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Xylem expands investment in youth innovation to solve water challenges

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Xylem is expanding its investment in youth innovation to empower the next generation to solve the world’s greatest water challenges.

The company’s diverse programme, including over 60 events in 2021, builds on its 25-year sponsorship of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) with innovation competitions, in addition to community outreach initiatives and a global innovation incubator programme.

The winner of the 2021 SJWP will be announced at a ceremony on 24 August, during World Water Week. The annual competition brings together students from 40 countries and has enabled around 125,000 youth innovators to bring forward solutions to urgent water challenges since it launched in 1996.

“With water challenges intensifying by the day, we are investing in the next generation of water innovators,” said Patrick Decker, Xylem’s CEO.

“Young people have a leading role to play in putting water issues on the agenda – and solving them. They inspire us, and the world will gain from their passion and creativity.

“We invest in platforms like the SJWP and other initiatives that provide students with the opportunity to advocate and innovate for a sustainable water future.

“The talent of the students participating in this year’s SJWP is simply inspiring, and a great reminder of the energy and commitment, across generations, to solve the world’s greatest water challenges.”

Torgny Holmgren, executive director at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), said: “SJWP celebrates young people’s determination to be part of a better future. “The passion and ingenuity that all participants show is truly inspiring and an important contribution to the global water world.

“At SIWI, we are proud to host the prize and organise this event in close partnership with Xylem.”

SJWP is one of 60 youth-oriented events Xylem invests in globally, under the banner of Xylem Ignite, its dedicated student development programme targeting students worldwide.

Since the programme’s inception last year, Xylem Ignite has already engaged more than 6,600 students in ‘creative water-oriented hackathons’ and sustainability events, including 650+ participants from 47 countries competing in the Xylem Global Student Innovation Challenge. Challenges include reducing the water footprint of everyday products, gamifying water quality education, predicting urban floods, and designing a water system for life on Mars.