Stockholm International Water Institute

Mobile phone innovation wins american teenager stockholm junior water prize


Stockholm, Sweden -- Alison Bick, US, received the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the hands of H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at a ceremony that took place during the World Water Week in Stockholm. The American teen has developed a low-cost portable method to test water quality – using a mobile phone.

Alison worked for four years on her project, which combines micro-fluidic devices, cell-phones, and chemical indicators to evaluate water quality. Her innovative method does not only accurately assess the bacteria content of water. It is both significantly faster and up to 200 times less expensive than standard testing procedures.

'This year’s winning project reflects truly out of the box thinking to find a solution to an important real world problem that is relevant in both a developing and developed country context. It is the result of a creative, multi-facetted, and long-term effort that was triggered by an actual problem in the local community. It has the potential to revolutionise our ability to monitor water quality in a way that is fast, accurate, more flexible and less expensive than existing technologies,” said the International Jury in its citation.

“I thought it was absolutely fascinating to speak to all the different contestants from all the different nations and cultures. It was something I’ve never experienced before. I am really excited to win such a prestigious contest. Hopefully I’ll keep in contact with the other contestants and hopefully collaborate one day,” said the winner after receiving the prize.

The international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition brings together thousands of participants in over 28 countries. The representatives at the international final held during the World Water Week in Stockholm are the winners of national competitions that fielded over 9000 submitted projects this past year.

“ITT is proud to support the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the outstanding water research the competition generates,” said Gretchen McClain, senior vice president at ITT and president of its Fluid and Motion Control group.  “Every year we are inspired by the groundbreaking work of students across the world and their commitment to finding new and innovative solutions our global water challenges. We congratulate this year’s winner and of all the participants for continuing their efforts to help solve our global water issues.”

The international winner receives a USD 5,000 award and a prize sculpture. The Stockholm International Water Institute administers the competition, which is sponsored globally by ITT Corporation.

Excellence Diploma to Sri Lanka
A Diploma of Excellence was given to Prasan Warnakula from Sri Lanka for his project “From pollutant to pulp: industrial symbiosis of textile finishing, paper recycling and pulp production.”

The international Jury said, “This year’s diploma of excellence is awarded to a project that reflects a refreshing new way of systems thinking that is highly needed for future sustainability. The jury was very impressed by the independent nature of the investigation and especially the innovative approach to conducting the experiments using equipment adapted from items readily available in the home environment. The principle of this detailed project is inspired by nature and will soon be applied in a much larger context: a real world example of industrial symbiosis in a developing country.”

About the Stockholm Junior Water Prize
The competition is open to young people between 15-20 years of age, who have conducted water-related projects focusing on local, regional, national or global topics of environmental, scientific, social or technological importance. As a result of the competitions, thousands of young people around the world develop personal interests, undertake academic study, and often pursue careers in the water or environmental fields. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is the Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The winner receives an award of USD 5,000 and a handmade blue crystal sculpture. The Stockholm International Water Institute administers the competition, which is sponsored globally by ITT Corporation. The official suppliers for the competition are Infobahn, Halebop, Hertz, People Travel Group and Trosa Tryckeri. For more information please visit:

About the World Water Week in Stockholm
The World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual meeting place for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues. Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), it brings together 2,500 experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions.

About Stockholm International Water Institute
The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. SIWI develops and promotes future-oriented and knowledge–integrated policies, towards sustainable use of the world’s water resources leading to sustainable development and poverty eradication.

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