Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Founded in 2018, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Engineering Interest Group (EIG) is a student-led organisation which aims to provide opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.
In 2021, EIG collaborated with Toa Payoh East Youth Network to organise ideateCOMM Challenge, a social hackathon to inspire youths to take action and develop an engineering/technological solution to solve an emerging social issue in Singapore.
The aim of the challenge was to provide a platform for youths studying in polytechnics and ITEs to collaborate with community stakeholders to solve social problems in Singapore using technology. The goal was to raise awareness of emerging social issues and build capabilities of the youths by providing job ready skills training relevant to the IT sector via preparatory workshops prior to the competition judging day.
This year, participants from 7 Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) (Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, ITE College East, ITE College West and ITE College Central) came together to tackle the issue of food wastage in Singapore.
The challenge included a series of workshops that helped equip the participants with the required skills to develop their prototypes and webinars to set the context and background necessary for the participants to brainstorm their solutions.
With the problem statement, "How can corporations or consumers reduce the generation of food waste due to supply chain inefficiency?", participants came up with intriguing but feasible solutions to tackle the food waste situation in Singapore.
The winning team, Team Sky X, proposed a food management device - SmartContainer, to help users make smarter food purchases through tracking the expiry dates of food and reminding the user if he/she is running low on food.
Another team, Team JC, proposed an intermediary between the retails and consumers in the food supply chain. This intermediary will help to keep track of expiry dates and compartmentalize produce into appropriate categories, thus reducing expired food waste from local supermarkets and reducing edible “class B” food waste from farms.