Open Innovation in Rural Water and Sanitation in Antioquia | Colombia

Ecosystem development

In January 2024, cewas launched the program "Open Innovation in Rural Water and Sanitation in Antioquia, Colombia," funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. This program aims to "promote collaboration between community organizations managing water and sanitation services and local innovators, thus enabling the development and integration of innovative solutions to address challenges in the provision of services in the rural water and sanitation sector."

The community organizations "Association of Water Subscribers Camilo C Aqueduct in the Municipality of Amagá" and "AMBA Aqueduct in the Municipality of Ciudad Bolívar" in Antioquia are the pioneers of this initiative, whom cewas trains and empowers to lead open innovation platforms. Both organizations have defined the challenges to be addressed within the framework of the "Hackathon 2024: Community Organization - Innovator," which will take place in Medellín on Saturday, August 24, and Sunday, August 25, in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Antioquia. At this event, innovators, such as students, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and companies, will come together to propose innovative ideas to the challenges presented:

• How can we ensure a constant flow of water from the source to the treatment plant in a resilient manner to ensure service continuity?
• How can we prevent the discharge of excreta and wastewater from a community with homes located on hillsides and along the banks of water sources, in order to reduce environmental pollution?

The winners of the Hackathon will receive as a prize their participation in cewas' pre-incubation program, as well as $5,000 USD to implement their pilot project in collaboration with community organizations.

As part of the program, cewas conducts a diagnostic and activation component of the innovation ecosystem in rural water and sanitation in Antioquia, with the aim of understanding the state of development of the ecosystem and proposing strategies for its strengthening.

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