16 January 2022 – Wetskills concluded its Challenge programme in UAE in the Netherlands Pavilion of the Dubai 2020 World Expo (see movie of the Finals & Awarding event on our YouTube Channel). 19 participants from 10 different countries joined this first Wetskills event in UAE (and 53rd event since 2010). An international jury panel announced Team Falaj 2.0 as winner. Team Members Silvio Kaiser (HZ University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands) Meera AlKaabi, , Azza Alshamsi, Ayesha Alam (all UAE University) and Laura Pulido (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia) created an out of the box but applicable concept to improve water management on small farms in UAE.
Wetskills has started its first event in the United Arab Emirates. In a hybrid format, 21 participants from countries such as the UAE, the Netherlands, Colombia, India, Nigeria and Germany are working together in four teams. The teams each work on a challenge, provided by sector partners like Witteveen+Bos and PureBlue Water.
10 years Jubilee
The challenge final also marked the last part of the Wetskills’ 10 Year Jubilee Celebrations. The programme started at Expo 2010 Shanghai China, and the last UAE edition of Wetskills bridged the two World Expos and looked back at the results over the last 10 years.
Rick Hogeboom (programme manager Wetskills and one of the supervisors of this event): “The Wetskills programme challenges participants to leave their comfort zone and come up with out of the box solutions. Supervisors likewise need to step outside the box to make the Programme a succes, especially in times of Covid and hybrid formats for team work. But the best achievements come about by remaining dedicated even in surprising and unknown circumstances. Leveraging digital means to collaborate, discuss and getting to know one another, you’ll find that the solutions the teams came up with are of highest quality and will inspire many.”
The Wetskills Water Challenge is a two-weeks pressure-cooker program for students and young professionals with a passion for water from all over the world. In transdisciplinary and transcultural teams they work together on water-related challenges. Their challenge: develop innovative and out-of-the-box solution for water challenges in a fast-changing world. The challenges are real life and local cases from companies and (governmental) organisations from the water sector.
Wetskills was firstly organised in 2010 and became an independent Foundation in 2015. Since 2010, 53 Wetskills events have been organised worldwide, in 26 different countries. More than 1000 participants were involved.