Four 4th year students from the University of the Philippines emerged as Country Champions in The 3M Inspire Challenge, a regional case challenge by global science company 3M seeking solutions in Technology, Sustainability, and Innovation.
Comprising Caleb Abrazaldo (BS Materials Engineering), Mariz Domingo (BS Materials Engineering), Lila Lu (BS Materials Engineering), and Joseph Paraiso (BS Business Administration), the group emerged victorious among the 16 competing groups in the Philippines with their winning solution 3M Hypack.
Their proposal aims to offer a non-toxic pro-marine life compostable packaging to help solve the problem of plastic pollution, especially with the Philippines contributing 1.9 metric tons of plastic waste. They also won USD$1,000, and an internship with 3M Philippines.
Country Champion team member, Mariz Domingo, shared the group’s inspiration for their solution: “We don’t have to choose between saving our planet or keeping our access to safe, efficient, durable plastic.”
On September 21, they will proceed to the Regional-Level Finals where their team and five other hopefuls from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will vie for the title of “Regional Champions” and USD$2,000 cash prize in a live judging panel.
As they gear up for the next stage of the challenge, the team will continue to enjoy access to 3M mentors who will help them sharpen their ideas.
“I’m very impressed by the participants’ robust innovations and solutions,” said Kevin McGuigan, Vice President and Managing Director, 3M Southeast Asia Region and Country Leader in Singapore.
“These are critical in helping 3M elevate our business and solve challenges around the world. We are glad to offer platforms like this to support and empower the next generation of diverse leaders, thinkers and creators.”
Next stop, Regional-Level Finals
The Regional-Level Finals will see a total of 21 students across six teams pitching their solutions to Southeast Asia’s leading subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds in manufacturing and supply chain, research and development, sustainability, branding and communications, as well as business management.
Kiyoshi Endo – Vice President, Plant Operations, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Asia Pacific
Yen Sze Chan – R&D Operations Leader, Southeast Asia Region
Jun Lee – Sustainability Leader for Asia, Brand & Communication, Ethics & Compliance Leader for Korea
Napaporn Ratanasaenghirun – Southeast Asia Regional Business Group Leader, Consumer Business Group