Wastewater solution wins global innovation competition

A Lebanese tech start-up has won the first Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) innovation competition with its digital solution that tackles the economic and social challenges of wastewater treatment.

GI Hub has crowned Lebanese tech start-up Mrüna the winner of its first global innovation competition, InfraChallenge, following a live pitch against nine other finalists from the UK, US, Sierra Leone, Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Spain.

Mrüna’s winning digital solution tackles the economic and social challenges of wastewater treatment with its decentralised nature-based system, BiomWeb.

Using IoT, the solution treats wastewater onsite, negating the need to transport waste and recycled water, with a series of water tanks that imitate aquatic habitats found in nature, without the use of added chemicals, desludging, or vast infrastructure investment.

Mrüna believes that BiomWeb will be adopted by refugee camps and informal settlements, as well as private and public sectors across the world.

“We are so honoured to be the 2020 InfraChallenge winners and to be representing innovation from Lebanon. The start of Mrüna and BiomWeb was about us looking at the pollution in our rivers and the impact of sanitation on food chains and asking how we could start to do things differently,” Co-Founder of BiomWeb, Ben Baseley-Walker said.

“We’ve strived to have a nature-based system that is simple and accessible to all income brackets, and we are really excited to work with GI Hub and MIT Solve to push it out globally.”

Mrüna’s solution will help to accelerate the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 that pursues availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

“Technology is the new frontier for infrastructure and its importance as a driver for real change and transformation has accelerated since COVID-19. InfraTech has a profound purpose in ensuring the continued operations of critical infrastructure and it will play a key role in economic recovery around the globe,” the GI Hub’s CEO and InfraChallenge judge, Marie Lam-Frendo said.

The host country for InfraChallenge 2020 was Spain but the event was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the winner of the InfraChallenge, Mrüna will receive a $AUD 50,000 funding package to help implement their pitch, ongoing support from GI Hub and MIT Solve to further develop their solution, as well as exposure to the G20’s Infrastructure Working Group.

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