at MaGIC, Cyberjaya , 28 Mar 2018
Disrupt-IT Challenge's Grand Prize Winner, Team Green Dream!
Disrupt-IT Challenge's Grand Prize Winner, Team Green Dream!

Their cool microalgae harvester project was picked the most innovative out of 9 finalist teams.

In November 2017, Malaysian tertiary students were invited to take part in a unique IT competition called the Disrupt-IT Challenge.

This challenge – held for the first time ever – was sponsored by Prestariang Berhad and supported by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and also jointly organised by five Malaysian universities – University Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering (UNIMY), Multimedia University (MMU), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Taylor’s University and Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA).

The aim of the challenge was to get students to propose a tech-based “disruptiveness” project that can support or increased affordability, sustainability and innovativeness.

Students were asked to come up with an idea that uses technology to make lives better and work on the prototype of this idea whether it is an actual product or an app.

Students had to form teams to join the competition and submit their entries. More than 100 submissions were received and from there, 9 finalist teams were selected to compete at the finals held in January 2018.

Their entries were judged by a panel of judges made up of senior educators, industrialists and practitioners. Basically, experts who know a good thing when they see it!

The prizes? Awesome! A total of RM40,000 were up for grabs – RM15,000 for the winning team, RM10,000 for the first runner-up and RM5,000 for the second runner-up. There were also other categories to compete in like Best Pitch Award, Best Business Model, Best Exhibition Booth and Best Creative Idea.

The team that bagged the grand prize (and all that cash?) Green Dream from UniSZA comprising of team members Amir Fadzli Abd Ghani and Mohd Hosni Rifin from Industrial Design; Siti Hajar Abdul Hamid and Wan Nur Sakinah Din from Environmental Science; and Mohd Fadzrul Hanif Fadzilah from International Relations.

Their project, iMB, aims to provide affordable microalgae harvesting method to local hatcheries.

Currently, local fish hatcheries allocate more than 50% of their expenses into fish feed for imported microalgae paste.

With iMB, local fish hatcheries can harvest microalgae safely using moringa oleifera seed derivatives and save up to 85% on feeding cost as well as eliminate the cost for storage. That’s a huge amount saved!

“Out of the nine finalists, we were among the two teams with a physical product for our project whereas the rest were apps. It was intimidating as we were seen as old tech and what more, focusing on aquaculture, which is not a very popular field with the younger generation,” says Green Dream. “But the judges must have seen some potential in our product so we decided to do our best!”

That’s right – the judges were super impressed with Green Dream’s project not only for its impact on local hatcheries but because it doesn’t take a lot of money to fabricate the iMB machine as well as its potential to be marketed. Everything that meets the requirements for Disrupt-IT!

In fact, judges believe that iMB has potential for a multimillion-ringgit return and help the nation’s industry to prosper and grow.

Because of their innovativeness, Green Dream was not only awarded the grand prize but also selected as the winner for the Best Business Model award. Wow, Green Dream!

iMB is still actively being improved by Green Dream, who are actively participating in invention and innovation competitions locally and abroad to promote it, gain feedback and check the feasibility of the product as well as looking for investors.

As for the prize money, the team says it will go towards their next project where they plan to develop a rapid microalgae harvester for biodiesel production.

Make us proud, Green Dream!

(by UNIMY)