Student engineers pose with their energy efficient cars
Student engineers pose with their energy efficient cars, built from scratch on the tracks

The first edition of Make the Future India, featuring Shell Eco-marathon was held successfully from the 6th to the 9th of December at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai. In India, the event focuses on “Powering progress in mobility, together”. The event saw members of government, academia, school children, industry representatives and members of the public converge on a single platform to embark on a journey to explore ideas and innovation on the future of mobility.

Shell Eco-marathon

Shell Eco-marathon is a competition for students who are passionate about developing innovative mobility solutions. The event saw 247 students from 20 teams come together rising to the challenge of designing, building and eventually putting the pedal to the metal and driving energy efficient vehicles. The Shell Eco-marathon is a visible demonstration of Shell’s commitment to help the world meet its growing energy needs in a responsible way by working together with students, partners and other stakeholders. Teams from colleges/universities across India competed to see who has the most energy-efficient vehicle. The idea was not to race, but collaborate and build energy efficient vehicles for the future. Congratulating the participating students Shri. Pandiarajan said, “It is heartening to see that Shell is taking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to schools and colleges. STEM is the success mantra which will give a competitive advantage to our country. The ideas developed by students here are also testimony to their entrepreneurial spirit. Today's entrepreneurs are born in colleges.”

School students showcase their invention of generating bio gas
School students showcase their invention of generating bio gas from food waste

Nxplorers program

An integral part of ‘Make the Future’ was the NXplorers program - a global initiative to build critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills in school children in the age group of 14-19 years. In the last six months, students have worked on several projects out of which the best four were put on display at the Experiential Zone. The projects on display included a smart irrigation device that can monitor the moisture content of the soil and turn on the water pump automatically whenever the moisture drops below a threshold value; Seedographer, a device that increases the resource use efficiency of seed sowing in agricultural fields. Also, on display was a smart drainage system that can divert wastewater from the storm drains, manholes and direct the same for agricultural purposes after passing through a purification process; last but not the least, a project that proposes to create energy from food waste through the process of anaerobic digestion.

The Nxplorers Program equips students with tools and skills necessary to address real-world issues of the food-water-energy nexus. A specialized organization in education, Learning Links Foundation, which is helping Shell implement the NXplorers program in schools and empowers students and teachers alike to become positive agents of change for a sustainable future. In the next three years, Shell aims to take NXplorers program to 2,60,000 students in over 3000 schools. Shell is currently implementing this program in 14 countries globally.

Shell India launches the Ox Truck
Shell India launches the Ox Truck – an all-terrain transportation vehicle. It can reach the remotest of areas

Ox Truck

During the course of the four-day event, Shell India also launched "OX to India" - a potential mobility solution for accessible, efficient, all-terrain transportation in developing regions. The world’s first ‘flat-pack’ truck, dubbed ‘The OX’ is an all-terrain vehicle which can reach the remotest areas. The truck can carry a payload of 1,900 kilograms and be assembled from a flat-pack kit in less than 12 hours and transported in greater numbers wherever required. The OX truck is a global partnership between Shell and Gordon Murray Design (GMD) and the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT).

 

Meeting Tomorrow’s Energy Challenges

Parallel to the competition, panel discussions engaged auto experts, academicians, professionals from auto companies to talk about the transition to low-carbon energy, at the business forum. Deliberations focused on the changing scenario from fossil energy to electricity, the impact of the new emission standards on the automotive sector and Indian economy, developing future cities having enough resources to fulfill the energy demand and enabling energy-related entrepreneurs to succeed.

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