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Malaysians can join global tech challenge to tackle water shortage: GE

AvantiKumar | May 21, 2014
GE ecomagination and Aramco Entrepreneurship have launched an open global technology challenge to invite new solutions for more efficient seawater desalination.

Stuart L. Dean, Chief Executive Officer, ASEAN GE Global Growth & Operations modified 

Photo - Stuart L. Dean, Chief Executive Officer, ASEAN, Global Growth & Operations, GE.


Following the recent water rationing exercise in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians can help address water crises not just in locally but also on a global level through an open global technology challenge by GE ecomagination and Aramco Entrepreneurship to speed up the development of solutions for seawater desalination.

GE ASEAN chief executive officer, global growth & operations, Stuart L Dean said the challenge invited solutions to improve the energy efficiency of seawater desalination, seen as an important source of raw water.

Four winners will be awarded with the prize of RM161,00 [US$50,000] each, bringing the total grant for the challenge to RM644,000 [US$200,000], said Dean. Beyond this, the best ideas may also stand the chance to receive further investments towards commercialisation by GE.

He said new solutions were expected to lower total desalination costs and emissions through cleaner energy sources; incorporating advanced materials; and integrating processes better. "Solutions must be innovative, impactful, feasible and scalable across the globe."

Dean said it was important for customers in water-scarce regions to achieve and maintain low operating costs. "At GE, we are committed to supporting the growth of an innovation ecosystem that leverages our global scale while also allowing us the flexibility and drive to address local needs."

"Considering the recent water scarcity in Malaysia, this is the best time for individuals out there to challenge this issue by sharing their ground-breaking ideas of how we can address the mounting water crisis not only in Malaysia but also globally," he said.

 Diversify raw water sources

Dean said GE has more than 80 years of membrane and design experience and the company's "desalination technology is one of the advanced options available to diversify raw water sources as it provides comprehensive solutions that convert seawater into fresh water."

He said such innovations were highly applicable in Malaysia, as hot and dry spells coupled with waste and population growth have resulted in increased risk of water scarcity. "Therefore, seawater desalination poses a good option to diversify the country's raw water sources from its primary source of water catchments."

GE ecomagination's global executive director, Deb Frodl, said, "GE ecomagination is investing to speed up the development of more sustainable solutions for water desalination. Through this challenge, we hope to inspire scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in Malaysia and around the world to bring their talents to this effort and help drive greater outcomes for customers."

Entries are being immediately accepted at The deadline to submit entries is July 16, 2014, and winners will be announced in November 2014.


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