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Makerere big winners at 2019 Big Ideas Contest

Makerere University Main Building. A total of four Makerere teams made it into the final round in the categories of Global Health; Energy and Resource Alternatives; and Food Systems. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Teams from Makerere University have over the years participated in the Big Ideas Contest with remarkable success.

Big Ideas is an annual contest orgainsed by the University of California, Berkeley and its partners, aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.”

In November 2018, the Contest received over 330 pre-proposal applications, representing over 1,000 students across 12 campuses.

After a preliminary round and a final review, 34 teams were awarded prizes across 8 different categories, with award amounts ranging from $2,000 to $15,000.

A total of four Makerere teams made it into the final round in the categories of Global Health; Energy and Resource Alternatives; and Food Systems.

The Cloud-based Emergency Response System (CERS) did Makerere proud by scooping the Third Overall Place on the Grand Prize Pitch Day as well as top honours in the Global Health category. CERS’ team members were; Moses Kintu, Jordan Ongwech and Trevor Nagaba.

TyphGen; A Better Point-of-Care Diagnostic For Typhoid Fever also received an Honorable Mention in the same category. Sharon Bright Amanya, Rendani Manenzhe, Brenda Nakandi, Brian Nyiro and Joshua Obura made up this team.

Wet Technik; a startup looking at reducing the costs of water usage and environmental pollution by hazardous wastewater through the use of constructed wetlands took the second place in the Energy and Resource Alternatives category. The team was made up of Dennis Ssekimpi, Mark Musinguzi and Nina Shatsi.

The fourth team in the finals from Makerere University was Chap-Dyer; an affordable dryer for agricultural produce that uses moisture resistant eucalyptus poles as frames and rough stone slates as a base. The team that took second honours in the Food Systems category was made up of Morris Atuhwera and George Komakeck.

Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation.

By encouraging novel proposals and then supporting concrete next steps, Big Ideas is helping contest winners make an impact all over the world.

The infrastructure of this contest is made possible through the generous support of the Andrew & Virginia Rudd Family Foundation.

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