Over a thousand entries from around the world have now been whittled down to the last five in the Shell Ideas360 2018 programme. The standard of ideas put forward by student teams to solve the world’s energy, food and water challenges was exceptional. We have seen so many brilliant and innovative ideas that could #makethefuture, but the five finalists truly stood out from the crowd.
Here we meet our finalists for the first time as they look forward to travelling to London’s Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, where the final takes place on July 5th as part of Shell’s celebration of innovation and bright ideas at Make the Future Live.
This team from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE came up with BioDesal. BioDesal’s purpose is to improve the process of desalination by converting seawater directly to solid salts and drinking water. The idea proposes using special bacteria and organic solvents to precipitate salt out of seawater. This uses less energy, creates less waste salt, and generates more valuable byproducts than traditional desalination processes.
From the University of Texas at Austin, this team hopes to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winning team, which hails from the same institution. This year, the team aims to triumph with an idea that focuses on food with the LV FruitFly – a robotic fruit harvesting platform that will make it easier and cheaper to provide healthy fruit to improve our diets and support more sustainable farming practices.
Smart Car MCS
Plastic waste is a growing problem, which is having a very negative impact on our environment all around the globe. This team from Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, has come up with a revolutionary idea to use the heat from car exhaust fumes to break down plastic waste and turn it into fuel, helping to turn a waste product into clean energy.
The team from the University of Melbourne, Australia, has come up with an idea to put the billions of chicken feathers typically sent to landfill every year to good use. It suggests using the feathers to help absorb toxins from wastewater to reduce its impact on the environment and potentially offer a way to deliver clean water to areas of need. This offers a green, sustainable and natural alternative to chemical absorbents.
With a growing population comes a greater need for clean, renewable energy. Current wind energy technology requires large amounts of materials, land and energy which all create negative impacts for the environment. The team from the University of Bordeaux have an idea to produce coatings for buildings to convert wind into usable electricity. In this way both renewable energy and material criticality are considered.
Each one of these inspiring ideas offers insight into some of the innovative ways we could help to solve the world’s food, energy and water challenges for the future, so the teams should be very proud of their achievements so far.
The winners will be announced at Make the Future Live on July 5th.