Plug and Play Sponsors the World Bank Global Disruptive Tech Challenge 2021: Restoring Landscapes in the Aral Sea Region

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The World Bank is launching the Disruptive Technology and Innovation Challenge in the Aral…

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The World Bank is launching the Disruptive Technology and Innovation Challenge in the Aral Sea, partnering with several organizations to encourage the development of disruptive technology and innovation to achieve landscape restoration in the Aral Sea watershed.

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The challenge is being sponsored by Plug and Play, the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP), the RESILAND CA + Program, the Kazakh-German University (DKU) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF). 

Plug and Play, the world’s largest global innovation platform, will be identifying and nurturing homegrown and global startups that can use their ingenuity for a better future for landscape restoration. «We’re excited to build a stronger presence in Kazakhstan and for Plug and Play to invest and accelerate startups around sustainable energy, IT and digital technology, and environmental sustainability,» said Mike Zayonc, VP, Plug and Play.

«The Global Disruptive Tech Challenge 2021 is a premiere for the World Bank in Central Asia; It is a fantastic opportunity to boost the green tech and innovation economy and provides a global outreach about the Aral Sea situation,» said Paola Agostini, Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank.

The Aral Sea watershed has suffered from the extreme overuse of its water resources, leading to the desertification of around 5 million hectares and the dislocation of thousands of people. The Aral Sea’s ecological crisis continues to affect millions of people in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

This challenge will connect innovation with impact-driven solutions. Four individual or organizational innovators from around the world will receive awards to further their disruptive and innovative solutions to landscape restoration issues in the Aral Sea region. The challenge will focus on proposals regarding agriculture and land management, sustainable forestry, socio-economic development, and information and knowledge. 

Disruptive technologies can help alleviate the negative impacts on landscapes from natural and human induced factors, while also addressing the needs of economic growth and sustainable development. This challenge aims to reduce the destructive impact of the Aral Sea crisis on livelihoods and the environment.

Participants can submit their proposals until January 15, 2021. To learn more about the Disruptive Technology and Innovation Challenge, visit the program page

Join Plug and Play and the World Bank on December 15th, 7am ET for a webinar on Restoring Landscapes in the Aral Sea. Register here.


Allison Romero

(408) 524-1457

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