An invention — Vaxibeads — which tracks vaccination details for the users with the use of a smartphone won two Indian students a paid internship to three universities in New Zealand in a competition, New Zealand Education said on Thursday.
The ‘New Zealand – India Sustainability Challenge’ was held by Education New Zealand, in association with “premier” New Zealand universities and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on Thursday.
A total of 90 teams from India had participated with the number later whittling down to six finalists.
The winning team, VaxiBead from ‘Manipal Institute Of Technology’, presented its project on ‘Sustainable Lifestyle’ and won an all-expense paid internship for three weeks at the New Zealand partner universities — University of Canterbury, University of Otago and University of Waikato.
Team AlphaQ from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Chennai were the first runner-up and Team Green Computing from Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, Mumbai were the second runner-up.
The other projects included innovations such as photovoltaic cells-equipped window blinds to produce energy, video game application to promote awareness on sustainability, and use of biomass for cremation instead of wood, and another which used garbage to produce electricity.
“A sustainable world is the need of the hour, through these steps we aim to create awareness about a cleaner environment and use of sustainable resources amongst youth, which is something New Zealand as a country is very passionate about,” Joanna Kempkers, New Zealand High Commissioner to India, said at the event.
TERI Director General Ajay Mathur called the competition a “one-of-a-kind opportunity” for the students of the two countries to solve “real-life sustainability problems”.
“I am confident that these students will continue to practice the elements of sustainability and innovation that they have learnt in future as well,” he said.
The Regional Director of Education New Zealand John Laxon said more Indian students are choosing to study in the country down under with their number increasing this year by 24 per cent.
“This is a world-leading initiative to promote sustainable thinking amongst our youth. An internship at New Zealand’s universities will offer Team VaxiBead – the winners from today – an opportunity to further their knowledge and gain New Zealand’s perspective on sustainability related disciplines,” Laxon said.