Chennai, India – 2019 – Enzen, a leading global energy and water consultancy and turnkey solution company headquarted in Bangalore, India, has announced the winners of its 2019 Innovation for Sustainable Development programme at the finals, held in Birmingham’s iconic landmark, The Cube. The Enzen event also saw leading experts exchange knowledge and ideas, before awarding the top three prizes to projects with the potential to drive positive change in the water and energy sectors.
Launched in June 2018, the Innovation for Sustainable Development programme is a crowdsourced innovation competition that seeks ideas and solutions from the best minds in the world to tackle the energy, water and environmental challenges faced by our planet.
The current chapter of the competition saw two teams from India in the top four out of almost 700 entries from researchers, academics, universities, industry and entrepreneurs, each one submitting concepts themed around ‘Transformation into a Sustainable Environment’.
The semi-finals of this programme were held in Bangalore, India in February 2019. The event saw 27 teams present their ideas to an audience consisting of academics, professionals and industry personnel.
A panel of expert judges hailed all four finalists as ‘bold, innovative, achievable approaches to bring real change and solve some of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges.’ The final places were:
• Winners – Team Leaksters: This group also addresses the problem of water shortage and waste reduction from the side of the water utility, i.e., the supply side. The solution uses hardware and software to reimagine the way water distribution is monitored and managed. This high impact solution can be used across both mid and large sized cities to help ensure that more water is available to a larger population. The team consists of Carl Aaron Buckeridge, Sara Lynn Richardson and William Leslie Stephan Smith who hair from Brisbane, Australia.
• Runner up – Team Nitro from New Delhi India, consisting of Shubham Shukla, Debayan Saha, Yogesh Agarwal and Shashi Ranjan have developed an innovative solution that addresses the problem of air quality. This is one of the most critical challenges faced by people across the globe, especially in countries such as India and China which together consist of over one-third of the world’s population. Called Airlens, these wearable air purification systems provide real-time data and can improve the quality of the air that citizens breathe. The solution also has multiple future use cases.
• Team SEMS: This is a two-member team of undergraduate graduate students from Bengaluru, India – Uttam Ramesh and Harini Vijayshankar. Their solution leverages real-time satellite data to monitor the encroachment and pollution of urban water bodies, mismatches in land ownership as well as identification of regions where renewable technology can be deployed. It can help government and researchers better monitor power, water and natural resources.
• Team Novion: The team’s idea focuses on solving challenges focused on the theme of water scarcity and wastage, a critical issue faced by various communities across the globe. Increasing water bills is a major concern, and this idea looks at the problem from the end user perspective (i.e., demand side). Team Novion has developed a solution that promotes awareness and drives behavioural change, thus promoting water conservation amongst building managers, tenants and others. This four-member team from Vancouver, Canada consists of Refayet Hasan Siam, John Cong Nguyen, Devpreet Singh Bhullar and Mostafa Azarbar.
In addition to funding grants – ranging from $2,000 up to $11,000 for the winners, the teams will be mentored by experts at Enzen. As a domain specialist with deep global knowledge on urgent water and energy issues, Enzen will incubate the ideas at its research facilities and provide mentor support, assessing the best way to bring each model to market in a way that drives real change and real value.
Andy Street CBE, Mayor of the West Midlands, presented the winning teams with their trophies. Speaking at the event, the Mayor said: “We’re delighted to see the depth of thought behind these ideas, as well as the fact that two of the winning teams are from India. With the talent and ideas on show, it’s easy to see why Enzen has built a reputation as a leading knowledge practitioner in water and energy. I look forward to seeing how Enzen can help these projects drive real change on a local and global scale.”
Dr. Uma Rajarathnam, Global Head of Applied Research & Collaboration at Enzen added “The true measure of innovative success is not simply delivering exciting change in the here and now. It’s about investing in the future and using our resources, knowledge and expertise responsibly and intelligently for the common good. Our winners today not only exemplify these values but have also displayed an extraordinary passion for solving some of the greatest problems that our communities face. I am proud to see this chapter of our programme come to an end and look forward to working with these teams to bring their ideas to the market.”