Schneider Electric launches student energy-innovation contest
Schneider Electric has just launched Go Green in the City 2018, a global contest to find bold ideas and innovative solutions for smarter, more energy-efficient cities.
Across the Arabian Gulf, public, private, and academic sectors are collaborating on developing Smart Cities innovations, especially for Dubai Smart City and Masdar City in the UAE. The Middle East is key for supporting the global Smart Cities technology market reaching $775bn by 2021, according to BCC Research.
Sevda Esenturk, vice-president of HR for Gulf Countries and Pakistan, Schneider Electric, said: “Smart Cities in the Arabian Gulf have among the world’s most ambitious visions. Our Go Green in the City contest is tapping into the knowledge of the region’s student developers to foster innovations that can take smart city sustainability to the next level. We are broadening students’ horizons and helping to bring their innovations to a global audience and market.”
Now in its eighth year, Go Green in the City has become a major event for business and engineering students worldwide. In 2017, nearly 20,000 young innovators from 3,000 universities in 180 countries took part, including 58% women. The stakes for Go Green in the City competitors are high, with mentoring, networking, travel, cash prizes and business/job opportunities all on the horizon.
In 2017, the Gulf and Pakistan winners were Kanza Naeem and Zohaib Salahuddin from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. Their Team Cyclops developed “Jashin”, a web-based concept that monitors power usage from appliances, and alerts users on excess consumption.
Kanza Naeem and Zohaib Salahuddin said: “Power consumption data monitoring of devices through Mobile apps and its web-based data analytics is an effective way to tag faulty appliances and reduce household power consumption, which is vital in developing countries like Pakistan. Being a Go Green in the City finalist helped bring Jashn closer to market. Our team also exchanged best practices from global innovators and Schneider Electric’s ecosystem to further support innovations.”
The Middle East has seen strong success. In Go Green in the City 2016, Masdar Institute’s team was one of 12 global finalists, for a concept of solar panels on pavements and bicycle tracks feeding energy into the grid.
Three new topics added in the competition to focus on digitisation
In 2018, the competition should attract even more interest, thanks to a wider range of topics. Students are invited to submit their bold ideas in one of five categories: sustainability and inclusivity, the digital economy, smart supply chain, cyber security, or “no boundaries/bold idea for going green” (any topic). “Sustainability and inclusivity”, “no boundaries” have been popular topics for many years. Newly added these three categories reflect a greater focus on digitisation, along with a “sky’s the limit” approach to innovation.
Olivier Blum, chief human resources officer at Schneider Electric commented: “Schneider Electric has a bold vision to solve our planet’s energy paradox. Go Green in the City was designed as a platform for young innovators to become a part of this vision. Helping students to develop their bold ideas for new sustainable solutions, and gain a foothold in our industry is a great way for us to accelerate positive change.”
This enthusiasm is shared by participants. Raja Jain and Nimisha Gupta from IIT Roorkee in India won first place in the 2017 Go Green in the City final for their “Evacool” air-cooling system. They stated: “Go Green in the City has been a dream come true! Winning the competition has given us such a great sense of achievement, as well as a rich learning experience. If you care about how technology can promote greener practices and sustainability, you will not get a better opportunity than this!”
Teams must be composed of two students attending accredited business or engineering schools in the same country for the duration of the competition. Each team should include at least one female member, in line with Schneider Electric’s policy of promoting Diversity and Inclusion. The deadline for submissions is June 1st, 2018.
All shortlisted teams will receive mentoring by Schneider Electric experts to produce viable business cases to present at one of seven regional semi-finals over the summer in Europe, North America, China, India, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South America. Each of the seven regional winners will then be invited to prepare for the competition final, along with one outstanding all-female team and two “wild-card” teams (additional teams selected from the semi-finalists).
After this second round of mentoring, ten teams will meet at the global final in the United States (city to be announced) in the autumn. The global winning team selected by the executive jury, will be offered the chance to start a career at Schneider Electric, after an international travel to visit any two locations of their choice worldwide, where Schneider Electric offices are present.