Winners TU/e Contest want to save Earth

Student teams won the TU/e Contest with plans for more food, less CO2 emission and the recycling of metals. Twenty students presented their idea or prototype to a large audience in the Auditorium yesterday, and six of them had the chance to try and persuade the jury that they should win the prize worth 5000 euros during a pitch in the final round. The winners did so with solutions to the problem of worldwide food and metal shortage, and ideas for more environmentally-friendly transportation methods.

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photo Bart van Overbeeke

“In 2050, the planet needs to provide 9,1 billion people with food,” that is how Sven Arends, master’s student of Data Science, opens his pitch for SpaceSea. “Food supply will have to come from the sea, and seaweed is a suitable product. Nutritious and sustainable. Sea farms already exist and we will help them increase their production. Sea farm Organic Seaweed in the North Sea currently uses very expensive sensors to monitor the growth of vegetation. We are going to take a different approach. We’ve developed a tool that uses satellite data on the water’s temperature, the quantity of chlorophyll, the currents and the turbidity to predict the cultivation of seaweed.”

SpaceSea’s software was finished just in time to win the Prototype category during the day of the final. The international five-man student team started with the idea only a few months ago, taking the assignment to ‘do something with satellites’ as their point of departure. “We worked day and night from that point on to protect the world against food shortage.” The jury asks whether their software can also be used for fishery and agriculture, and Arends replies in the affirmative. “The mussel industry has also showed an interest in water temperature already. There certainly is a demand for our product.”

Shortage

“We will run out of metal to make our electrical devises with within 35 years,” says Dirk van Meer. He and his team CORE came up with a recycling factory to solve the problem. The jury is enthusiastic about CORE’s drive and commitment, and declares them winners in the category Student teams: “Moving from dream to demo at this early stage, well done, keep up the good work.” TU/e Contest helps CORE achieve their goals by awarding them 5000 euros and helps them establish contacts with, among others, construction company VolkerWessels.

“Politicians want everyone to drive an electric car by 2030,” says Alex Pap. He and his two team members of AxLectric believe that the costs this imposes on entrepreneurs are too high. Their idea to convert standard delivery vans into hybrid cars wins them the sum of money and a spot in TU/e innovation Space, where SeaSpace will also be allowed to work.

 

More prizes

The audience prize went to Oh Crap: I Gut MY Future (wants to give nutritional advice about healthy intestinal flora for caesarean-born babies). An ASML Maker Award was handed out to Pressure-Sensitive Keyboards (wants to prevent burnout among employees using a modified keyboard). Prior to the announcement of the winner, SpaceSea received an award from TU/e Contest sponsor DB&P.

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