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The Aramco Asia Cup 2017 is a sustainability competition jointly organised by Enactus and Aramco Asia, which featured 5 Asian countries — China, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea. Team Second Nature from Enactus NTU represented Singapore and we spent 4 days and 3 nights in Beijing, from 3 to 6 November 2017 (Friday — Monday).

Second Nature aims to address the problem of food waste at the household level by creating an affordable and convenient food waste recycling bin. We hope that our solution can help to alleviate this problem by empowering households to recycle their food waste instead of throwing it away. Our product will be making use of a proprietary blend of microorganisms, which will be developed in conjunction with professors from NTU School of Biological Sciences. We aim to shorten the hydrolysis process to less than 48 hours, as well as to be able to digest all food types. The end product of this digestion is biofertiliser, which can be directly used on plants for gardening purposes.

On 4 November (Saturday), all competing teams were invited for a welcome dinner at Marriott Northeast Beijing Hotel. During that time, we had the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students from the other teams, as well as some employees from Aramco.

The competition was held on 5 November (Sunday). All 5 teams presented their projects and it was an eye-opening experience to witness their presentations. Some projects had novel solutions to a few environmental problems, while others already had gained a fair amount of traction, which was quite impressive.

I’m truly amazed at the wonderful projects these students are working on. One team is re-engineering the humble aircon to reuse wasted heat energy while another team is harvesting sea urchins to prevent ocean desertification. By collaborating and sharing ideas, we can all make a difference to our environment if we put our minds together and take action.

In the end, the team from China emerged as Champions in the Aramco Asia Cup, while the team from Malaysia emerged as First Runners-up. Although we did not win any prize from this competition, we felt that we had given our best with the time and resources we had. It was a very rewarding experience to be able to pitch our idea at a regional level and we are proud of our achievements.

After the competition, we had a networking lunch with the other teams as well as the judges of the competition. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr Nabil Al-Nuaim, President and CEO of Aramco Asia, to learn more about the sustainability efforts by Aramco Asia and his views on the future of Asia. Our programme then ended with a short visit to the newly opened Aramco Research Centre in Beijing, where we were given a tour and introduced to job opportunities with the Research Centre.

Amidst the competition and preparation leading up to it, we have also managed to take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Beijing. The Aramco Asia Cup provided an excellent opportunity to gain some international exposure and insights, which we will be sharing with our members. We hope that this will inspire other Enactus members to strive for excellence and continue to make a difference to the society.

Written by Fan Wei Liat Egwin, President of Enactus NTU

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