Three Vietnamese students from HCM City University of Technology have won the first prize at the nation-wide Smart Water Innovation Contest, organised by the Swedish Embassy in Hanoi in cooperation with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Their idea was to develop a smart phone app to detect water leakages, the embassy announced on 8 June.
Trịnh Quốc Anh, Nguyễn Trần Quang Khải and Võ Phi Long were awarded a trip to the capital of Sweden, Stockholm – known as the Beauty on Water, where they will attend the global event World Water Week, which will be held 27 August – 2 September 2016.
SIWI is the leading annual global event for concretely addressing the planet’s water issues and related concerns of international development. Leaders and experts from the world’s scientific, business, government and civic communities convene in Stockholm to exchange views, experiences and shape joint solutions to global water challenges.
The Smart Water Innovation Contest is a nationwide competition in response to the most pressing water related challenges that Vietnam is facing today and in the future. The contest aims at inspiring young, local students in higher education to take on sustainable development and climate change issues, and come up with water-related solutions that will make a real change. It inspires Vietnamese university students to think freely and innovatively on how to tackle water-related problems and how to get people involved.
The winning students told media that their innovation came when they discovered a high volume of water leakage in HCM City’s water system, reaching up to 30 per cent of the total, compared to 3 per cent of Tokyo’s and 4 per cent of Singapore’s.
With only a tap on the smart phone’s screen, quicker than sending an email, the people who identify the water leakage are able to report the incident to a building’s managers. The position of the leak will be bases on Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, Trịnh Quốc Anh told on behalf of the winning team.
Runner up teams were also rewarded: A team from the Hanoi University of Technology came up with a natural material made from cactuses to build a system for collecting and treating rain water. The team, consisting of Lê Thị Hảo, Lưu Ngọc Châm, Đặng Thu Hương and Phạm Vân Anh, received their bikes – a green mode of transport from Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander.
Also, a team from An Giang University won the other runner up award. The team consists of Nguyễn Thanh Phúc, Phan Minh Hiếu, Nguyễn Thái Dương và Huỳnh Thị Ánh Tuyết. Their project proposal is to design fresh water distillation that will meet demands for households in the Mekong Delta. The award prizes and diplomas would be handed out at An Giang University.
Sweden is a dedicated partner in climate change action and continuously works to raise awareness among young people on the most pressing water related challenges. As part of these efforts, the Embassy of Sweden and the Agency for Water Resources Management under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in cooperation with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and a number of Swedish companies operating in Vietnam, launched the contest.
The contest is part of #FirstGeneration, a campaign by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to generate engagement, strengthen communication and broaden popular support for the new sustainable development goals. #FirstGeneration takes aim at the first generation that has the chance to halt the negative development trends. Three billion people now have access to the internet and almost half of the world’s population is under the age of 25. The key to a sustainable future depends upon their ability to turn knowledge into new solutions, to move from words to action.
This contest is open for 1-5 year university students nationwide. Contestants need to form a team of 2-4 members and work together on the ideas and possible proposals. All team members must be Vietnamese nationals enrolled at a Vietnamese University and have good English language skills.
Entries may comprise anything from completely new ideas that have not been developed to new and innovative ways of using existing solutions. The contest is designed to generate ideas and/or possible products, services and solutions that contribute to the sustainable use of water. They can be technical solutions, but they can also be ideas relating to agricultural, economic and social issues.