Global Agriculture

Major new awards seek innovative solutions to restore Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands

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12 November 2022, UK: MERLIN, a project committed to transformative ecosystem restoration through Nature-based Solutions, co-led by the James Hutton Institute, is offering companies a unique opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge work to develop products and services which will help protect and restore freshwater ecosystems.

Freshwaters are among the most threatened ecosystems in Europe. While restoration projects are increasingly popular across the continent, there is an urgent need for new approaches which benefit nature and are financially sustainable.

The new MERLIN Innovation Awards (MIA) 2023 will allow companies to pitch their pioneering work to 17 European freshwater restoration project managers. Innovative, widely applicable, and market-ready solutions from all over the world are welcome.

Applications are open for companies across the world in two categories:

  • MIA Product of the Year
  • MIA Service of the Year

The MIA will also showcase companies within the large and growing European freshwater ecosystem community. Selected companies will automatically be included in the MERLIN Marketplace, an online portal which features best-practice approaches to freshwater restoration, due for launch in 2023.

Dr. Sebastian Birk, co-coordinator of the MERLIN project at the University of Duisburg-Essen, said: “Innovative solutions for inland water restoration are increasingly sought after. The MERLIN Innovation Awards will reach out to the vibrant community of solution providers and allow them to showcase their products and services to restoration practitioners across Europe. Let us grow together with this initiative.”

The MERLIN Innovation Awards aim to connect companies with state-of-the-art approaches for ecosystem restoration to potential buyer organisations. For example, the Awards provide a unique opportunity for companies to join the rapidly-growing global freshwater ecosystem restoration community, and to offer innovative solutions to help address pressing environmental issues and benefit nature and society.

The MERLIN Innovation Awards 2023 application deadline is 22nd December 2022 (17:00 CET). The independent MIA jury will comprise freshwater restoration managers from the MERLIN project and other related stakeholders with backgrounds in business, NGOs or administration.

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