• Aquagrain has developed a unique soil enhancing technology that enables crops to be grown in arid land, sandy soils or pots using up to 50% less water and inorganic fertilisers
• Project will see the first-ever commercial scale Aquagrain production facility built in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, UAE - 1st December: Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company) has announced a $2.5m pilot project with Aquagrain, a company which has developed a unique soil enhancing technology that harnesses organic waste to enable crops to be grown in arid land, sandy soils or pots using up to 50 percent less water and inorganic fertilisers.
Aquagrain's innovative method converts organic food industry waste into a biodegradable polymer that absorbs and releases water, thus serving as food and drink reservoir for plants.
The project is supported by an AED 100 million R&D fund launched by ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, in 2022. The fund forms part of ADQ Growth Lab, a community of innovators across ADQ's portfolio that realizes the company's commitment to accelerating innovation and R&D with a focus on unlocking growth opportunities and driving value creation and sustainability across priority sectors of the UAE's economy.
Eng. Ali Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of Tadweer, said: “We are proud to partner with Aquagrain and introduce a vital soil improving technology that harnesses organic waste to significantly enhance the economic and innovative value of circularity in the waste management sector. Together, we are confident we can have a significant impact on sustainable and regenerative farming, delivering measurable progress towards reducing emissions, whilst increasing food and water security in the UAE and beyond.”
Paul Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Aquagrain, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Tadweer on this pilot project, which marks a significant milestone in Aquagrain's development. Since setting up in the UAE earlier in 2023, it was clear that this is a nation not just talking about sustainability, but actively investing in achieving it. We felt that our technology could help meet the five key challenges to UAE food security and identified Tadweer as an ideal strategic partner to help us deliver Aquagrain's impact not just in the UAE, but ultimately across the MENA region and the wider world.”
The project will see the first-ever commercial scale Aquagrain production facility built in Abu Dhabi with organic food industry waste, currently sent to landfill, converted into Aquagrain and used to produce food and reduce water and fertiliser use in farming and horticulture, diverting carbon away from the atmosphere and putting it back into the land.
In early 2023, Aquagrain was declared one of the four winners of the UAE's FoodTech Challenge (FTC), organized by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Tamkeen. The FTC is a global competition for the world's most innovative, exciting start-ups and provides a platform for solutions that address food security and ensure sustainability across the food supply chain and the planet.