Young Innovators at Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition Are Trying to Solve India's Waste Crisis
Young Innovators at Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition Are Trying to Solve India's Waste Crisis
Meet Team TEG and Team NIT Surat, two remarkable groups redefining sustainability and waste management in India

If you live in an Indian city, you understand the almost insurmountable problem of dealing with our waste. If you’ve seen an overflowing dumpster, if you’ve been to a public park, if you’ve attempted to picnic on the beach, if you live anywhere near a landfill, you understand the problem of dealing with our waste.

The problem of tackling waste is that it isn’t easy to do. Walk in a park or a beach and you see plastic, paper, food, construction, and other kinds of waste mingled together. Once this waste is collected and put in dumpsters, then what? How do we segregate it and make recycling feasible? We know the human cost of doing this segregation by hand is too high – after all, look at all the diseases that afflict those who do this work.

And yet, if we don’t recycle, we’re flooding our lands, our oceans, our food supplies and our very bodies with plastic. We’re dedicating more and more land to landfills, and it still isn’t enough. However, this article isn’t just talking to you about a problem, but instead, offering a ray of hope.

There is something spectacular about young people today. They care about the problems of the world, they have the education and skills. Now, with the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, they have the opportunity to get their ideas, solutions and prototypes to not just a wider audience, but to experts and mentors who can help them bring these ideas to fruition.

In its second year in India, the Solve for Tomorrow competition received ideas from more than 6,500 teams, and is currently in its final stages. The Top 10 teams are hard at work, prepping for the final, where the Top 3 teams will be awarded ₹1.5 crore to take their solutions forward.

In Solve for Tomorrow’s fourth episode, we meet Team TEG and Team NIT Surat, both tackling the problems of trash, but in distinctly unique ways. Team TEG is focused on the problem of kitchen waste, and is using a novel approach to turn kitchen waste into energy that can then be used for cooking. Not only does this biogas solution create a beautiful circular economy within our own kitchens, it is also a potential solution for families who may not have access to LPG cylinders, or may not be able to afford them.

Team NIT Surat, on the other hand, is solving the problem of trash collection, sorting and recycling. Their robot (engineered from scratch) can comb beaches for trash, then sort them using AI, all while ensuring minimal displacement of sand, and all the living creatures that call the beach sand home.

For both teams, the big challenge right now is making their prototypes cost-effective, and compliant with municipal regulations, as they deal with waste that has potential health hazards.

Team TEG’s mentor, Samsung’s Vikas Chopra, who is the Head of Interaction Design part at Samsung Design Delhi (SDD), is thrilled with the solution, “These guys are amazing! They are trying to redefine the how we see natural energy – everybody talks about natural gas and sustainability and these guys are bringing it back to households, and that too utilizing waste materials! It is so beautiful.” While he feels confident about the team’s chances in the competition, he cautions that it needs to comply with several regulations before it can become marketable.

Team NIT Surat’s mentor, Samsung’s Dr Sukhdeep Singh, Senior Chief Engineer-Samsung R&D India-Bangalore, feels that the idea holds promise, and it fits in with the larger push towards eco-friendly solutions across industries. Of course, being the team’s mentor, he had some last minute advice to share, “I would recommend them to check the strength of the materials for collection and segregation so that when they pitch in the finale, the robot should work out. They should also test that they are able to properly segregate all the material without disturbing the biodiversity of the beach.”

While Team TEG and Team NIT Surat make the final push to get their prototypes across the finish line, you can check on the progress all the other teams are making at Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, and watch the latest episode, here .

This is a partnered post. 

What's your reaction?


0 comment

Write the first comment for this!