The waters of the Persian Gulf lap the coastline of the United Arab Emirates, so it should come as no surprise that seawater is at the heart of the idea from Ninja MDC. This team of two students Apoorva Goel from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE and Gautam Sabhahit from the University of Connecticut, USA have come up with BioDesal, a smart idea to use special bacteria to remove the salt from seawater.
Their idea has evolved throughout the Shell Ideas360 process as they have tackled challenges and refined the concept along the way. One person who really helped them was their Shell Ideas360 mentor. “He has been very supportive and gives us continuous feedback and helps to further develop the idea”, they explain.
The programme also helped them gain a broader perspective, encouraging them to create a project proposal, helping them to learn how to research more effectively, to think about the commercial side of their idea and to understand more about the challenges of launching a product.
The team believes STEM is an excellent field for both women and men to get involved with, particularly during a time of great change and innovation. They credit the success they’ve had to their differing backgrounds of finance and engineering.
Commenting on getting into the final five teams, Apoorva said: “This whole journey has given us confidence in our own ability to come up with something new. As students we often come up with ideas, but don’t pursue them seriously, so this means a lot and helps us pursue our passion.”