This week, we were honored to accept the Zayed Sustainability Prize—an international award established to recognize sustainability and humanitarian solutions. Competing in the water category, we joined an inspiring group of fellow nominees working to protect and conserve natural resources.

For us, it’s a win on behalf of the customers we’re privileged to serve—the kind of growers who’ve always been willing to experiment with new approaches as stewards of the land. Like them, we believe the right tools can help farmers build operations that are more sustainable and more profitable, too.

Get the full details in the announcement from prize officials below.

Ceres Imaging, the California-based farm management solutions provider, has won the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Water Category, becoming the tenth US-based winner of the prestigious award, at its 12th annual awards ceremony, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

Presented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Ceres Imaging’s CEO, Ashwin Madgavkar accepted the award before an audience of world leaders, UAE government ministers, esteemed international dignitaries, and thousands of guests in attendance. This Prize’s showpiece, annual event is held each year at the start of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Ceres Imaging received the award in the ‘Water Category’ for its proprietary spectral imaging sensors and A.I.-based analytics to optimize water use in agriculture. Ceres Imaging’s data-driven technologies have enabled more efficient irrigation practices and provision of enough water to satisfy the thirst and hunger of a growing global population. Ceres Imaging is presently serving approximately 1 million acres of land, in the US and Australia.

The annual $3 million Prize is the UAE’s pioneering sustainability award for recognising impactful, innovative, and inspirational solutions of small to medium-sized companies, non-profit organisations, and high schools. The Prize is inspired by and in honour of the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the founding father and 1st President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The importance of organisations in driving forward positive changes and implementing innovative sustainability practices and solutions will be vital to the world’s social and economic development, in the years and decades to come.”

Dr. Fawwaz continued: “Water management solutions remain a key consideration and global sustainability challenge for the future; however, we have been impressed by the high calibre and quality of projects submitted in the Water Category this year. I, therefore, congratulate Ceres Imaging on its win and for its ongoing commitments to tackling the challenges of delivering tech-based, agricultural solutions that will improve irrigation, nutrient management, as well as pest and disease prevention for agribusiness, around the world. Its impact and solutions-orientated approach is clearly an inspiration and model for other like-minded organizations and the customers or beneficiaries they serve.”

In recognition of winning the Zayed Sustainability Prize, Ceres Imaging’s CEO, Ashwin Madgavkar, said: "At Ceres Imaging we work every day to build a sustainable agriculture system that works for farmers. Winning the Zayed Prize is a validation of the hard work we have done to this end.  We are excited to put these [Prize winner’s] funds to work to advance the possibilities of resource efficient agriculture." 


The Zayed Sustainability Prize’s ‘Water Category’ is open to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-profits (NPOs), with the winner receiving US$600,000 to develop their solution or service. Among many objectives, this category typically rewards organizations that are ensuring access to safe and affordable drinking water, ensuring access to sanitation and hygiene, increasing water use efficiency, or improving water quality. Organizations must also demonstrate a clear vision and long-term plan to further deploy their solution and scale up their impact, as well as inspiring others to follow suit by advancing sustainable and human development.

For the 2020 awards, a record number of 2,373 submissions were received from 129 countries, which were shortlisted to 76, and then to 30 finalists. The eventual 10 winners included four organizations, in the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, and six Global High Schools – one per world region.

To date, the Prize, including its previous winners across all categories, has directly and indirectly impacted the lives of over 335 million people. In the Global High Schools category, the number of people impacted by the Global High School winners is approximately 400,000.

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The difference between Ceres Imaging and other technologies I've used is the help I get from their expert team.
Jake Samuel, Partner
Samuel Farms
With Ceres Imaging we can take a more targeted approach to applying fertilizer and nutrients.
Brian Fiscalini, Owner
Fiscalini Cheese Company
These flights can cover way more ground and provide more insight than a dozen soil moisture probes — and it's cheaper to implement.
Patrick Pinkard, Assistant Manager
Terranova Ranch
The average Ceres Imaging conductance measurement from its imagery over the season has provided the best correlation with applied water.
Blake Sanden
University of California Cooperative Extension