Ericsson has officially launched its annual Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) 2020, a global competition that offers university students around the world the chance to develop new, innovative ideas with support from Ericsson experts.
The theme in 2020 is ‘Reclaim the Future,’ which centers on addressing current and future climate challenges and focuses primarily on how information and communications technology (ICT) can provide radical climate change mitigation for consumers and industries alike.
Based on Ericsson research, ICT solutions have the potential to improve energy use in industrial operations, minimize negative environmental impacts, and enable a reduction of global carbon emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030.
Heather Johnson, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, said that through research and collaboration with academia and industry partners, digitalization will drive the innovation and opportunities needed to achieve a 1.5-degrees-Celsius future in line with the Paris Agreement.
“That’s why this year’s Ericsson Innovation Awards will challenge some of the best and brightest students sharing our passion for innovation to demonstrate how technology can support climate action,” he said.
We believe that young people drive innovation and development when it comes to current pressing issues. That’s why, with innovation at the heart of Ericsson, we want to invite young talents to register for Ericsson Innovation Awards 2020.
Who can enter, dates and prizes?
Ericsson Innovation Awards is open to students currently enrolled in University studies. Students from around the world are invited to enter the competition and are encouraged to form diverse teams of two to four members. Teams must register and submit their ideas by September 30, 2020.
This year, 14 teams will advance to the semi-finals, where they will have the opportunity to receive mentorship from Ericsson experts before competing to claim one of three spots in the finals.
The three finalist teams will then go on to compete in the Grand Final event (held digitally this year) in December 2020. The winning team will receive a cash prize of EUR 25,000, with a second-place prize of EUR 15,000 and a third-place prize of EUR 5,000.
The global innovation competition was first launched in 2009 as the Ericsson Application Awards. In 2015, the scope was broadened to focus more on innovation, when it was renamed the “Ericsson Innovations Awards” and made exclusive to students.
The Ericsson Innovation Awards 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.
Kenyan startups and university students have previously emerged as winners for the awards as part of the sub-Saharan Africa category.
In 2015, Team Chura won an award for developing an App that allows subscribers to switch, buy and cash their airtime across networks in a multi-sim environment.
In 2016, lluminum Greenhouses, a Kenya-based agri-tech startup won an award for their innovative solution under the EIA theme, “The Future of Food”
The theme of 2019 was “Dive deeper,” which challenged students to harness the power of water and underwater material environments to develop innovative solutions to global challenges.
Exploring this theme, more than 2,000 university teams represented 120 countries in the competition. The winning team was the Adelaide Bio-AUV team from the University of Adelaide, Australia, with their bioinspired autonomous underwater vehicle (Bio-AUV) designed to help reduce the effects of climate change.
2018’s theme was “the Future of Truth,” which challenged students to answer the question of how technology can improve the way we find, validate, and share truth in a fully connected world.
Exploring this theme, 1,444 university teams represented 107 countries in the competition. The winning team — Team OwnLabs from the Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar and Université de Ziguinchor in Senegal — developed a solution addressing the lack of school labs in Africa by offering physics, chemistry, and biology classes in virtual reality via smartphones.