybody wins.”
During the event, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, announced a landmark investment from DP World – a Founding Partner of The Earthshot Prize – of ₤1million to scale two Earthshot Prize Finalists’ solutions. Revive our Oceans Earthshot Prize Winner Bahamas-based Coral Vita will receive ₤500k to develop a strategy for the deployment of large-scale reef restoration in the UAE, which will implement approaches to grow climate resilient corals up to 50 times faster than traditional methods.
With these funds, they will begin collaborative work on reef restoration in the region, including scoping for the first commercial land-based coral farm for reef restoration in the Middle East. Revive our Oceans Prize Finalist Australia-based Living Seawalls was also awarded ₤500k from DP World.
This investment will scale their innovative work creating panels that mimic natural habitats like rock pools and mangrove roots, which are fitted to coastal sea defences to return marine life to coastal shorelines. DP World’s commitment will fund the design and installation of the largest living seawall on the planet adapted to support the native marine life of the UAE and wider region.
DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said, “Our business is connected to the oceans and their protection is an important priority across all our operations as part of our sustainable business commitments evidenced by our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Our sustainability strategy, Our World, Our Future, steers all our initiatives with climate change a major feature in what we do. Partnerships with global organisations are also key to achieving change and only by joining forces can we tackle these challenges over the next decades.
Innovative technologies will play a major role in achieving global targets in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and we are excited to invest in both Coral Vita and Living Seawalls as part of our efforts to develop technologies that address issues facing marine ecosystems. “As Global Alliance Founding Partners with Expo Dubai 2020 and as a logistics business with a network across 69 countries around the world, we look forward to working closely with The Royal Foundation and in the promotion of The Earthshot Prize.”
The Innovation Showcase featured pitch presentations from five 2021 Earthshot Prize Finalists, including Eshrat Waris from SOLshare, Bangladesh; David Auerbach from Sanergy, Kenya; and Olugbenga Olubanjo from Reeddi, Nigeria. These pitches were in addition to hearing from Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern from Coral Vita, and Dr Mariana Mayer Pinto from Living Seawalls.