Team Memorial, a group of graduates from Memorial University of Newfoundland, in Canada, fought off competition from five other finalists to secure the victory, announced earlier this month at a gala dinner hosted at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.
The team, including Janine Brophy, Lica Christensen, Daan Goossens and Dave Winsor, and coached by Dr Peggy Coady, impressed judges after devising an innovative solution to removing the reliance on freshwater in the agriculture industry.
The approach combined several technologies into a single process to monitor, pump, filter and recycle seawater into an irrigation system for agricultural purposes.
This four-stage system, combined with a comprehensive community engagement framework and a sustainable business model, provided a viable solution that could be applied in developed and developing countries.
BIOrangers, a team from the University of Warsaw, in Poland, took out 2nd place and $15,000 prize money, while Impacts Solutions, representing Griffith University, finished 3rd with $10,000 prize money.
The remaining finalists were a joint team from the University of Pennsylvania/Berkley/The University of Queensland (UQ), and teams from Nottingham University, in the UK, and UQ.
QUT Graduate School of Business Executive Director, Bob O’Connor, said the competition had been a huge success with a high standard of entries and innovative ideas that could lead to effective ways to tackle the global problem of water scarcity.
“The concepts that have been put forward have shown that there is a real chance to solve critical water issues if we think creatively,” he said.
“QUT has been proud to host the world-first G20 Global Business Challenge and we are confident the competition has lifted Brisbane’s international profile as a world-class destination for both business and education.”
The Challenge, a business competition for universities and business schools, was run by Brisbane’s three universities, QUT, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University, along with the State Government.
Forty teams representing 18 countries submitted entries, and the six finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges of Australian and international business leaders at QUT this week.