Funding and awards

Details of funding and awards that have been received by CORA.


Funding was received in 2007 from the prestigious Royal Society Brian Mercer Award (now named Royal Society Innovation Award) to help bring the technology to market.

The University of Surrey also raised internal finance to build a pilot scale desalination plant on site at its Guildford campus, the subsequent success and performance of the pilot plant led to the formation of Surrey Aqua Technology Ltd in November 2006 and investment from University Venture Capital specialist company IP Group.


Professor Adel Sharif, Director of CORA has received a number of awards for his work in water engineering and process innovation:

  • The Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in Science and Technology, 2005
  • The Muslim News UK award for excellence in Science and Technology, 2007
  • Science Business first pan-European Academic Enterprise Award in the category of Energy/Environment, 2008
  • The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Water Research, 2011

Professor Adel Sharif, the founder of Surrey Aqua Technology Ltd was also named as a winner of the inaugural ACES, the Academic Enterprise Awards in 2008, at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. The award is in recognition of his achievements in developing water purification and desalination technologies.

CORA received the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Challenge Award in 2008, for its plans to transfer the results of its research and training to help improve conditions in water stressed regions of the world.

The desalination and water purification work developed by Professor Adel Sharif and his Team has been awarded the top prize in the Water Management and Supply category in the 2011 IChemE awards

The category recognises the best project or process to demonstrate innovation in water use, clean-up and re-use, with a particular emphasis on reducing environmental impact while preserving commercial viability. Professor Adel Sharif was presented with the award at the ceremony in Birmingham on 3rd November 2011.

In 2012, CORA was a joint winner of the Queen's Award for wide-ranging and global work improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Modern Water was the winner of the AIM Sustainability Award in 2009.

Additionally, the MO desalination technology scored 8.9 at the Desalination Technologies ‘Coefficient of Desalination Reality’ scores in an independent study, by the Global Water Intelligence, and published in the Water Desalination Report (WDR, 44, Nov.2010). The score is the highest of all new technologies in the sector.

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Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications
University of Surrey