20 December 2017

New Zealand students join Sustainability Challenge

Six young Kiwis teamed up with talented Indian students for the final round of the New Zealand - India Sustainability Challenge (NZISC) in which students worked together to identify and solve environmental challenges. 

India sustainability challenge
L-R: John Laxon, ENZ Regional Director - South, South East Asia & the Middle East, Dr Arun Shanbhag, Chief Innovation Officer at Manipal Institute of Technology, winning students Nicholas Steyn (University of Canterbury), Dhruv Suri and Saisri Akondi (Manipal Institute of Technology) and Joanna Kempkers, the New Zealand High Commissioner to India.

Each team had two participants from India and one New Zealand student who, under the guidance of an Indian expert, worked together to identify and solve a sustainability challenge found on Indian campuses.

The winning team from Manipal Institute of Technology won for their project on “Sustainable Lifestyle,” with each student receiving an all-expenses paid internship for three weeks at the University of Canterbury, University of Otago and University of Waikato. 

The NZISC was hosted by ENZ in association with New Zealand universities, and with sustainability peak body The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as knowledge partner.

ENZ’s Country Manager for India, Jugnu Roy, said the NZISC was designed to showcase independent thinking and encourage cross-cultural teamwork and mentorship.

“Having Kiwis involved in the project was a great way for Indian students to see first-hand the practical and inquiry-based style of learning that New Zealand instils in students, which is particularly important in science and technology disciplines.

“The top six teams beat out 90 others in the earlier rounds of the competition and in the finale showcased their work. Projects included an innovative health platform to store vaccination data of children; using biomass as an alternative to firewood; and using garbage to create electricity.

“These students represent the kind of talent we want to attract to New Zealand.”

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