A. General Questions

1. What are the categories of the Prize?

The Zayed Sustainability Prize awards 5 categories:

  • Health
  • Food
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Global High Schools (1 award for each of the below regions)
    • The Americas
    • Europe & Central Asia
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • East Asia & Pacific
    • South Asia
    • MENA
2. What is the Prize Fund, per category?

The total prize fund is US$3 million, distributed as follows:

  • Health - $600,000
  • Food - $600,000
  • Energy - $600,000
  • Water - $600,000
  • Global High Schools - $600,000 – (divided amongst 6 Schools, awarding each up to US$100,000)
    • The Americas
    • Europe & Central Asia
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • East Asia & Pacific
    • South Asia
    • MENA
3. Where does the Zayed Sustainability Prize funding come from?

The Prize fund comes from the Abu Dhabi Government as a way to honour and continue the sustainability legacy of the late founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, manages the Zayed Sustainability Prize. A dedicated team works on the Prize all year round.

4. What are the criteria of the Prize?

The prize criteria for all categories are: Innovation, Impact and Inspiration.

To learn about the selection criteria to each specific category, please click here.

5. Who are the previous winners?

Previous winners can be found here in the “Winners” section of the website.

6. How are the winners chosen?

All submissions go through our three-tiered evaluation process.

  • First stage: A reputed international Research & Analysis firm conducts due diligence on all submissions to ensure that they meet the criteria of the Zayed Sustainability Prize: Innovation, Impact, and Inspiration.
  • Second stage: The Selection Committee reviews every entry and the final entries are sent to the Jury for final evaluation.
  • Third stage: The Jury meets in person to deliberate on the finalists and select the winner in each category. Final decisions are unanimous. The winners will be announced at the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, which takes place in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

B. About the Awards Ceremony

1. When does the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony take place?

The Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony takes place during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The next award ceremony will be held on 14th January 2019.

2. Where will the awards ceremony take place?

The awards ceremony will take place at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

C. Global High Schools Category

1. How is the Global High Schools Category different from all the other categories?

For the Global High Schools category – we ask schools to submit proposals for funding consideration to implement sustainability measures in their schools. These measures could range from the implementation of technologies to the incorporation of curricula. The Global High Schools award aims to encourage innovation amongst youth, in developed and developing nations alike. It is open to educational institutions targeting high school students from Grade 9 and above.

Aside from the Global High Schools category, winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize must demonstrate already existing innovation and impact. A proven track record is essential to the submission.

D. Questions on the submission form

1. How do I apply?

Interested entrants can submit using the online submissions portal. This can be accessed through the homepage of the Zayed Sustainability Prize website. The basic steps are as follows:

  • Click on the "Submit for the Prize" tab, in the centre of the Homepage or click here to gain access to the submissions portal.
  • The portal will prompt you to create an account by entering a Username and Password. Please keep this on hand should you wish to save your submission and return to complete it, at a later date.
  • Answer the questions on the form and, if complete, click on "Submit". Alternatively, if not completed, click "Save".
    • If you clicked on "Submit", you will receive an automatic email confirming receipt of your submission and will include a copy of your responses for your record-keeping purposes.
    • If you clicked on "Save", please make sure to return to your submission to complete it at a date prior to the submission deadline.

Please note that a video tutorial explaining the process of using the online submissions form will also be available within the portal. This may also be accessed here.

2. Should I be interested in submitting an entry for consideration, are there any participation fees associated with this?

There are no fees associated with completing a submission.

3. Apart from the Submission Portal, is there any other way that I can submit an entry for the Prize (e.g. Email, Postal)?

In order to ensure fair assessment, all submissions for the Zayed Sustainability Prize must be made through our online portal. Should you need any assistance in finalising your submission, please feel free to contact us at: or +971 2 653 3333.

4. Can I complete the submission forms in any language?

The Prize only accepts entries completed in English.

5. When is the submission deadline?

The Zayed Sustainability Prize opened for submissions on 17th April 2018 and will remain open until the deadline on 9th August 2018.

6. Is the submission deadline extendable?

The submission deadline is not extendable.

7. May I come back to my application at a later date and complete it, after I’ve started it?

Yes. You will be able to repeatedly save your application with updated information added until you feel confident enough to officially submit your entry.

8. May I modify my application after “submitting” if it is prior to the deadline?

Should you not be able to complete the submission form, the portal will allow you to save your responses so that you can return to it at a later date (as long as it is before the deadline). Simply log in using the credentials you used to set up your account.

Changes cannot be made to a submission after clicking "submit".

9. Will I receive feedback on my submission, even if it does not get past the submission stage and passed on for Selection Committee review?

All submissions receive feedback. However, should the submission not reflect one of the three criteria, the feedback will only reflect that the submission did not meet the minimum requirements.

