IDB-FEMSA Award to innovation on water & sanitation opens call for 2019

The IDB-FEMSA Awards to innovation on water and sanitation are reaching their tenth anniversary in 2019 and will be celebrating the occasion with a special edition that calls on those who have innovative solutions to compete for a special prize.  

First, second, and third place winners of the IDB-FEMSA Awards will receive $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 in cash, respectively. This year will also feature a special category called “All stars,” where prior editions finalists will compete for a one-time cash prize of $15,000.

Since 2009, the IDB-FEMSA Awards have shown that the biggest challenges are the ones that produce the most innovative solutions. Over the past nine years, we have seen innovators who can get water from the air, use original software to bring water to rural communities, redesign sanitation models to meet the specific demands of their communities, and much more. All these innovations have turned into viable and effective solutions that are improving lives throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Innovators interested in entering the IDB-FEMSA Award 2019 contest can visit the official website, where they will also find information about the competition rules in Spanish and English. In addition, they will be able to find out about the winners of previous editions in the following links in Spanish or English.

The contest will welcome innovative solutions in the areas of water and sanitation as well as solid waste in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2009, the award has helped promote innovation in ventures, products, initiatives and services that are both creative and original and that can show they have achieved verifiable progress in the water and sanitation sector.

In addition to the cash prize, the first place winner will also receive the Silver Drop, a special trophy created by Latin American artist Gerardo Azcúnaga.

The jury will select up to seven finalists in the standard category and up to three in the “All Stars” category. They will all take part in an interactive workshop on innovation for development during an international event on water security to be held coming October 2019 in Panama City. The finalists will have a chance to present their solutions to a jury of experts on water and sanitation, solid waste, and social entrepreneurship.

The call is open from June 3 through July 14, 2019. The complete contest rules and the online application form are available on the official IDB-FEMSA Award 2019 website in both Spanish and English. Organizations or ventures willing to apply may submit their solutions in any of the four IDB official languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French) and pose any questions you may have to

In addition, within the IDB-FEMSA 2019 Award framework, the call Ideas into Action is being launched. The call looks for innovative initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean generated, developed and implemented by water and/or sanitation utilities. The initiatives should have been proven and implemented; generating a positive impact in one of the following categories: (1) Environmental and social innovation, (2) Technological innovation and/or (3) Process innovation (operation, finance, management, etc.). Innovative utilities can apply from June 3 through 30, 2019, in the official website of Ideas into action, where they will also find information about the competition rules in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

In Ideas into action, the jury will select three finalist innovations to compete live, during the Innovation Conference on Sustainable Use of Water: Cities, Industry and Agriculture, to be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in October 2019, for an innovation workshop in the facilities of the winning utility, and activities of promotion, visibility and dissemination activities. Utilities willing to apply may submit their solutions in any of the four IDB official languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French). Send us any question you may have to

About us

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.