Day 1 of Make The Future India 2018

The first edition of Make the Future India 2018, featuring the Shell Eco-marathon, kicked off today at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai. The occasion was graced by Hon’ble Minister P Thangamani, Minister for Electricity & Non-Conventional energy, Prohibition and Excise, Government of Tamil Nadu and Hon’ble Minister P Benjamin, Minister of State for Rural Industries including Cottage and Small Industries, Mr. Pilmore Bedford, British Deputy High Commissioner for South India and Mr. Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India.

Flagged of by the minister, the festival brings together academia, government, school children, industry representatives and members of the public to showcase innovations in clean energy and give a glimpse into what the future of energy could look like. Attendees can experience bright energy ideas put into action through project demonstrations from students across the country.

Hon’ble Minister of State P Thangamani, said,” It is commendable to see what Shell has been doing to provide clean energy solutions in India. As we are facing the impact of climate change, it has become essential to look for ways that could reduce our dependency on diesel and petrol and can give us a sustainable future.”

Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, said, “Shell Make the Future is a platform that encourages conversation, collaboration and affirmative action around the world’s energy challenges. Endeavors like Make the Future are essential and may help find some solutions to meet the growing energy demand. Shell India stays committed to our ambition to power India’s progress with more and cleaner energy solutions- through our people, partnerships and innovations- for India and the world. India has been part of the Shell Eco-marathon for eight years now and this year we have witnessed participation from close to 250 engineering students at the Shell Eco-marathon. We believe that these engineers define the future of mobility and can play an integral role in India’s energy transition.”

The inaugural ceremony featured the state-of-the-art Shell Eco-marathon, a global program and one of the world’s longest-running student competitions that challenges bright student minds to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars, and then put them to the test in competition. Teams put their self-built vehicles through a detailed technical and safety inspection before they are allowed on the Madras Motor Race Track to compete under different categories. With 247 students participating across 20 teams, the winning team of the Shell Eco-marathon competition stands to win a total prize money of INR 20 Lac across various categories.

In the Prototype category, contestants showcased futuristic vehicles with incredible aerodynamics. On the other hand, in the Urban Concept, students designed more conventional, roadworthy, energy-efficient vehicles aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers. The SEM student teams participating under both the categories can choose to run their vehicles under two possible engine types – Internal combustion - petrol, diesel & biofuel and Battery Electric - powered by hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries.

In the competition, teams attempted to prove the energy efficiency of their car with the speed and skill of their driver to see who can cross the finish line first on the least amount of fuel.

Nxplorers program

Announced at the Make the Future Festival, the NXplorers program is a global initiative to build critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills in school children in the age group of 14-19 years. It equips students with tools and skills necessary to address real-world issue of food-energy-water nexus. The effort is to make them positive agents of change for a sustainable future. Shell is currently implementing this program in 14 countries across the world.

Partnered with a specialized organization in education, Learning Links Foundation, the NXplorers program runs in schools where teachers and students learn the NXplorers methodologies and tools and engage in addressing real-world issues. The plan is to implement the program in almost 200 schools across states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Delhi-NCR in the first year of its implementation. In the next three years, Shell aims to take NXplorers program to 2,60,000 students in over 3000 schools. During the three-year period, the educational program will also inspire young students, especially girls to take up STEM and related fields for higher education.

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.

Dicussions and debate on 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.

The first day of the festival took school-children, Shell’s fuel station staff, industry partners, representatives from business, academicians among others on a journey to explore ideas and innovation, highlighting the future of energy. At the Experience Zone, state-of-the-art demonstrations like the world’s first flat-pack truck, a CNG-powered scooter, and a waste-to-fuel technology - IH2 (Integrated Hydropyrolisis and Hydro conversion)- that converts non-food biomass feedstock such as wood, agricultural residues, algae, aquatic plants and cellulosic fractions of municipal waste – to BSVI grade were put on display. It also includes interesting projects designed by school children from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Notes to Editor

About Make the Future India 2018

Held for the first time in India, Make the Future featuring Shell Eco-marathon, is a festival of ideas and innovation. It is a unique global platform for conversations, collaboration and innovations focused on world’s energy challenges. In India, the event focuses on “Powering progress in mobility, together”. The four-day event will feature bright energy ideas and solutions that address the global energy challenge: how to meet the energy demands of the future, while producing less CO2. Taking place at Madras Motor Race Track from December 6-9, 2018, the event will host thousands of visitors, inviting them to experience the ideas, contribute their own and join the journey to an energy-efficient, low-carbon future.

About Shell Eco-marathon India

Shell Eco-marathon is a competition for students who are passionate about developing innovative mobility solutions. It challenges engineering, design, science and technology students to design, build and drive the world’s most energy efficient vehicle. 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 will compete in an exciting head-to-toe race to see who has the most energy-efficient vehicle.

About the Business Forum

The Business Forum is a platform for industry partners, academicians and experts to deliberate on the exciting future of mobility. In a series of panel discussions, the transition to low-carbon energy is looked from the perspective of addressing the demand for more cleaner and greener source of energy in urban planning, the impact of adoption of new emission standards in the automobile sector and building an ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship in Indian universities, focusing especially on energy.