Zvirevo Chisadza and Tariro Cynthia Mutsindikwa of Team Latent Innovations are students from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences in Algeria. Zvirevo and Tariro created a new Organic Photovoltaic Greenhouse System that generates energy from the greenhouse cover material. Team Latent Innovations was announced as the global winner of Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City 2018 competition last month, at Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. In below blog article Zvirevo and Tariro describe their experience from the competition.
New Possibilities from Go Green in the City
We are so fortune to have been named the newest winners of Go Green in the City – the premier student competition to introduce new, sustainable energy solutions to solve real-world business challenges. We competed against more than 24,000 students from 163 countries to win the opportunity to begin a career at Schneider Electric and more importantly, have the chance to bring our idea to life.
For us this opportunity was about more than winning a competition. We saw an avenue through Go Green in the City to solve a real problem that impacts millions around the globe: Global Hunger. Hunger is a global crisis issue that needs solutions and partnerships from every industry to eradicate it. Go Green in the City offered us a way to combine our skill set as engineers with the resources of a global energy powerhouse. We begun to understand how energy could play a role to solve this important issue.
The end result is a new approach to greenhouse cover material. It can generate energy off-grid to in turn increase crop production. This way it provides more food to those who need it most. We expect a commercialized version of our idea could reduce hunger by up to 20 percent without emissions, negative impact on climate change or stress on the overall grid. Schneider Electric has given us a vehicle to introduce our innovation to the world.
Go Green in the City is different from other competitions. It has a narrow, focused mission and investment from all levels of the organization. Perhaps most importantly, Schneider Electric designed it not to just introduce ideas but execute them. Schneider Electric invests resources from its people, to its research, to its products, to help put the best ideas forward. It becomes a win-win for all. Students have the opportunity to learn and explore new concepts with support from leaders in the industry. It is also giving Schneider Electric another avenue to introduce innovation into the organization.
Throughout our nearly year-long journey in the competition, we have worked closely with our mentor to refine our idea, understand how to present a business case, stay motivated throughout the challenge and learn to believe in ourselves. We also made long-lasting connections and friendships with the mentors, technical experts, business leaders and other competitors that motivate us to keep working in this area and give us the foundation to build a career in this emerging field.
Initially, the opportunity to work with Schneider Electric attracted us most. It is a true powerhouse in the industry and a leader in energy management and automation. The mission of the organization inspired us and we look forward to exploring the opportunities given by the company. Winning the competition affords us the opportunity to visit two offices of our choice. We can learn from the local teams and get to know Schneider Electric more as a potential employer. We’re also guaranteed a job after graduation to continue working on our idea. Potentially we will see if it can be introduced to the market on a wide-scale.
Introducing Bold Ideas
Go Green in the City has opened our eyes to the world’s energy paradox. Schneider Electric is at the forefront of looking at challenges such as climate change and understanding that we have to change our approach, introduce new technologies, and source ideas from inside and outside the industry if we are going to solve it. Schneider Electric recognizes that innovation can come from anywhere. For instance the company sources bold ideas through many channels. The approaches and strategies raised throughout the competition are just one example. We need these bold ideas to transform how we will live and do business in the future to aid sustainability.
In conclusion, our experience has been fantastic. We encourage anyone that has an interest in energy, sustainability, IoT, or climate change to explore and consider Go Green in the City as a path to making a difference. We believe there is no better opportunity to contribute to energy challenges as students. Therefore we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!
Apply now for Go Green in the City 2019: gogreeninthecity.se.com
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