Two Saudi companies have been nominated along with three other finalists for a $1 million sustainability award, out of 93 proposals received worldwide.
The five finalists for the 2020 Omnipreneurship Awards sustainability challenge were announced at the MENA Poultry Conference 2022 in Riyadh on Tuesday: Insectum and Polymeron from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Proteina from Egypt and the US, Greenfield from South Korea, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University from China.
The brightest minds from across the world came forward with possible solutions to a sustainability challenge proposed by Tanmiah Food Co. which, together with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Al-Dabbagh Group, organized Tuesday’s event.
The $1 million dollar sustainability challenge asked: “How can we convert waste from poultry farms into value?”
“We went through these proposals, we chose the top five and then after choosing, we asked them to produce a prototype, and then we visited and observed the prototypes,” said Sahar Taleb, chief omnipreneurship officer at Al-Dabbagh. “Finally, we chose our number one winner who will be winning the million dollars.”
The minister for environment, water and agriculture, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, will announce the winner in the coming days.
The awards were launched to incentivize scientists and innovators to find ways to reduce carbon emission levels as a result of food production.
Taleb said that being an omnipreneur involved more than simply wanting one’s business to thrive financially. It was also about giving back to the community in a sustainable way.
“The omnipreneurship awards is a global crowdsourcing initiative that seeks innovative global and sustainable solutions to challenges we're facing in sectors we operate in,” she told Arab News. “An omnipreneur is someone who, whenever he starts a project, he always thinks of this balanced way of living.”
The winner must meet the criteria of solving the challenge in a sustainable way that results in a carbon negative solution.
The program launched with two main objectives. The first is the omnipreneurship ecosystem, which takes a balanced look at giving, earning, and sustaining. The second is to find innovative ways to sustainably run businesses.
“So rather than have you just focus on earning and being an entrepreneur, we're asking you to be an omnipreneur and to always think of giving first then earning and then sustaining. So a way to create value, but also to keep the environment in people’s minds,” Taleb added.
The 2021 challenge asked: “How can you convert used cooking oil into a biodegradable oil that can be used as lubricants?”
Taleb said they were in the process of evaluating the proposals and would announce the awards in a month.
Later this year, in June, the question for the 2022 sustainability challenge will be presented.