The Saudi minister for environment, water and agriculture, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, announced Polymeron as the winner of a $1 million sustainability award in Riyadh on Sunday.
The Omnipreneurship Sustainability Challenge for Inclusive Leadership was organized by the Tanmiah Food Co., with 93 proposals received from across the world.
Polymeron won the grand prize for having “created an innovative solution aimed at converting organic poultry waste into a renewable source of added value for the company,” according to a statement by the organizing committee.
“Polymeron has invented a technology to make environmentally friendly and biodegradable composite materials up to 100 percent by converting organic waste into biochar. This transformation process will address the challenges of poultry waste and plastic pollution. It will also enrich soil quality, contributing to the development plan to reduce costs.”
The company is a startup from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s Taqaddam accelerator program.
The focus of this year’s challenge was to find a solution that treats poultry farm waste cost-effectively and creates commercial value for it to make a positive impact on development as a corporate entity, on the environment in Saudi Arabia, and on the global ecosystem.
The finalists shortlisted for the challenge include Insectum and Polymeron from KAUST, Proteina from Egypt and the US, Greenfield from South Korea, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University from China.
Suleiman Al-Khatib, director general of the General Department of Plant Wealth at the MEWA, told Arab News that the award plan mechanism was developed to “employ the creativity of the public and provide solutions and innovations that serve an effective and long-term sustainability plan.”
He added that the main objective of the Omnipreneurship Awards Sustainability Challenge is to encourage distinguished researchers and motivate diverse teams from around the world to help launch innovative solutions and employ their creativity towards meeting environmental and societal issues.
Tanmiah Food Co. launched the challenge as part of its strategic plan to enhance its leadership role and provide innovative solutions in sustainable development, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy.
Zulfiqar Hamdani, CEO of Tanmiah Food Co., expressed pride that his company “plays a role in enhancing the Kingdom’s march of innovation towards environmental excellence in the supply chains for poultry production.”
Executive board member of Tanmiah Food Co. Ahmed Osilan said: “We have provided high-quality products to our customers, thanks to the exceptional operating model that we follow in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative. We focus of efforts within our national initiatives to contribute to the growing environmental challenges facing the Kingdom, to preserve vegetation cover, combat desertification and achieve carbon neutrality, by launching the Million Trees Initiative and the Sustainability Challenge to achieve sustainable agricultural development goals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Riyadh – ARAB NEWS