The Moistchar initiative aims to improve Qatar’s water and food security, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has said.
In the fourth and final part of its series about Challenge 22 startups and participants, the SC caught up with Dr Tareq al-Ansari, a member of the team behind Moistchar, to find out how its flagship innovation programme has helped kickstart this "groundbreaking solution".

* Tell us a bit about yourself and your startup business?
Myself, Professor Gordon McKay and Dr Hamish Mackey are faculty members at the College of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University. We have been working on producing ‘biochar’ from different types of waste, including food waste, for example. When applied to soils, biochar can improve the water holding capacity and quality of soils, therefore supporting Qatar’s drive for both water and food security. In that way, not only does Moistchar contribute towards resource security, but also towards the development of ‘a circular economy’ through conversion of waste into value added products, which is an important part of sustainable development.

* Why did you get involved with Challenge 22?
We got involved because we wanted to be part of the legacy of the FIFA World Cup 2022 while contributing to national objectives and sustainable development in Qatar. We wanted to contribute to the strong sustainability theme that runs through all parts of the tournament, from preparations to legacy.

* How has Challenge 22 changed your startup business?
The support from Challenge 22 helped kickstart the production of Moistchar in our labs, which we hope will become a startup business in the near future. Thanks to the networking opportunity presented by collaborating with Challenge 22, we had the chance to work with people with business expertise, thereby supporting our efforts to realise and take our scientific knowledge to market.

* How will your business help enhance the fan experience during Qatar 2022?
Although fans will not necessarily interact with Moistchar as a product during the tournament, many of them will be inspired to lead more sustainable lives knowing the different layers of sustainability that went into the delivery of Qatar 2022.
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