London Students’ water-saving washing machine named global winner of Red Bull Basement 2020.
UK students Paramveer Bhachu and Joanna Power of Brunel University London took top honours at a global student innovation workshop with an ingenious solution that saves natural resources, time and money by collecting and recycling shower water to clean clothes. The first-ever virtual edition of the event saw over 3,800 student innovators from around the world submit ideas to drive positive change.
London, 14th December 2020: Thirty-eight finalist teams from universities worldwide have just pitched their next-generation ideas at an entirely virtual Red Bull Basement Global Workshop, and the future looks bright. The program empowers student innovators to drive positive change on campus – and beyond – through tech solutions, and while it was a team from the UK who made the biggest impression with their “Lava Aqua X” idea, the four-day interactive event revealed innovative concepts for everything from climate action to education tools.
Here’s all you need to know:
The winning idea from Brunel University London, Lava Aqua X, tackles the sustainability issue of clean water. The team invented a washing machine that collects water on the floor of nearly any shower, filters it and reuses the water to clean clothes. Portable and capable of washing clothes with less water and in a third of the usual time, the device was originally envisioned to address student water waste, but can be scaled for applications worldwide. The team will now benefit from custom resources and contacts to accelerate their idea.
“England is set to run out of water within 25 years,” Bhachu pointed out, noting that insufficient student laundry facilities alone result in the waste over 16 billion liters of water per year. “The last five weeks with Red Bull Basement have allowed us to test our product with engineering simulations and enabled us to apply for trademarks and design rights, future-proofing our design and our business. With continued support, the potential environmental impact is absolutely staggering. If every student in the UK were to use the Aqua X, we could save enough drinking water for the entire population of Sweden!”More student teams than ever – over 3,800 – applied this year, with 38 finalists selected to represent their countries. Each worked for 5 weeks to bring their idea to life, provided with workspace and mentors. The climax was the Global Workshop, an immersive, collaborative experience that allowed the student teams to network with visionary thought leaders, join a hands-on podcast tutorial with Women in Tech host Espree Devora, attend a “Wingfinders” workshop on self-leadership, take part in sessions on “The Three C’s: Clarity, Capability and Commitment” led by mentors from NTT, gain confidence from a Google “I Am Remarkable” workshop, and more. The event concluded with hologram pitches of the top 10 teams to a panel of judges in a virtual production studio.After previous events in Berlin and Toronto, the virtual Global Workshop for 2020 welcomed participants in a fully digital collaboration space, including a virtual production studio where teams made their pitch to judges Mathias Haas (Founder/CEO, SuperSocial), Manjula Lee (Founder/CEO, World Wide Generation) and Ruth Rowan (CMO, NTT).Addressing the students, Lee said, “Congratulations to all 38 teams – you’ve done brilliantly! I’m looking for innovations that could really turn the dial to improve society, the economy and the environment, and I’ve just loved hearing the pitches. I was completely blown away.”
Joining the winners in the top three were UniThink (Pakistan) a one-stop solution for field research needs that uses SWARM intelligence, and Charging Revolution (Slovakia), a device charger that generates energy with a simple move of the hand.
Rounding out the top 10 were Aula Zero (Brazil), a gamified platform that uses AI for customised learning strategies; TO Play (Canada), an environmental justice game; IWI (Hungary), an index showing how much water is used to produce consumer products; hummingbird (Japan) technology that converts sound waves into electricity; Culture Capture (Kenya), a digital museum to preserve rapidly disappearing facets of cultures globally (which also won the Red Bull Basement Community Award, chosen by a vote of the participants themselves); PLANTRIC (Turkey), an all-in-one concept for using food waste for self-sustaining gardening; and ROBOCEAN (UK), a remotely controlled robotic solution for restoring seagrass ecosystems.
Find out more about Red Bull Basement and explore all the Finalist team ideas at redbullbasement.com