Should any entrant require additional feedback, please contact us on: info@zayedsustainabilityprize.com

10. Can I resubmit for the Prize every year?

Any company, organisation, or high school can resubmit for the Prize. This does not, however, apply to the winners.

11. Can I apply in multiple categories?

Applicants can only submit one entry, per category, for consideration.

12. What is the maximum file size that can be uploaded through the online portal, as an attachment to accompany the submissions form?

As the different panel of judges are reviewing each submission, it is best to keep your attachment size as low as possible. A maximum of 5 attachments are allowed at a maximum file size of 7 MB per attachment.

13. Can I include videos to complement my submission?

Yes. Video links will be accepted.

14. Are there specific video formats that you accept in the attachments section of the Submission Form?

Video links will be accepted, but due to the size (MB) of actual video files, no attachments will be accepted.

15. Which category would be most appropriate for a research organisation?

If the research organisation fits the eligibility criteria (Innovation, Impact and Inspiration) then it can be considered for any of the non-Global High School categories (Health, Food, Energy or Water).

16. Which category would be most applicable to a new start-up specialising in an emerging technology or service related to sustainability?

The criteria of the Prize require a proven track record of Innovation, Impact, and Inspiration. If the emerging start-up fits these criteria then it would be most suited to apply in any of the non-Global High School categories (Health, Food, Energy or Water).

17. Can I send additional materials that will complement my submission via email?

No additional material will be accepted via email or airmail. All material relevant to your submission should be submitted through the Online Submission Portal.

18. Do the response boxes in the submission form accept graphs and charts?

The response boxes in the form only accepts plain text. Therefore, candidates will be unable to include graphs and charts in these response boxes. However, there will be a separate attachment facility for you to upload your supporting documents such as graphs and charts. Please describe each attachment as an "Appendix" - i.e. Appendix A – Graphs and Charts. You may upload them as Word, PDF or JPG files.

19. Will hyperlinks work in the answer boxes of the submission forms?

The answer section only accepts plain text or a plain URL (e.g. http://wikipedia.com); however, please avoid using charts, tables or hyperlinks. Should this information be critical, please include this in a word document and attach it in the “Attachments” section of the submission form.

20. If I experience any difficulty in my entry, who should I contact?

Please feel free to contact us at info@zayedsustainabilityprize.com or on +971 2 653 3333

21. Do I need to include financial information?

Yes, financial information will have to be included. All information submitted will be handled in the strictest of confidence and will only ever disclose such information to the panel of judges.

E. Post-Submission

1. How will I be notified of receipt of my submission?

All entrants will receive a notification email upon submitting. This email will also contain a copy of your submission for your own record-keeping purposes.

The administration of the Zayed Sustainability Prize constantly monitors submissions. We are alerted to those that are complete and those that are incomplete. You will receive a reminder email to complete your submission as we approach the deadline.

2. Will I receive a copy of my submission?

Yes. The confirmation email you receive, after completing the online form, will contain a copy of your submission.

3. Will I be notified if I have been shortlisted?

Yes. You will be notified by email by the Prize administration team. You will also receive an email explaining any discrepancies in the submission process, should you not make the shortlist.

Please note that a public announcement of only the finalists of the finalists of shortlisted candidates can only be made following the meeting of the Jury of the Prize.

4. Do you award the same winner twice?

In order to ensure that every year we recognise companies, organisations and high schools that need the encouragement to persevere – the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards a winner only once.

5. Can I publicise my status as a shortlisted candidate?

The Zayed Sustainability Prize has incorporated a non-disclosure policy on announcing shortlisted candidates. The Prize will announce the shortlisted candidates only following the Jury meeting.

At this time, should you or your entity be listed as one of our finalists, you are free to publicise this as well.

6. Will the judges visit the candidates as part of their assessment?

The judges will not visit or communicate directly with the candidates as part of their assessment. For this reason, it is imperative that all information critical to your submission be included in the entry form.

7. If chosen as a finalist, how do I attend the awards ceremony?

All finalists will be invited to attend the ceremony.

8. What will I be expected to use the Prize fund for, should I win?

The winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize are asked to sign a contract with Masdar detailing the relationship between the Prize and its winners.

The Prize fund should go towards the sustainability programme or solution described in the submission. Alternatively, dedicating the fund to new sustainability ideas is also possible.

For the Global High Schools category, the fund is to be used to implement the Proposal and satisfy the obligations (including any timing requirements) as set out in the Proposal.

9. Who can I contact, should I have any enquiries or uncertainties?

For general support or enquiries on the submissions process, please contact at info@zayedsustainabilityprize.com or +971 2 653 3333.

For any technical queries, please contact our tech support team at: techsupport@zayedsustainabilityprize.com.