SPECIAL UPCOMING EVENT: EWB Design Challenge on February 2
AMSTERDAM - FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2

EWB Design Challenge

Join us for a full day of learning and networking with top professionals

25 Teams – 130 Professionals – 5 Challenges

What if your ideas could enable affordable access to electricity in the poorest regions of the world? Or if your solution would allow Doctors without Borders to operate people in the least accessible places on earth? Join our 1 Day Design Challenge!

  • work on game changing solutions for real problems
  • collaborate with professionals from top companies based in the Netherlands
  • workshop by Andre Knol, founder of Innoleaps and lean-startup pioneer
  • lunch and top venue (Nuon Skylounge in Amsterdam) is provided
  • all money raised will go to funding the winning solution

Event details

During one day you will team up with other professionals from companies based in the Netherlands to design solutions for one of the five different challenges proposed by our partnering development or emergency aid organizations.

Your team will be assembled from different disciplines, both inside and outside the engineering field, and we are convinced that surprising solutions can be generated thanks to your involvement!

At the end of the day, all teams will pitch their solutions and the winning teams will be invited to develop and implement theirs in collaboration with the organizations which proposed the challenges. This way, more than participating in an event, you will deliver a concrete project which will benefit local communities and you will gain more awareness of social design aspects involved in technology-based social innovations.

Venue & Program

Date: Friday, February 2, 2018
Venue: Nuon Skylounge Amsterdam (see on GoogleMaps)

9:00 Registration and welcome coffee
9:30 Day introduction/presentation of organizing partners
10:00 Introduction of 5 challenges (in 5 groups, each 4 teams)
10:30 Start Working
12:30 Lunch and Inspiration
13:00 Short reflective & decision-making workshop hosted by Andre Knol, founder of Innoleaps and lean-startup pioneer
13:30 Finalise ideas
16:00 Pitches (25×2 min)
17:00 Winner announcement and drinks

Meet our challenges

Nutcracker - A new tool for Nigerien communities

Develop a tool suitable for cracking Desert Date or Aduwa Nuts and produce better quality seed at a higher cracking rate so that the users can improve their income to sustain their children and family, and be encouraged to plant more perennial trees.

Background

Drawing from UNDP latest report on Human Development Index, Niger is one of the least-developed and poorest nations in the globe.

Two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line, surviving on less than 1 dollar per day and hunger is a daily issue for many families. With about 80% of land area covered bye the Sahara Desert, the country is affected by draughts, desertification and most lately floods, most of which are due to global warming.

Most of the population are subsistence farmers, living in the rural area. The harsh weather and poverty has resulted in parents not able to sustain their children and their own basic living needs.

Challenge

Local communities earn their living from selling cracked Desert Date or Aduwa Nuts to Sahara-Sahel Food, majorly cracked by women. Their income depends on quality and quantity of the seed from the cracking process.

The present nuts cracking tool is inefficient and unsafe, as it requires lots of effort to yield little quantity and poor-quality seed and has high tendency of causing injuries in the fingers of the users.

Goal

EWB targets to develop a tool suitable for cracking Desert Date or Aduwa Nuts and produce better quality seed at a higher cracking rate so that the users can improve their income to sustain their children and family, and be encouraged to plant more perennial trees. The ideal solution does not only look into technical aspects, but also in the social aspects and funding strategy or business case.

Need

We are looking for people of diverse backgrounds such as Engineers, Social worker, Environmentalist, Economist, QC specialist, technical writer to contribute to making this a reality.

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Smart energy payment system

Design mini grid solutions for multiple regions / countries (e.g. a community in Togo, a community in Madagascar). For the financial sustainability of the project it is important to have a cheap and reliable payment system in place.

Background

Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is one of the poorest regions in the world. While other regions have managed to reduce the absolute number of people in poverty, despite population growth, the number of those living in poverty in SSA has steadily grown in the last decades. Rural communities, largely dependent on agriculture, account for 75-80% of SSA’s poor.

There is a lack of off-grid, sustainable energy production and consumption in SSA countries. This contributes to massive economic and social costs in the form of post-harvest loss and spoilage. Up to an estimated 50% of food and vegetables produce go to waste, 97% of meat and fish is sold warm, and over 50 million vaccine doses spoil every year.

Access to clean and affordable energy (SGD7) by means of setting-up local mini grids, will give opportunities to reduce hunger (by increasing agri efficiency and introducing powered techniques), improve food security and food safety, increase health and wellbeing, education (to facilitate study in the evening), decent work and economic growth.  Next to this, the presence of electricity will reduce the drain of adolescents from rural communities; a group that can bring greatest prosperity to places like these

There is vast entrepreneurship opportunity in sustainable energy systems. By setting up off-grid energy businesses, jobs will be created in these businesses, but also due to the access to energy, further development of these communities is enhanced.

Challenge
EWB is designing mini grid solutions for multiple regions / countries (e.g. a community in Togo, a community in Madagascar).

For the profitability of the project (financial sustainability) it is important to have a cheap and reliable payment system in place. In these communities currently pre-paid power is the way to go as it ensures that the electricity is paid for by the consumer. However, the payment systems that make this possible and which are available in the market are either too expensive or a non reliable solution. To make a healthy business case, the required investment in these meters needs to be such that the energy is also affordable for people living on 1 dollar a day.

Goal

The goal is to develop a payment system for an off-grid community energy system (microgrid) that is a low cost and reliable prepaid payment solution which can potentially also be used for drinking water or comparable services. The ideal solution considers technical aspects next to the business case and feasibility of the system in the SSA environment.

Need

We are looking for people of diverse backgrounds such as Engineers, Programmers, Sociologists, Sales, Communication, Financials or QC specialists to contribute to making this a reality.

