The Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) has crowned Lebanese tech start-up Mrüna the winner of its first global innovation competition, InfraChallenge, following a live pitch against nine other finalists from the UK, US, Sierra Leone, Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Spain.
Digital idea revolutionises access to sanitation and recycled water
Mrüna’s winning digital solution tackles the economic and social challenges of wastewater treatment with its decentralised nature-based system, BiomWeb. Using IoT, the solution treats wastewater onsite, negating the need to transport waste and recycled water, with a series of water tanks that imitate aquatic habitats found in nature, without the use of added chemicals, desludging, or vast infrastructure investment. Mrüna believes that BiomWeb will be adopted by refugee camps and informal settlements, as well as private and public sectors across the world.
Low-cost, rapid tech solution
“We are so honoured to be the 2020 InfraChallenge winners and to be representing innovation from Lebanon. The start of Mrüna and BiomWeb was about us looking at the pollution in our rivers and the impact of sanitation on food chains and asking how we could start to do things differently? We’ve strived to have a nature-based system that is simple and accessible to all income brackets, and we are really excited to work with GI Hub and MIT Solve to push it out globally,” Co-Founder of BiomWeb, Ben Baseley-Walker said.
Mrüna’s solution will help to accelerate the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 that aims to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. It's estimated that 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines and more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal.
Transforming urban infrastructure
“The innovative and practical solutions submitted by our top 10 finalists were so impressive and I wish them all the best in progressing their ideas. We were looking for real ideas with real impact and we got them. I congratulate Mrüna on their wastewater solution and I’m so proud that InfraChallenge will help to make sanitation more accessible for all.
Technology is the new frontier for infrastructure and its importance as a driver for change and transformation has accelerated since COVID-19. InfraTech has a profound purpose in ensuring the continued operations of critical infrastructure and it will play a key role in economic recovery around the globe,” the GI Hub’s CEO and InfraChallenge judge, Marie Lam-Frendo said.
The winner was announced at the last online event of a three-day final where attendees from 59 countries heard from 13 expert speakers, watched the live pitches from the 10 InfraChallenge finalists and saw the winner announced.
As the winner of the InfraChallenge, Mrüna will receive a $AUD 50,000 funding package to help implement their pitch, ongoing support from GI Hub and MIT Solve to further develop their solution, as well as exposure to the G20’s Infrastructure Working Group.
Congratulations again to our InfraChallenge 2020 winner Mruna!