UQ students to showcase food waste solution to global investors

12 Mar 2018
Master of Biotechnology students in running for global prize with their recycling idea.
Master of Biotechnology students in running for global prize with their recycling idea.

A student team from The University of Queensland is one of 68 teams to make stage two of the global Shell Ideas360 competition which showcases ideas to solve food, water and energy challenges.

The team’s solution to food waste was selected from 3000 entries, from 140 countries to qualify for round two of thecompetition

The team of three international students, known as “Team Magic”, consists of Master of Biotechnology Research Extensive student Khadeja Ebrahem from Kuwait, Master of Biotechnology student Xin (Joey) Ni Tay  from Singapore and Bachelor of Commerce student Markus Daniswara from Indonesia.

“Increasing amounts of food waste in landfill is a universal problem which creates greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming,” Khadeja said.

“We propose to reduce this with a novel product that recycles food waste cleanly and efficiently back to the soil.

“In addition to gaining knowledge and making connections, through the competition we have the opportunity to pitch our ideas to investors from around the world which could  turn our idea into reality sooner than expected,” Khadeja said.

Participating in and winning first place in the Think Tank competition held last year by The University of Queensland Malaysian Students' Association and the Singapore Student Society and sponsored by Shell helped and motivated the team join the global competition.

“I gained the confidence and knowledge  to form a team and enter the competitions after undertaking  two School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences courses - Issues in Biotechnology BIOT7033 coordinated by Professor Ross Barnard; and Business Planning in Biotechnology BIOT7005  coordinated by Dr Steve Reid,” said Khadeja.

As winners of the UQ Think Tank competition the team received certificates of achievement and a $300 cheque which they will use towards filing a patent.

Khadeja said the team would know on May 7th if they have qualified for the third round and -if successful, they would pitch their ideas against four other finalist teams in London in July, with the global winners announced on July 5.