NEOM Innovation Challenge 2020

Imagine solutions to solve the Grand Challenges of the future.


Using renewable energy requires an efficient energy system to power industries, businesses, and residents at a low cost, minimum emission, and maximal reliability.
Considering NEOM’s unique geographical location, create novel but practical solutions that will use natural resources to improve the city’s sustainability.



Challenge 1


Examine renewable energy systems in countries such as Germany, Japan, or certain areas of the US, with an eye to understand the efficiency of the systems in terms of transmission, distribution, cost, emissions, reliability, and energy generated. Create an entirely new energy infrastructure for a NEOM city.

Challenge 2


Design a NEOM school building(s) that integrates renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and battery powers. Be able to demonstrate how and where these technologies are employed throughout the facility. Consider sustainability and aesthetics in your design.

Access more information by watching the webinar


Universal access to safe drinking water is a fundamental need and human right. The challenges of many water cleaning systems range from significant energy use to harmful byproducts being introduced into the local environment, and in most instances are incredibly expensive to build. The sustainable water systems of the future will require disruptive innovation that resolves these issues and seeks to ensure access to water for all.

Come up with ideas that will provide clean water and sanitation for all.





Challenge 1
Desalination systems that remove saline (salt) from seawater are increasingly used around the world to generate potable water. However, desalination plants also produce brine wastewater and require substantial energy inputs. Design a solution for water management and development that mitigates the high levels of brine waste and energy consumption.
Challenge 2
Smart Water technologies are used to analyze data, find system leaks, reduce energy usage, predict equipment failure, and ensure regulatory compliance. Brainstorm an infrastructure that integrates smart water technologies to improve the water supply system that would mitigate the aforementioned challenges.
Let’s talk about water


As the world faces challenges associated with population growth, climate variability and the loss of arable land and fresh water, there is an increasing need to find new and efficient ways to grow food and reduce waste. Considering the current challenges in the world, develop ideas for more sustainable food industry solutions.

Challenge 1
The labor shortages resultant to the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted labor significantly. For NEOM's agricultural communities, who rely heavily on individual labor to harvest crops, what are some solutions that might alleviate the reliance on individuals? What are some ways in which the process of harvesting might be changed to accommodate the "new normal"?
Challenge 2
Vertical Farming is increasingly being used in the global effort for more sustainable farming. These systems typically use less water, land, and are able to operate indoors (minimizing seasonal impact on agriculture). Design a vertical farm to be implemented at NEOM, considering some or all aspects of physical layout, lighting, growing medium, and being as sustainable as possible. As well, consider environmental factors such as electricity blackouts, and work to resolve the possible impact of these factors.
Challenge 3
Food waste is a common problem in households globally. Typically, due to forgotten or ignored groceries, NEOM is seeking to minimize food waste across the community. Create a system that works to mitigate the issue of food waste, regardless of the reason. Employing any number of different technologies, strategies, or systems, find the best possible method for cutting down on household food waste.
Access more information by watching the webinar held on November 5, 2020:


Consider how climate change has impacted your everyday life. What changes have you seen or experienced? How has the environment around you been impacted? What research have you conducted about how you can have an impact? What actions have you taken to improve your environmental footprint in your daily lives? The world is confronting fundamental changes as a result of climate change. Consider how NEOM can seek to become leaders in sustainablility efforts.


Challenge 1
NEOM plans to re-introduce a variety of native animals into a preserve within the community. Build a nature preserve that ensures the thriving of the following animals: oryx, ibex, gerbil, and ostriches. Consider various solutions for nature preserves and consider how technology might be used in lieu of fences or more traditional methods of containment and security.
Challenge 2
The pace and impact of natural disasters globally has shifted tremendously in recent years. Considering the requisite clean-up and rebuilding of communities, post-disaster, find practical and scalable solutions that provide resilient and sustainable infrastructure.
Access more information by watching the webinar


A healthy lifestyle involves both choice and action. The choices we make each day, and the actions we take on those choices, can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Think out-of-the box and come up with an innovation solution that will drastically enhance people’s lives, make it impossible to pass by and proactively engage people in improving their lifestyles.
Challenge 1
Type II Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and can be attributed to many factors, including but not limited to, environmental factors. Research does suggest that there are lifestyle choices that can be made to limit certain risk factors. Establish some key interventions that are measurable and can be set up to change behaviours and lifestyles that are risk factors in the development of Type II Diabetes.
Challenge 2
It is the goal of the NEOM Health Sector to provide individuals with as much information and as many options as possible to ensure healthier food and lifestyle choices. Develop a smart system that will encourage individuals to improve their choices.


Envision the current education experience and consider the need for both theoretical and practical knowledge. What are the ways in which your experience supported both elements of learning? What are the ways in which you would change your own experience to ensure preparedness for the work force? For higher education? Design a new education experience. You may create a system that is comprised of micro-credits, or intense 'short courses', that can be combined to create the equivalent of a high school diploma or you may consider entirely new ways of educating.
Challenge 1
Schools typically have traditional buildings, operate around the Gregorian calendar and are open Monday to Friday. Rethink these constraints and design the NEOM school experience.
Challenge 2
Given the importance of equipping students with a valuable theoretical background and practical competencies to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future, what courses, modules or experiences should be in the “curriculum?” Given that learning should be life-long, relevant, flexible and personal how would you design the curriculum to ensure that all students are appropriately challenged and supported?
Access more information by watching the webinar

Business Canvas Model, Judging Criteria & Pitching

Mr. Anthony Harris explains the Business Model Canvas, which is a very useful framework for developing and evaluating a new venture, you may use this as a tool to draft your ideas. You will also find out what is the judging criteria!


In the second part of the video Ms. Amal Dokhan offers great tips & tricks on how to deliver the perfect pitch. Use this when recording your videos and for preparing for the final pitches!