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The SDG6 aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Finding solutions to this challenge is crucial as water shortages have been identified by industry, government, academia and civil society as one of the top three global risks of highest concern to them.

Today more than 40% of the global population is affected by water scarcity and 2 out of 3 will live in water-stressed countries by 2030 if current trends continue. As the population is growing and living standards are improving, the demand for water is increasing. In fact, the water demand is expected to grow with 50% by 2030. Most of this demand will be in cities and will require new approaches to ensure suitable waste water management.

Clean Water


Areas where technology can make a change, could be:

Rethinking Industrial waste water treatment, reuse or discharge: Industrial water consumption is increasing and the corresponding waste water stream should to be considered as a valuable resource. We need to come up with new solutions for reusing the water, alongside valuable components that otherwise is considered as wastes. Discharges by one industry can be a valuable input to another industry. Let’s think about sustainable solutions and move away from the waste concept.     

The Water Moonshot: Imagine you were on the Moon, with just a couple of buckets of water. What would you do? This question stretches water scarcity to the extreme, and extremely original solutions may be needed; solutions that may be implemented in less extreme, more down-to-earth, but no less needy, environments.

Mine the Brine: In desalination, the result is not only the fresh water, but often just as much very salty water, the brine. Often this is returned to the sea, creating a local dead zone. What else could be done? Can the brine be seen as a resource? This question can be extended to any other water purification scheme: What should be done with whatever is taken out of the water?

Emerging contaminant control: Emerging contaminants refer to those chemicals that have not previously been detected (or were previously found in tracer concentration) but is now found in the water supply, e.g. flame retardants, modern pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Removal of emerging contaminants is important because their exposure risk to human health and the environment is not yet fully understood. In other words, effective solutions are absent and highly needed.

Accelerate your project with a SciCube

Each month, we offer three unique SciCubes to the HelloScience community. To begin with, the winners of the SciCubes are selected by Novozymes. However, when we reach 100 collaborators, the power of choosing the winners will move to the community. 

Each SciCube* contains: 

  • A selection of enzyme and microbe samples from Novozymes. You can choose up to three samples in total. 
  • Cloud-enabled monitoring solution for one system including 1 year data subscription from Grundfos.
  • Skype meetings with experts from Novozymes and Grundfos matching your specific business/technical needs. 
  • A one-hour Skype meeting with Novozymes’ waste water team and investments team and/or Grundfos business development team tailored to the needs of your business or solution. 

*All SciCube® winners have the right to file patents within the water challenge theme, and there is no obligation to develop or commercialise any project with a specific partner. Samples are only to be used within the challenge theme and a simple SciCube agreement must be signed to receive the SciCube

Win a co-development opportunity with Novozymes and/or Grundfos

The best idea across all five water challenges will get a co-development agreement with Novozymes and Grundfos.  

The winner will get expert resources valued up to US$100,000 as well as lab access for trials or prototyping and specialist expertise within R&D, commercial and IP. All tailored to the needs of the winner and all to help the winning solution to a better product and a faster route to market.