IDB and FEMSA Foundation Promote Three Innovations in Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste in Latin America - FEMSA
Press Release

IDB and FEMSA Foundation Promote Three Innovations in Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste in Latin America


  • For eleven years, the IDB-FEMSA Award has promoted innovations that have resulted in viable and effective solutions that improve lives throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The Inter-American Development Bank and FEMSA Foundation announced the three winners of the 2020 edition in the categories of water, sanitation and solid waste, from Chile, Ecuador and Brazil respectively.

Mexico City, December 18, 2020.– During the award ceremony for the IDB-FEMSA Award and Ideas en Acción 2020 (‘Ideas in Action’in English), the Inter-American Development Bank and FEMSA Foundation announced the three winners from Chile, Ecuador, and Brazil, and gave two honorable mentions and one special recognition to an innovation that contributes to reducing the impact of COVID-19 contingency.

This has been one of the most difficult years for the water, sanitation, and solid waste sector, but the challenges brought by the pandemic and by natural disasters have paved the way for innovations that promise to improve access to these services in the future. In this context and in a completely virtual format, the IDB-FEMSA Awards ceremony was held, which since 2009 has recognized the most innovative solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean developed by independent entrepreneurs.

During the 2020 call announcement, IDB and FEMSA Foundation received and evaluated around 200 proposals, of which they selected three winners that would receive the US $10,000 incentives for winning in each of the three categories: water, sanitation, and solid waste.

“To solve the challenges, we are facing in the 21st century, we need to find new ways of doing things. With the BID-FEMSA Award, we promote Latin American innovators who have the potential to transform the sector and positively impact thousands of people”, said Carlos Hurtado, Sustainable Development Manager of FEMSA Foundation, an organization that contributes to the creation of social and environmental value for FEMSA and its Business Units.

In the water category, the winning venture was Aqualuz, from Brazil. It is an economical and efficient device that uses sunlight to purify water in cisterns for up to 20 years, providing a family with a daily cost of US $0.02 per 10 liters of treated water.

Reiniger: Electrochemical Water Treatment, from Chile, was the winning entry in the sanitation category. It is an electrochemical system for the treatment and recovery of wastewater, which combines advanced oxidation and electrocoagulation in a single process, achieving a highly efficient process.

In the solid waste category, the winner was ReciApp, from Ecuador, a technological tool for social innovation that connects citizens with grassroots recyclers through collaborative mapping and by gathering environmental and socioeconomic information.

In this edition, due to the important impact that access to water, sanitation and hygiene services has on public health, special recognition was granted to an innovation that offered solutions in any of the three categories, helping to reduce the impact of the contingency for COVID-19. Automatic water sampler (M.A.d.A.), also from Ecuador, received a special recognition for its system for the virtual control of water quality in supply systems for human consumption.

Two honorable mentions were awarded to two other projects: a project with an operating time between six months and two years, attributed to reuse of gray water, from Bolivia; and to another project with an operating time of between two and four years, attributed to valorization of waste in Gonaïves, Haiti.

The IDB-FEMSA Award, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and FEMSA Foundation, has an eleven-year history and will continue to be awarded to Latin American and Caribbean entrepreneurs that develop innovative solutions to problems in the water, sanitation, and solid waste sectors. The call for the 2021 edition will be announced in the second half of the same year through the official channels of the organizations.

About FEMSA Foundation

In FEMSA Foundation our goal is to create positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We make a better future for all by working in three strategic areas: the promotion of efficient resource management for sustainable development, the promotion of the integral development of early childhood and the dissemination of Latin American art and culture. For more information, visit us at or follow us on Facebook (/ FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA).

About IBD

The Inter-American Development Bank works to improve the quality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps improve health, education, and infrastructure through financial and technical support to countries working to reduce poverty and inequality. Its goal is to achieve development in a sustainable and climate-friendly way. With a history dating back to 1959, today it is the main source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It offers loans, grants and technical assistance, and conducts extensive research. It maintains a firm commitment to achieving measurable results and the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability.

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Hanako Taniguchi
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Oscar F. Martínez
Press Relations at FEMSA
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