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Filipino students shine in global ideas tilt

Students from Philippine universities demonstrated record-breaking participation in a landmark global competition for innovative methods and ideas on meeting future energy demands related to energy, food and water.

“The world’s population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050 so we need to figure out a way to balance the energy-water-food nexus so we don’t sacrifice one for the other. This is something that Shell is looking at,” explained Sebastian Quiniones, general manager of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), during the recent Shell Recruitment Exposition where local universities were also cited for participating in the Shell Ideas360 contest.

Shell Ideas360 was launched in the Philippines last year, calling all high-achieving university students to share their ideas in helping tackle the pressures on energy, water and food availability on the theme “People and Planet.”

The process for Shell Ideas360 involves three key stages. First, participants share and submit their initial idea, which will then be evaluated by a team of Shell experts. Up to only a hundred ideas or entries will be selected to proceed to stage two, where participants will then further develop their ideas with the help of Shell mentors and subject matter experts. In the third and final stage, five chosen teams or individuals will be invited to Shell’s renowned smarter mobility event—the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in May 2014 to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, and to go on further in a National Geographic expedition.

Ideas360 is one of the latest programs of Shell as a power, energy and gas technology leader that also values youth development and social investment advocacies. Its other projects focus on smarter mobility, road safety, environmental management, developing new energy sources, and many more.

Record-breaking participation

Worldwide, the Philippines ranked fourth in terms of total number of submissions and sixth in terms of number of participating universities. The University of the Philippines also ranked as the academic institution with the most number of entries to the contest. “Shell Ideas360 showcase the wide talent base in the Philippines,” affirmed Janice Pamplona, country recruitment manager for Shell companies in the Philippines (SciP).

For these significant achievements, Shell officials awarded plaques of recognitions to the seven participating local universities during the Shell Recruitment Expo held recently in Makati City, which was attended by more than 1,000 aspiring jobseekers.

The job fair and Shell Ideas360 local recognition rites gain increased significance as SciP marks its centennial anniversary this year.

Representatives from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Los Baños, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Palawan State University, Mapua Institute of Technology and Ateneo de Manila University received the citations.

Among the ideas developed by the UP teams are the production of renewable hydrogen through photocatalysis, and a mobile app that will measure household member’s water consumption to encourage people to save water. An innovative idea from a Mapua team is a portable renewable energy generator powered by sunlight and wind for use in areas temporarily without electricity and transportation. Another idea from De La Salle University is a device that harnesses wind energy to power cars.

Pamplona said more than 600 ideas were submitted in the global contest. Shell judges are now in the process of selecting the top 100 ideas that will be refined with the help of mentors provided by the company. In March, only five ideas will be chosen as finalists that will vie for the top prize. The teams of the top five ideas will present and defend their proposals to Shell judges in Rotterdam, Netherlands starting April 16.

The winner of Ideas360 will be announced by May 15.

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