Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
IoT Water Control Management (WCM) for poor regions
Explain your idea in details:
IoT Water Control Management (WCM) is a management system for water quality, control and distribution in poor regions. By winning this competition, we will build the final product and adapt water tanks in the Azraq and Kakuma refugee camp. We have a functional prototype already for testing. WCM seeks to build a reliable water system in poor regions through the measurement and control of water quality via mobile-web based system. WCM is an IoT-based mobile water access and quality monitoring system that provides water efficiency for all-purpose in poor regions. Our project raised from real-world needs in refugee camps. Originally, our project was conceptualized to be implement in the Azraq refugee camp, where our team will be in charge to implement those changes and then, applied in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Our team has members living in the Azraq refugee camp, Jordan camp and collaborators in the Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. They are experiencing a lack of structure to have access to water so that they are not able to use water for planting or drinking. We are not working with assumptions. We are relying on a real problem in fragile settings, such as refugee camps. However, the number of refugee camps has been increasing over the last decades, and fragile settings are facing similar problems related to water and infrastructure. Given the context in which our project was created, we strongly believe in the transferability of our concept since it is based on a real scenario that influenced the decision making for each technology used in this project. Before changing the world, we want to provide better life quality to 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty condition or fragile settings by giving access to high-quality water as a resource for drinking and planting, for example.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
We believe in the potential and value of this project to cause a significant change in water management systems in fragile places. In fact, WCM is not profit-driven, so that we created this project in order to address social problems and help refugees to live in better places until they return to their country of origin. Our project has been divided in two stages. We decided to focus on refugee camps first given the existing crisis of these fragile communities in getting access to better water. The most recent report created in 2015 by UNHCR described an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world forced from their homes. In a world where nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day, initiatives to improve their living conditions are more important than ever before. Azraq hosts a total of 53,833 people of concern originally from Syria. The Azraq camp opened in April 2014 to support Syrian refugees. Azraq camp is operated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Kakuma Refugee camp is located in Kenya. Kakuma camp was established in 1992, and this camp represents a total 185,449 people from different countries living in fragile situation and waiting for better life quality; The second stage is related to the expansion. Thus, we expect to apply our project in similar settings where people face different challenges in terms of water quality. This expansion relies upon investors and international partners that will facilitate our access to these fragile communities with our solution. We will measure our success through annual reports and feedback from stakeholders and clients. We also want to integrate our project into a global network where other institutions have been investigating ways to minimizing challenges in fragile communities and maximize opportunities by having access to better water quality.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Key partners: Refugee camps, UNHCR, NGOs, private companies. However, we also plan to expand our product to similar fragile settings across the world, so that creating a partnership with government in also strategic; Key activities: Online platform, data analysis, water reports, water quality analysis. By creating an online platform and database, this information can be used by international agencies to plan water resource distribution in a region; Key resources: Water tank adapted technology infrastructure, WCM hardware, and software, manufacturing facility, logistics, mobile network. Our system requires initial adaptation to maximize its performance. This adaptation relies on software, network, and hardware settings. However, it also works in stand-alone mode; Key Proposition: People's health, water quality for planting and drinking, enough water source for families. We believe in the value of our project because water quality is a fundamental resource in any community and we need to assure its quality and access; Customer relationship: Support for government and local staff, long-term contract, highly automated. Although our system is designed to be simple and easy to manipulate, we will provide training in initial stages; Channels partners: Retail, company's website. Given our global approach, we believe that internet is the main channel of communication as well as local partnership in remote places; Customers: Local staff in fragile settings, government, NGOs, small and familiar farms. But we also can create modules to be used in big cities interested in managing water consumption; Cost structure: manufacturing costs, marketing, capital investments. Our system also requires initial training and a warranty program where we need to provide a replacement program in case components get damaged; Revenue stream: Contract manufacturing, Sales, Live data analysis. We have a valuable information related to water consumption and quality that can be used for strategic decisions. We also plan to work with replacement parts.
This project also has support from a global team. Hatem and Obai are from Syria and they live in the Azraq refugee camp, Jordan. Samuel and William are undergrad students in Brazil in mechanical engineering. Claudio (owner), 29, holds Bachelors degree in Control Engineering at Higher Education Institute of Amazonia (2011), and he holds his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of Campinas (2014). Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. at Purdue University in Engineering Education. His motivation to apply for this challenge relies upon his interesting in promoting a real change in the world by using engineering, so that getting support from these initiatives to support his project is priceless. He has experience as a visiting graduate researcher at the University of New Mexico (USA) and professional experience at K&A Wireless as a research associate in Albuquerque (USA). Additionally, he has professional experience at Hitachi Automotive Systems America as an Intern in Research & Development in Detroit (USA) and Senior Product Engineer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Brazil. He served as the President of Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED). Before joining SPEED, Claudio served as co-founder of the Student Chapter of the Brazilian Automation Society. Among his many achievements, his project was awarded the Best Student Initiative for Engineering Students promoted by Cengage Learning. He received the Leadership Award by ISTEC, and the Young Scientist Award supported by International Society for Engineering Education (IGIP). His project with electrical vehicle at the Unicamp E-Racing team was awarded with the first place at the national competition (Brazil) and international competition (USA), and he was selected in the Future Entrepreneurs Program promoted by Redemprendia. Claudio got the 2nd place in a national competition in USA by creating a smart pill-box using machine learning and image processing.