CALL FOR INNOVATION
How can university campuses transition to circular models and be the blueprint for liveable cities?
Without limiting the imagination of innovators on campus, we’re looking for solutions to the most pressing urban challenges that exist, such as food systems, the built environment, waste management, energy and water.
Solutions must solve a problem or harness an opportunity that exists on or near the university campus. Ideally, the ideas will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy on campus and beyond.
*The submission deadline has now passed. Thank you to all who submitted an idea.
The competition finals event was held virtually on April 21, 2022.
If you're having trouble viewing the video, try visiting our website from another browser or watch the competition finals event recording here.
Winners of the Competition
The judges of the competition chose 3 teams to participate in our circular innovation boot camp and RENERGii Asia chose 3 more wild card teams to join them.
Innovation Competition Prizes
Innovation Boot Camp run by ClimateLaunchpad trainer, Shiva Susarla
For the top 3 teams chosen by the competition judges, plus 2 wild cards chosen by the RENERGii team
Topics covered in this intensive Boot Camp include: circular economy innovation, customer discovery and validation, market sizing and segmentation, unique value proposition, business financials, and circular business impact
Incubation with the RENERGii venture studio with seed funding
RENERGii will choose 2 teams to incubate (who participated in the Boot Camp)
RENERGii will provide 3-month virtual incubation support for two teams and help with refining their business model, design and development of minimal viable product (MVP), networking and partnership-building, and investment readiness. RENERGii may also discuss deeper co-creation possibilities beyond the three month time frame.
Each team will receive $2500 USD of funding during the incubation.
About the Top 12 Teams
Problem identified: Large volumes of paper are thrown away after being used just once. There is no organised paper recycling system on campus.
Circular idea: An environmentally-friendly printing ink that's produced from paper waste. The used paper and cardboard will be collected and converted to biochar. The biochar will then be made into ink that can be used for the printing machines on campus.
Problem identified: There is no proper disposal system for scrap materials and electronic waste (e-waste) on campus. When left exposed for long durations, the hazardous materials can pollute the surrounding environment.
Circular idea: A mobile app that connects e-waste producers (e.g. universities) and recyclers. Once the university provides the scrap details in the mobile app, a real-time auction will be set up for the recyclers to bid on scrap materials.
Problem identified: Storm surges cause the campus grounds to flood for extended periods of time. The stagnant water creates breeding grounds for mosquitoes which then puts people at risk for life-threatening vector-borne diseases.
Circular idea: A device that can vacuum and convert the wastewater from the ground into a solidified form. The solid can be reverted back to water by adding salt and filtering it before use. The wastewater can be used by farmers to irrigate their crops.
Problem identified: Construction waste takes up a large portion of the landfill. Surplus construction materials from large scale construction companies are thrown away even if they are still usable.
Circular idea: An e-commerce app where large scale construction companies can sell their waste materials to small scale construction companies and others in the craft and artisan industry to use as raw materials.
Problem identified: A large amount of plastic waste is generated on campus from leftover plastic pieces from 3D printing projects and old/faulty models. These plastics are not reused or recycled, but instead, thrown in the garbage.
Circular idea: A service to convert wasted or unused plastic from the 3D printing and laser cutting process. Using a customised machine, the plastic waste will be melted and processed to create new plastic materials (e.g. plastic slabs used in laser cutting or moulded into different shapes).
Problem identified: There is no effective and accessible system or platform for buying and selling second-hand/used learning materials among students on campus. They often buy textbooks and reviewers brand new.
Circular idea: A mobile app that allows students and teachers to buy and sell their used textbooks, reviewers and other learning materials. The learning materials can be reused and refurbished as necessary by others instead of being thrown away.
Problem identified: In Balanga City, Bataan, universities generate a significant amount of paper waste. There is currently no effective solid waste management system to prevent paper waste from ending up in the landfill.
Circular idea: Process the paper waste into a pulp, which will then be glued together and turned into a lumber product. The lumber will be durable enough to be used for lightweight applications, such as making benches, tables and other furniture.
Problem identified: There is an excess of tarpaulin waste in the Philippines, especially during election campaigns. After use and reuse, the tarpaulins are either burned, buried or sent to the landfill.
Circular idea: Make the tarpaulins into plastic fibres that can be used in the production of fibre cement boards. The plastic tarpaulin fibres would become a replacement for coconut fibres.
Problem identified: A lot of energy is consumed on campus and a lot of energy is used during the daily commutes of students, faculty and staff of the university. Amongst the zero waste initiatives on campus, energy recycling has not been considered.
Circular idea: An energy conversion device that can be attached to motorbikes so that motor energy is converted to energy for electricity that can be used on campus.
Problem identified: Local schools lack efficient student data management systems, which results in excessive printing and repetitive data entry. This not only wastes paper, but also money and human resources.
Circular idea: A web-based school data management system where student data and learning materials will be available. Instead of printing the modules for students, teachers can provide them with digital access.
Problem identified: The tap water on campus is contaminated and students find it hard to drink. With no access to free mineral water, the students purchase bottled water.
Circular idea: A water filter that can be attached to tumblers. After a few minutes, the contaminated water that you put in the tumbler will be filtered and ready to drink.
Problem identified: The campus parking lots have a high thermal output. The fans that are currently being used to cool the lots are ineffective and a waste of energy, especially during peak hours.
Circular idea: Install a solar energy system that absorbs the sun’s energy to operate a nebulizer. The nebulizer will create a water mist to reduce the heat from the surrounding area, and the remaining energy from the solar energy system can be used for other purposes.
Meet the Judges
Since 2015, Eric Lee has been the Programme Manager of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia-Pacific of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) based in Hong Kong SAR, China, overseeing and executing sustainability-related activities across the region. He has a bachelor’s degree in European Studies and a master’s degree in Political Science. He has extensive working experience in the NGO sector.
New Energy Nexus Philippines
Brenda is the Philippines Country Lead for New Energy Nexus, a global non-profit organization that supports energy entrepreneurs. Brenda leads the initiatives to support clean energy innovators and entrepreneurs and works with different organizations and stakeholders in the energy and innovation ecosystem. She also heads the organizations’ digital education efforts, which aims to vastly accelerate the strengthening of the pipeline of energy enterprises across the globe. Brenda has been in the entrepreneur-support sector for over 7 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and a MBA degree from the Philippines.
Manuela is a sustainability and impact consultant. She has 15 years of experience in sustainability both as a consultant with multinationals, philanthropists, and NGOs as well as a luxury goods entrepreneur. Based in Singapore since 2018, she advises start-ups and SMEs on developing sustainable business models focusing on circular design, value proposition, go to market strategy, storytelling, and the development of tools for impact measurement. She supports companies towards B Corp certification. Manuela is a Sustainability Adviser at the French Chamber of Commerce (FCCS) and a Founding Member of Innovation & Sustainability Alliance (IxSA), a network and manifesto for sustainable innovation. Manuela is also a trained moderator and facilitator of climate change workshops, Climate Collage.
Adrian is a venture capital professional that specializes in financial analysis, venture strategy, business planning, and deals. Passionate about startups and entrepreneur empowerment since his undergraduate years, he began his career as a Management Trainee in UnionBank, one of the most innovative banks in the Philippines. He eventually moved on to the venture capital space as an associate focusing on deals, and due diligence. These experiences eventually led him to become a venture builder, seeking to establish impact driven startups in the Philippines. At present, he is currently a board member in a social commerce startup called KITA, and the current CEO of Carbonamics, a climate technology startup. He graduated from Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in Management Economics. Adrian has passed the level 1 exam of the CFA program.