IWA Project Innovation Awards

2020 / 2021

5 OCT

Full submission deadline

11 FEB

Finalist notification

11 MAY 

Award ceremony

#WorldWaterCongress & Exhibition

PIA categories


1. Market-changing Water Technology & Infrastructure

This award celebrates innovations in water & wastewater technologies and infrastructure, which embrace forward-thinking applications and solutions to advance clean and safe water goals. These solutions can range from specific technologies to innovative approaches.

2. Breakthroughs in Research and Development

Research is the powerhouse of disruptive and breakthrough innovation. This award celebrates research that is challenging existing markets and addressing future needs to create new opportunities. It is open to the research of all types, as well as early-stage business projects that are not yet market-ready.

3. Governance, Institutions and Social Enterprise

This award celebrates social innovation, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship and their contribution to sustainable water management. In addition, it recognizes innovations in governance and institutional transitions and the role this plays in supporting the circular and digital water economies.

4. Performance Improvement and Operational Solutions

Original thinking is essential for overcoming long-term challenges and delivering solutions for the future. This award celebrates new and innovative approaches that improve performance, efficiency, resilience and sustainability in water operations and maintenance.

5. Exceptional Project Execution and Delivery

Innovation in the execution of water projects is critical for the sector. This award celebrates projects that developed and implemented: creative practices during their execution; excellent client relationships beyond expectations; outstanding responses to unexpected difficulties.

6. Smart Systems and the Digital Water Economy

This award celebrates digital solutions with the potential to reshape the water sector. Harnessing and aligning this technology between the physical and digital worlds, creates a smarter way of managing and protecting water resources and building a water-wise society.

Awarded biennially at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, the Project Innovation Awards recognise and promote excellence and innovation in water management, research and technology. Now in their 13th year, the awards are presented at a prestigious gala event in front of an audience of water leaders from around the world.

Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. Innovation plays a central role in achieving IWA’s vision of a world in which water is managed wisely to satisfy the needs of human activities and ecosystems in an equitable and sustainable way.

The Project Innovation Awards recognise that our shared challenges can be overcome through the development and implementation of creative water solutions.

PREVIOUS EDTIONS

2018

The 2018 Project Innovation Awards were celebrated on 17 September 2018 at a prestigious gala event in Tokyo at the 2018 IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition, in front of an audience of water leaders from around the world. 

Check the 2018 winners

The Kiran and Pallavi Patel Grand Innovation Award

Celebrating and recognising groundbreaking innovations and achievements in the water industry worldwide, the coveted Kiran and Pallavi Patel Grand Innovation Award 2018 is presented to an outstanding example of innovation in the water sector.

An expert panel of judges selected the winner of the Kiran and Pallavi Patel Grand Innovation Award 2018 from amongst the six gold medal winners of the Project Innovation Awards.

2016

On 12 October 2016, water professionals from across the globe came together to celebrate outstanding water innovators at the Rydges South Bank in Brisbane, Australia, for the tenth anniversary edition of the IWA Project Innovation Awards.

The 2016 PIA Grand Award was awarded to Rand Water for their project “Let’s be Water Wise”. 

Find out more about Rand Water’s project and the other 2016 award-winners.

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