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Guaranteed Cold Chain for Medicine Transport

Quality of the medical products is paramount at MSF. Most medical items need to be kept in a temperature controlled environment to maintain their effectiveness. This is particularly challenging for the “cold chain” items that need to be kept within a temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius from the site where they are produced, to the site where they are used. For different reasons, this cold chain gets broken many times on the way to our project sites and the cargos are exposed to temperatures outside of the range established by the manufacturer.

Background

As MSF teams work in remote locations and the delivery time for new medical items is long (weeks), the remaining effectiveness of the items needs to be investigated to guarantee that it is still safe and effective to be used or administered to a patient.

This investigation is done by providing the analysis of time/temperature exposure to the manufacturer and relies on their
knowledge to determine if the product is still good.

Challenge

Accurate temperature records of individual products are needed for the investigation of the product effectiveness and safety of use. Digital
temperature recorders are sent with each cold chain shipment but the shipments are split and/or repacked more than once en route to the final destination.

Goal

As it would be very expensive and cumbersome to accompany each individual product with an individual temperature recorder, EWB targets to develop other alternatives to assure the quality of these items.

Need

We are looking for people of diverse backgrounds such as Engineers, Programmers, Sociologists, Sales, Communication, Financials or QC specialists to contribute to making this a reality.

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Solar Fruit Dryers

Design a way to pre-treat, solar dry and store fruit in Armenia, in such a way that the products can be sold in the EU, USA or Canada. The drying and storing should be possible without a reliable supply of electricity. Solar panels for local electricity may be used, provided that the solution is technologically not too complex.

Background

In many (sub)tropical countries fruits and other products are dried by the sun or in the open air.
Products such as tomatoes, mango, pineapple, dates, plums, apricots, Inca berries or raisins are dried
this way, but this process has some disadvantages:

– Contamination with dust or insects;
– Reabsorption of moisture when the air cools at night;
– Possible disruption of the drying process by sudden rainfall;
– The process takes up a lot of time and requires a large surface area;
– When the process takes too long, moulding or other quality issues can occur.

Because of these disadvantages, it is difficult to comply with law and regulations as they often require a controlled environment to eliminate contamination. This makes the product ineligible for potential large markets such as the EU, USA or Canada. These disadvantages can be overcome by using solar dryers. The alternative, using fuel-fired drying rooms/drums, is too expensive because of the required fuels.

Challenge

Solar drying is already used in some places, for coffee beans or lucuma, but not always in a controlled environment. Most fruits also provide an extra difficulty, as they have a protective coat which prevents the water to evaporate. To allow solar drying, they need to be pre-treated, the protective coat and kernels need to be removed. After the drying, the dried fruit needs to be stored in a cool and dry place.

Goal

The goal of the challenge is to design a way to pre-treat, solar dry and store fruit in Armenia, in such a way that the products can be sold in the EU, USA or Canada. The drying and storing should be possible without a reliable supply of electricity. Solar panels for local electricity may be used, provided that the solution is technologically not too complex.

In Armenia they dry, among others, apricots, figs, plums and raisins. The country has a dry continental climate with a lot of sun hours, especially in the Ararat province. However the outcome of the challenge should be something which, with minor modification, can be used in countries with a different climate as well.

Need

We are looking for people of diverse backgrounds such as Engineers, Programmers, Sociologists, Sales, Communication, Financials or QC specialists to contribute to making this a reality.

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MSF Operation Theater

MSF field teams working in secondary structures need a sustainable solution for ventilation and acclimatization equipment for OTs (Operating Theaters) to be used with low resource settings.

Background

This product does not exist on the market. A schematic design is developed for the preferred principle and the main aspects to be considered are identified but it is not possible to find a product that would solve the problems that arise in the conditions MSF teams have to work.

Challenge

For several years MSF-OCA has tried to find a solution for the ventilation and acclimatization of operating theatres. Various problems have been identified:

– International standards/requirements used in high income countries are too high for the low resource settings where MSF generally works.
– The optimal environment for surgical activities is defined by a combination of environmental conditions (facility size, surface materials…), medical equipment, temperature and humidity where it is not so easy to find the adequate balance.
– Balance of above mentioned aspects can change depending on the available resources, education levels and climate conditions.
– Focus of field teams is mostly on temperature control rather than infection control.
– Air-conditioning systems generally use high energy load which is not always available in MSF projects
– Maintenance is difficult in the MSF context and durability and quality control are therefore always a problem.

Goal

Develop a concept for the ventilation/acclimatization of OT that works
under the context of MSF with the required output, reliability and costs.

Need

We are looking for people of diverse backgrounds such as Engineers, Programmers, Sociologists, Sales, Communication, Financials or QC specialists to contribute to making this a reality.

 

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Registration & payment

The cost to participate is €125/person – all fees will be used for financing the winning solution and supporting the event. This fee can be deducted from your tax declaration (EWB has ANBI status).

There are maximum 130 places available on a first come first serve basis, so hurry up and reserve your spot!

Your registration info


Nutcracker
Smart energy payment system
Guaranteed Cold Chain for Medicine Transport
Solar Fruit Dryers
Operation Theater

Payment details

After submitting the form, please transfer the participation fee to:

EWB bank account number: NL69 RABO 0192 3575 73 on the name of ‘Stichting Ingenieurs zonder Grenzen’ and mentioning Design Challenge + your name

Or you can also pay €125 with Tikkie.

You will receive the registration confirmation within 7 working days from the date of your transfer.

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Any questions?

Do not hesitate and contact us at events@ewbnl.org.

Sponsoring

Interested to sponsor this event and projects with your company? There are several possibilities which will not only benefit your CSR but support your people in leadership development and create impact by working on real challenges. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities through projects@ewbnl.org!

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