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Press Release -- December 17th, 2020
Source: Ericsson

The University of Queensland wins Ericsson Innovation Awards 2020

Team WakeShare from The University of Queensland, Australia, announced as the winners of the 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards with novel fuel-efficient shipping solution. Entries from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and Stanford University, US, take second- and third place respectively.


DEC 17, 2020

Innovation Sustainability

Information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, such as the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums, have a calculated potential to reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030.

Ahead of a critical decade of sustainability action, the 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards challenged a new generation of innovators to find solutions to the current climate change crisis with a focus on .

In spite of difficult collaboration conditions created by ongoing pandemic restrictions, this year’s competition produced more than 500 ground-breaking innovations from across the globe which were judged on three main criteria of feasibility, viability and desirability. A Grand Finale event, which was broadcast live to spectators from around the world, saw all three finalists pitch their innovations to an esteemed board of judges, as well as the delivery of keynote speeches from Nobel Laureate professor Didier Queloz and other esteemed guests.

Team WakeShare from the University of Queensland, Australia, were selected winners of this year’s award and recipients of the EUR 25,000 prize fund, with their solution which analyzes shipping timetables to enable suppliers to coordinate routes, optimize travel positioning, and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry – one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The other finalists comprise team Elzian Agro from the University of Kelaniya with their solution which can help to feed growing populations based on an early prediction platform, and the O2C Marketplace team from Stanford University with a solution which looks at the utilization of farmland for soil carbon sequestration.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of the Ericsson Group, says:

“We believe young people are the key drivers of innovation. The 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards focuses on one of our time’s most pressing issues, climate change. This year, by turning to universities around the world, we wanted to enable young people to help come up with ideas as to how technology and the ICT industry can help combat this major challenge which our generation is facing.”

Heather Johnson, Head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, says:

“As we enter the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals, the subject of climate action has never been more relevant. The 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards challenged some of the best and brightest students who share our passion for innovation to demonstrate how technology can support climate action. While this year has been like no other, this event shows that Ericsson’s commitment to climate action, as well as cultivating innovation and working in partnership with an ecosystem to drive positive change, remains constant.”

The EIA jury gave the following motivation for awarding top honors to Team WakeShare:

“Wakeshare’s idea to improve shipping fuel efficiency by bow-wave sharing, stood out as the winner because of its simplicity and feasibility. It is an easy to implement idea with the potential of high impact in a short amount of time. It does not require a mind shift but instead shifts the focus on optimizing the already normal ways of working. The idea has an impact on a broad number of stakeholders well aware of the challenges.”

About the Ericsson Innovation Awards

The annual Ericsson Innovation Awards is a global competition that offers university students around the world the chance to develop new, innovative ideas with support from Ericsson experts. The competition, launched in 2009, remains one of Ericsson’s greatest opportunities to reach students around the world and cultivate relationships with the next generation of innovative change-makers while helping to drive and enhance positive innovation.

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Learn more about the Ericsson Innovation Awards

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