June 2, 2017 - 7:00 AM EDT
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Student Team From USA Recognized As Most Innovative In Shell Ideas360 Program

Team from USA wins Judges Choice innovation award for an efficient spring-based tracking system for solar panels

HOUSTON, June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Three students from the University of Texas at Austin have been acknowledged as some of the most promising students in innovation by Shell Ideas360, a global program connecting students to help develop ideas to tackle the world's food, water and energy challenges.

Shell Oil Company Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Shell Oil Company)

In its fourth year, Shell Ideas360 asked students to submit innovative solutions to world's issues, and the program received more than 750 entries from over 144 countries. Students were given the opportunity to shape their concept into a business pitch with mentors and had access to a platform of resources to further help refine skills and provide them with real world experience.  

Team Smart Panels have won the overall program and the Audience Choice Award voted for by Shell Ideas360's online community and each member will now be awarded a National Geographic Adventure. The winning idea is a tracking system for solar panels. By coiling shape memory alloys into springs that stretch when cool, this simple sun-trapping system allows the solar panel to move back and forth, tracking the sun in the sky. As well as increasing the panel's energy output, the idea has the potential to make solar energy more affordable to cost-sensitive customers.   

Five teams were selected as finalists and pitched their ideas in front of a panel of esteemed judges at the Shell Ideas360 finale at Make the Future Live – a festival of ideas and innovation that took place at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The judging panel of business and NGO experts included James Temperton, Senior Editor at WIRED UK, Alexander Moen, VP of National Geographic's Explorers Program, Christophe Boulanger, VP of Strategic Customers at Shell, Patricia Garcia, VP of ER Projects & Technology at Shell, Marian Marino, Manager, GameChangers at Shell, and Mallika Ishwaran, Senior Economist, Group Strategy at Shell. After deliberation, the judges voted for Team Smart Panels, whose idea they considered to be the most disruptive and revolutionary of all.

Team member, Malvika said: "We're so excited to be chosen as the winner of Shell Ideas360, we're all buzzing.

"With the help of our mentor, we now feel more than ever that our idea has the opportunity to become a reality, and we can't wait to celebrate on our National Geographic Adventure!"

Erik Bonino, Executive Vice President of Downstream Technology for Shell, said: "The premise of our program, Shell Ideas360, is to inspire future leaders to develop game changing ideas to help tackle challenges with the world's resources (food, water and energy) in the coming years. The program is an exciting opportunity for students from around the world to participate in a journey of learning and discovery. Students are paired with industry-leading mentors who can provide guidance and support in refining the ideas.

"We're pleased to present the top award to Team Smart Panels and we look forward to seeing the evolution of this idea following the program. At Shell, innovation is at the core of what we do and it's through initiatives like these that we can help shape the next generation of innovators. We congratulate all of the entrants of the 2016/2017 program and look forward to continued success."

The finalist teams were celebrated in a prestigious award ceremony at Shell's #makethefuture Accelerator event on May 25. The event featured entrepreneurs from a variety of Shell's enterprise programs, esteemed speakers, academics, judges, and Shell executives including Erik Bonino, Sinead Lynch, UK Country Chair and Jo Cochrane, Vice President of Social Performance.

The five finalist teams competing in the 2017 program were:

  • KoolStore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Idea: Affordable and easy-setup storage container that effectively cools fresh produce, for households without stable access to energy. Watch the pitch video here.
  • Fix&Fish, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
    Idea: Localized, streamlined plastic processing plants to make fishing nets out of plastic ocean waste using low-tech processes. Watch the pitch video here.
  • Smart Panels, University of Texas at Austin, USA
    Idea: Efficient spring-based tracking system for solar panels. Watch the pitch video here.
  • TheBlueTap, University of Cambridge, UK
    Idea: The Blue Tap chlorine injector automatically inserts chlorine into household water supply to improve water quality for homes and businesses. Watch the pitch video here.
  • Passive solar water wall, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
    Idea: Passive solar water wall aims to reduce the electricity consumption and total carbon footprint of houses by substituting conventional air cooling systems. Watch the pitch video here.

The free festival, Make the Future Live featuring Shell Eco-marathon, took place from May 25 to 28, hosted in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Click here for more information.

Shell Ideas360 is a global programme, encouraging university students to conceive, share and collaboratively develop game-changing ideas to help tackle Energy, Water and Food challenges around the world. The programme is in its fourth year and provides university students with an exciting opportunity to develop their ideas into a 'potentially investment-worthy' business case with the support of mentors and subject matter experts. University students will be able to demonstrate their potential, develop their skills and collaborate globally with like-minded innovators, gaining insights into the current and future challenges in the fields of Energy, Water and Food and how they are related.

To register for the 2017/2018 Shell Ideas360 programme, visit www.shellideas360.com.

Make the Future Live London is a festival of ideas and innovation that supports bright energy ideas and provides a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation about the global energy challenge. It is a four-day event that took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, 25 May - 28 May, 2017.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com.

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SOURCE Shell Oil Company

Source: PR Newswire (June 2, 2017 - 7:00 AM EDT)

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