Flood of entries for G20 water challenge
More than 100 teams from 65 universities and business schools around the world have registered for the G20 Global Business Challenge organised by Brisbane’s three leading universities.
Teams had until July 25 to submit their business plans and be in the running for the $100,000 US first prize.
The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University and the Queensland Government are hosting the competition, which is being run in conjunction with the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane in November and will be staged at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.
QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake said applications to tackle the challenge, which tasks teams with developing innovative solutions to water scarcity, had been received from all corners of the globe.
“The volume of applications has exceeded expectations—teams from 30 countries have applied, including from non-G20 nations,” Professor Coaldrake said. “This reflects the fact water scarcity is a worldwide challenge and, critically, that there is a global appetite to find practical solutions.”
University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the competition would focus the minds of some of the world’s brightest graduate students on innovations in water use and management.
“Finding sustainable ways to use and manage water is a pressing challenge for the world,” Professor Høj said. “Water, and its increasing scarcity, has emerged as a key issue for governments, industries and communities globally.”
Cambridge University, London Business School, the University of Delhi, the University of Warsaw, Lund University, the University of Witwatersrand, the University of Boston, the University of California and the University of Washington are among the organisations that have entered the challenge.
Proposed business solutions would be “holistic” in nature and comprise a mix of new technologies and innovative business and financing models.
Global CEOs and financiers will sit on a panel for the final judging in November. Finalists will be announced on August 15.
Griffith University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian O’Connor said how water is managed, given competing demands from industry and agricultural enterprises, as well as environmental and management concerns, created a degree of complexity that had only recently been acknowledged.
“Traditional approaches to this complex problem—such as research-driven technology-push solutions within larger integrated systems—are too simplistic,” he said.
“Broader holistic and transformative paradigm shifts are required.
“The objective of the 2014 G20 GBC is to create opportunities for economic development activity in regional and remote communities through better management of increasingly scarce water resources.”
More information on the G20 Global Business Challenge, which will become an annual event in Brisbane, can be found at www.g20gbc.org.
About UQ Business School
The University of Queensland Business School is independently ranked as one of the top business schools in Australia and among the leading institutions worldwide. Based in Brisbane, it brings together more than 130 subject experts with over 7,500 students and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs and executive education across the range of business disciplines.
Master of Integrated Water Management
The Master of Integrated Water Management program aims to build future leaders in water management with an emphasis on working either in rural international development, in urban water policy and management, or across stakeholders in the context of integrating water resource management for water, food, energy and environment. The program draws on the expertise of international leaders in education and research across a wide breadth of disciplines, taking a trans-disciplinary whole-of-water-cycle approach that equips students with practical tools and skills for developing and managing the implementation of innovative solutions to local, regional, national and international water challenges. Graduates will be part of a growing and vibrant global professional network of alumni, lecturers and institutions, with continued access to a pool of expertise and opportunities for professional development. For more information, visit the IWC website (www.watercentre.org/education/masters).
Program: Master of Integrated Water Management
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: November 30, 2014