Reed Elsevier launches 2014 Environmental Challenge to advance access to safe water and sanitation

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3 December 2013

Call for proposals to advance scalable solutions to water and sanitation challenges in developing countries

Paris – The 2014 Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched today, calling for innovative proposals to ensure safe water and improved sanitation for at risk communities in developing countries. The winning projects will be announced in September 2014. The first prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the second prize winner will receive $25,000 in addition to a feature in Water Research, an official journal of the International Water Association. All applicants are offered access to relevant material on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect database, with almost 230,000 articles since 2000 on Environmental Sciences. And for the first time, all applicants will be offered access to LexisNexis Risk Solution’s open source high performance computing (HPCC) resource, to allow them to process large amounts of research data, supported by online training.

For the second year, a $15,000 WASH Alliance prize will be given for the third prize project. The WASH Alliance is a consortium of six Dutch NGOs promoting access to and hygienic use of sustainable water and sanitation. The WASH Alliance will also provide all three winners with relevant training and professional development up to $2,500 each. 

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched in 2011 to contribute to the Water for Life Decade, established by the UN General Assembly between 2005 and 2015, in order to reduce by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. According to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, over 700 million people in the world are without safe drinking water, while over 2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation facilities.  Poor access to safe water and sanitation contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and increasingly leads to violent conflict.

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility said, “The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge helps those working to advance access to improved water and sanitation.  By giving applicants access to more than 2,300 products incorporating over 25 per cent of global water research literature, they can expand their knowledge and test their ideas.   Key partners, like the Dutch Wash Alliance, enrich the competition allowing us to work together to address areas of critical importance to people and communities around the world.”

Applications for the Environmental Challenge will be accepted through 1 April 2014 and should focus on improving access to safe water and/or sanitation where it is presently at risk. Projects should be replicable, scalable and sustainable; set a benchmark for innovation; have practical applicability; address non-discrimination/equity of access; involve and impact a range of stakeholders; and have local/community-level engagement. Shortlisted candidates, announced by June, will be invited to develop their proposals further. Projects will be assessed by reviewers with water, sanitation and related expertise. Shortlisted projects will be considered by an international judging panel of experts in the field.  The Dutch Wash Alliance, a consortium of six Dutch NGOs promoting hygienic use of sustainable water and sanitation, will be lending assistance with the reviewing and judging process in 2014.

The 2014 Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched at Pollutec Horizons, which takes place from 3-6 December 2013 in Paris.  Pollutec Horizons is a global platform for cleantech, energy, and sustainable development.


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Notes to Editors

To learn more about The Environmental Challenge, please visit http://www.reedelsevier.com/corporateresponsibility/environmental-challenge and follow us on Twitter @RE_EnvChallenge.  Read about past winners here. Visit the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge stand (009, row H) at the Pollutec Horizons for additional information.

About Reed Elsevier
Reed Elsevier Group plc is a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs approximately 28,500 people of whom half are in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV; the combined market capitalisation of the two parent companies is approximately £19bn/€22bn. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

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