A mobile app designed by a student team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has clinched the first prize in a global competition organised by multinational oil and gas company Shell.
Team Renaissance beat more than 1,000 entries from 55 countries in Shell Ideas360, which calls on university students around the world to submit inventive solutions to tackle energy, water and food challenges, with Food Basket, an app that aims to reduce food waste.
It allows users to track their groceries and suggests recipes for those items before they expire. Users can also trade food items in a marketplace within the app. In the long term, the app could help prevent the over-buying of groceries and, in turn, reduce food waste.
Team member Alex Chen said in a joint statement by NTU and Shell today that 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste annually, costing the average household US$1,500 (S$2,000) a year.
The 24-year-old said: "We don't often realise the enormous impact of wasting food, so we hope our Food Basket app can create more awareness and help to reduce such wastage."
Mr Chen's two other teammates were May Lim, 21, and Nitya Anthony, 23.
They were in Rotterdam for the grand final, where they presented their ideas to a panel of judges comprising experts from the business sector, non-governmental organisations, and academic institutions.
The other four finalists came from Imperial College London, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Qatar University, as well as a joint team from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Makerere University Kampala.
Food Basket was picked as "the most innovative, collaborative, and potentially the biggest game-changer" among all the five ideas.
For that, Team Renaissance was awarded all-expenses-paid National Geographic Adventure of their choice, and they decided on the Antarctica.