January 12, 2021: Team WakeShare from The University of Queensland, Australia, announced as the winners of the 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards with novel fuel-efficient shipping solution. Entries from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and Stanford University, US, take second- and third place respectively.
Information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, such as the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums, have a potential to reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030.
Ahead of a critical decade of sustainability action, the 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards challenged a new generation of innovators to find solutions to the current climate change crisis with a focus on.
In spite of difficult collaboration conditions created by ongoing pandemic restrictions, this year's competition produced more than 500 ground-breaking innovations from across the globe which were judged on three main criteria of feasibility, viability and desirability. A Grand Finale event, which was broadcast live to spectators from around the world, saw all three finalists pitch their innovations to an esteemed board of judges, as well as the delivery of keynote speeches from Nobel Laureate professor Didier Queloz and other esteemed guests.
Team WakeShare from the University of Queensland, Australia, were selected winners of this year's award and recipients of the EUR 25,000 prize fund, with their solution of software systems to overcome hurdles to platooning in the freight shipping, which enable suppliers to coordinate routes, optimize travel positioning, and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry – one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
The other finalists comprise team Elzian Agro from the University of Kelaniya using machine learning technology to build a pest prediction platform to support farmers in adapting to climate change: And the O2C Marketplace team from Stanford University with a solution which uses satellites and AI technology to verify carbon sequestration as a carbon offsetting mechanism.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of the Ericsson Group, says “We believe young people are the key drivers of innovation. The 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards focuses on one of our time's most pressing issues, climate change. This year, by turning to universities around the world, we wanted to enable young people to help come up with ideas as to how technology and the ICT industry can help combat this major challenge which our generation is facing.”
Heather Johnson, Head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, says: “As we enter the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals, the subject of climate action has never been more relevant. The 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards challenged some of the best and brightest students who share our passion for innovation to demonstrate how technology can support climate action. While this year has been like no other, this event shows that Ericsson's commitment to climate action, as well as cultivating innovation and working in partnership with an ecosystem to drive positive change, remains constant.”