Two students from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) have done Malaysia proud by beating 1000 team submissions from all around the world, to become one of five finalists in the Shell Ideas360 global student competition.
Now in its second season, Shell Ideas360 challenges university students to conceive, share and collaboratively develop innovative ideas to help tackle Energy, Water and Food challenges around the world. The UTP student team is represented by Omer Choudhry and Chaw Yin Nyein, who submitted an idea called “The New Protein”, which introduces an alternative protein source through cricket farming.
The Petroleum Engineering students Omer and Chaw said their inspiration came from a news report about how children in certain regions would collect locusts, which would be cooked into tasty meals. According to team captain Omer, “24 percent of the world’s 7 billion population are malnourished. Crickets are full of iron, protein and B12. Crickets have nearly as much calcium as milk and more protein than cows but only produce 1/18 the methane. What's more, compared to cows, crickets only need 1/12 the feed and land to flourish.
”His teammate Chaw concurs, “Even though cricket farms already exist, there is an opportunity to manage it on a wider scale to allow those malnourished greater access to proteins. Our idea could be implemented anywhere. Starting a farm requires only minimal resources and low access to water, as long as the crickets are cared for properly.”
The Cricketeers believe that if their idea was put into action tomorrow, it could take as little as six weeks for their idea to become a reality because of the short amount of time it would take for the crickets to be ready for harvesting.
Speaking at the send-off ceremony, YB P Kamalanathan, Deputy Minister of Education II, said, “Malaysia is proud that our universities and higher education institutions are capable of producing world-class, innovative ideas to address important global issues such as energy, water and food. UTP’s example should be emulated – our students should be encouraged to participate in global-level competitions like the Shell Ideas360. I thank Shell Malaysia for continuing to provide such opportunities for our students here in Malaysia.
”Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim B Hashim, Vice Chancellor of UTP, echoed the minister’s sentiments. He said, “I am pleased that both Omer and Chaw applied their ingenuity towards solving an issue as important as global malnourishment. It is this kind of innovation that will truly make the world a better place. UTP is proud to have provided the right platform for them to develop this idea.
”Pn Lily-Rozita Mohd. Khairi, Head of Legal, Shell Malaysia Limited, said, “In today’s globalised world, Malaysia must be prepared to compete at an international scale. Shell believes that education and youth development play vital roles in raising the country’s competitive capabilities, given that 46 percent of total Malaysia population is below 25 years old. Shell is pleased to support the country’s talent agenda as part of our commitment to making a real and lasting social impact.
”The Cricketeers will leave on 17 May for the finals, which will take place in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. They will pitch their idea alongside four other finalists from Singapore, Qatar, United States and United Kingdom to a panel of international judges in Amsterdam on 21 May and the winners will be announced on the 22 May. Malaysian students are encouraged to join Season 3 of Ideas360, coming soon in Q3 2015. For more information about Shell Ideas360, please visit www.shellideas360.com