Thinking back to just one year ago, when we first heard about Schneider’s Go Green student competition, we can clearly remember how excited we felt. As engineering students at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers in Casablanca, Morocco, both of us—Hajar and Abir—jumped at the chance to submit our bold idea for a greener and more sustainable world!
Together with Omrane, our teammate from M6 Polytechnic University, we took up this challenge as passionate change-makers and next-generation citizens of our planet.
We’ve enjoyed every step of our Go Green journey, especially how the Schneider and AVEVA teams have helped to nurture our ideas. Now, we’d like to encourage other young minds to put their skills to the test and bring their daring and creative ideas to next year’s Go Green competition.
Bold energy-saving solar greenhouse innovation
GreenOverMorrow is our smart energy management system controlled through the internet of things and artificial intelligence to digitally transform power grids and set in motion the energy transition of modern agriculture. We designed and developed an innovative automated agricultural greenhouse powered by photovoltaic solar panels, with the advice of our supportive professors, Mr Zegrari and Mr Majdoul.
Considering the scope of the competition, with over 22,200 students from 200 countries registering in this year’s event, and more than 3,700 submitting ideas, we were amazed when we received the news that GreenOverMorrow had been selected for the Middle East and Africa Go Green regional finals.
A journey of mentoring, sharing and coaching
We were soon assigned a mentor from Schneider Electric, Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Khalek, who helped us develop our bold idea. He was our guiding star, helping us to align our project to Schneider’s technical and business requirements. We complimented each other harmoniously so that our solution was both attractive and closely connected to users’ needs. Throughout the process, we faced challenges, but even difficulties and failures didn’t distract us. We tried to reach the goal the four of us believed in day after day. We were coached to create and present a strong and unique business model to prepare for the regional competition.
Despite our stress on presentation day, we remained enthusiastic to share the fruit of months of hard work with the best Schneider experts in the region. Winning the regional competition meant we were through to the Global Final Championship!
Schneider Electric then invited us to visit Dubai for its Innovation Summit to discover how innovations like ours have the potential to build a greener and more digital world. We shared our Schneider Go Green experience with industry leaders, technology experts and government representatives, both on stage and watching on Facebook.
Upon returning to Morocco, we prepared for the global finals, working with dedication and the support of our mentor. Whenever we needed additional help from Schneider in Morocco, they were there. A second mentor, Tom Russell from AVEVA, also pitched in. His expertise enhanced our financial modelling and our project’s case study.
The winning idea with a positive impact
After months of hard work, we presented GreenOverMorrow to a jury of Schneider’s and AVEVA’s leaders and experts. We were full of pride and received plenty of support from our parents, our professors and our mentors. They all believed in our project and in us.
All the other teams had such brilliant ideas, so we were amazed when we were declared the winners of Schneider Go Green 2022!
The judges explained that our idea had the potential to positively impact the farming industry, reduce energy losses, save water, cut carbon emissions, and bring sustainable food production to many parts of the world. It felt magical when our hard work, dedication and passion were recognized. Thank you Schneider Electric and AVEVA!
For students who plan to take part in Go Green next year, our advice is simply to dare to dream! Be confident, be passionate about your idea and project, and work hard until the end. Remember, Schneider Go Green is a great place to get out of your comfort zone and share your bold ideas! We hope next year’s winning team is reading this today and will look back on this moment a year from now as the first of many that changed their lives, and maybe even the world.
About the Authors
Abir Werzgan, Hajar Werzgan, who are students at ENSAM University of Casablanca, and Omrane Derhy, from Mohammed VI Polytechnic, are the winners of Schneider Electric Go green 2023 edition. Their team, GreenOverMorrow, was awarded the title in recognition of their automated greenhouse solution: an IoT and AI-enabled, XaaS (Everything-as-a-Service) solution using solar panels alongside grid and crop data to reduce energy losses, save water and cut carbon emissions.
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