Patel Grand Challenge

What is the Patel Grand Challenge?

In an effort to make potable water available across the developing world, USF’s Patel Center, in partnership with the IWA, invites designers, researchers, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs from the developing world to create a Smart Pot that: treats contaminated water during collection, is affordable, robust and user friendly, has a similar shape and weight as a traditional pot (jerrycan), can be manufactured locally, and requires minimal running and maintenance cost.

Photo © Mirjam Letsch |

Patel Grand Challenge Finalists

The four finalists of the Patel Grand Challenge were announced at the IWA World Water Congress in Busan, Korea on September 16, 2012.

The shortlisted applicants, who will be receiving $8,000, are:

  • Philip Wilson is the founder of Ecofiltro in Guatemala. This is a private company that produces about 25,000 filters a year. He proposed a hand-operated suction device that pulls water through a downscaled, silver-impregnated ceramic filter tube that can be inserted into any container of water.
  • Dr. Jo Burgess is Research Manager at the Water Research Commission in South Africa. Her proposal is based on a gravity-operated, active carbon membrane filter with an optional second filter for chlorine removal and a cup for boiling water.
  • Prahlad Tewari a research associate at The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, India. His application proposes a pre-filter at the mouth of the vessel and a second filter of a zeolite layer sandwiched between two sand beds.
  • Dr. Bright Kwakye-Awuah is the head of the material sciences group at the Kuwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana. His application proposes a silver-impregnated zeolite ceramic filter, produced from locally available low-cost bauxite sources abundant in Ghana.

View the announcement below:

Read more here.

Patel Grand Challenge Roadmap

I. Opening pre-proposal submission – December 15, 2011

II. Pre-proposal submission deadline – May 25, 2012: All eligible applicants are expected to submit a short pre-proposal to be reviewed by an expert panel coordinated by the Patel Center of Global Solutions. Five applicants will be shortlisted and awarded up to US$ 8,000 each.

III. Announcement of shortlisted proposals: September 16, 2012

IV. Full-proposal submission deadline – TBD: The five shortlisted applicants will be invited to prepare full proposals to be reviewed by an international panel of experts. The applicants will also present their proposals to members of the panel at a major event. The panel will select a winning proposal that will be awarded up to US$ 100,000.

V. Final Panel Presentation and Award Ceremony: TBD

VI.  Development of prototype: The winner of the Patel Grand Challenge will then build and test a prototype of the Smart Pot. During this stage, the winner will work closely with the Patel Center for Global Solutions which will provide project management support and advice on up-scaling the Smart Pot.


For more information about The Patel Grand Challenge, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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