An overview of Tsinghua - Santander world challenges of 21st century program 2016

Tsinghua-Santander World Challenges of 21st Century Program is an international interdisciplinary innovation competition and workshop that brings together young people who aspire to make real impacts on truly important issues that we are facing today. Themed with “Innovation makes the world better ‒ urban sustainability”, the 2016 Competition encouraged teams to address topics in areas such as urban life, education, environmental protection, climate change, energy, health, and sustainable development with innovative products and services prototypes, including Internet and mobile technologies, wearable computing, cloud computing, and other open source software and hardware.

Here are the amazing outcomes:

First Prize
Bit of Energy (Netherlands)

“Bit of Energy” offers a new way to bring school education to a child’s home environment to get the parents involved in the learning process. By teaching children about energy in a playfulway, the child will develop empathy and care towards nature and society while empowering the child in their own living environment. By shared the responsibility they will learn that for saving the planet, you need to work together to achieve your goal and the whole society should be involved.

Second Prize
Move UP Curbs (Brazil)
“Move UP Curbs” aims to solve the accessibility problem related to lack of access ramps or the inability of users to access them, whether on sidewalks, stores or homes, making the right to move out and about from wheelchair users attended. The project also offers a low cost and easy to use product, which effectively improves the lives of its members.

 Third Prize
Power of 2 (Poland)
“Power of 2” provides two computer programs: Traffic Simulation Framework (TSF) and Charlcar. Traffic Simulation Framework (TSF) is an advanced software (developed in C#.NET) for simulating and investigating vehicular traffic in a large scale (e.g., large cities, such as Warsaw). Charlcar is a software for nanoscopic simulation of traffic including connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

 Honorable Mention
“IMPLUVIUM” aims to develop a smart water system based on the creation of a city network of smart buildings that are able to harvest rainwater from a green roof and the surrounding ground, and to process and reuse it following the idea of cyclical self-sufficiency.

 Participation Awards:
UrbanBees (Spain)
“UrbanBees” offers a solution that combines the reduction of pollutants in large cities with the possibility of enabling the citizens to produce useful tools from them. Firstly a swarm of drones will be send by the central base, the hive, each time that the level of pollution, measured in PM, surpasses a threshold. When they have collected enough or they need to recharge their batteries, they will come back to the hive. Then they will deposit the pollutants there, and given the concentration of metals presented in them, they could be treated and transformed into 3D print material in the same hive. The final objective is producing worthy tools for the citizens, and they could even bring their own designs to be printed.

 Savewg (Brazil):
The primarily solution that Savewg app is offering is to create consciousness in the electricity, water and gas users to shut down devices that are not being used, through from an alert on the mobile screen warning the high consumptions (above the pre-defined target), so that over time, these warnings lessen its intensity due a bigger users' consciousness.

 PHortobox (Brazil):
The Hortobox born of the intention to bring to people the benefits of products organic, encouraging healthy eating and conscious cultivation. The goal is for people to have easier access to vegetables that are free of pesticides, fertilizers or any other synthetic ingredient. It aims to help the customers achieve autonomy in the production of basic intens of a power that seeks to healthy living, and having as consequence the welfare and quality of life.

 PPAMFC (China):
“PAMFC” aims to build a Photosynthesis Algal Microbial Fuel Cell System and numerous large microalgae power generation devices in coastal areas, islands and offshore areas to meet the demand of power supply. This can be not only a good way to save energy, but also an ideal way to protect our environment, like to treat red tide, since the main idea is to use microalgae and converse biomass energy into electricity based on fuel cell technology. The team also designs a remote control unit, an algal solution cycling equipment and an electricity-harvesting module to ensure the constant and stable operation of our system.

 Floating House (Brazil):
In order to improve the reality of vulnerable populations to flooding, the project“ Floating Home” is focused on mitigating the pollution of rivers through three initiatives. Firstly, to partially remove and treat the waste from river banks. The general garbage would be then selected and sent to recycling cooperatives, and the plastic bottles would be used for the construction of floating housing. Secondly, to build a prototype floating house in order to disseminate the material for future construction made by the residents of the vulnerable community. Finally, to develop a workshop to raise awareness and share the advantages of recyclable materials uses for the construction of housing.

“Playpal” offers a game solution for cognitive degeneration in older adults. The aged can make basic settings by mobile applications and interact with the toy embedded hardware so that their cognitive ability can be enhanced.

Let hear some of the feedback from the participants

“All moments were important to my development I could learn a lot and I’m sure that I’m going to apply all this knowledge in my future projects.”
“The design thinking workshop was amazing!”
“We had a very fruitful ideation session with the group!”
“The storytelling session make me feel more confident for the maker fair presentation that also
inspired me a lot.”
“I think for the first time of this program it was a great experience for every student. Thank you.”