Team 3MPHANT emerge as PH country champions in the 3M Inspire Challenge

Four 4th year students from the University of the Philippines emerged as Country Champions in the 3M Inspire Challenge, a regional case challenge by global science company 3M seeking solutions in Technology, Sustainability, and Innovation.  

The group of Caleb Abrazaldo (BS Materials Engineering), Mariz Domingo (BS Materials Engineering), Lila Lu (BS Materials Engineering), and Joseph Paraiso (BS Business Administration), emerged victorious among the 16 competing groups in the Philippines with their winning solution 3M Hypack.

Their proposal aims to offer a non-toxic pro-marine life compostable packaging to help solve the problem of plastic pollution, especially with the Philippines contributing 1.9 metric tons of plastic waste. They won USD1,000 and an internship with 3M Philippines. 

Country Champion team member Mariz Domingo shared the group’s inspiration for their solution, “We don’t have to choose between saving our planet or keeping our access to safe, efficient, durable plastic.”

Following the team’s victory in the national round, the challenge continues. On September 21, they will proceed to the Regional-Level Finals where their team and five other hopefuls from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will vie for the title of “Regional Champions” and a USD2,000 cash prize in a live judging panel. 

As they gear up for the next stage of the challenge, the team will continue to enjoy access to 3M mentors who will help them sharpen their ideas. 

“I’m very impressed by the participants’ robust innovations and solutions,” said Kevin McGuigan, vice president and managing director, 3M Southeast Asia Region and country leader in Singapore.

“These are critical in helping 3M elevate our business and solve challenges around the world. We are glad to offer platforms like this to support and empower the next generation of diverse leaders, thinkers, and creators.” 

A heated battle to the Regional-Level Finals awaits

With a month to the final round of the challenge, the competition is getting heated.   

The Regional-Level Finals will see a total of 21 students across six teams pitching their solutions to Southeast Asia’s leading subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds in manufacturing and supply chain, research and development, sustainability, branding and communications, as well as business management. They include:

  • Kiyoshi Endo – Vice President, Plant Operations, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Asia Pacific
  • Yen Sze Chan – R&D Operations Leader, Southeast Asia Region 
  • Jun Lee – Sustainability Leader for Asia, Brand & Communication, Ethics & Compliance Leader for Korea
  • Napaporn Ratanasaenghirun – Southeast Asia Regional Business Group Leader, Consumer Business Group (name, designation, organization)

Here’s the full timeline of the challenge:

Date Activity
23 April 2021 Registration opened for The 3M Inspire Challenge
22 May 2021  Challenge theme cases released and submissions opened at 0000 hours on 22 May 2021 PHT
7 June 2021 Registrations closed at 23:59 hours PHT
21 June 2021 Submissions closed at 23:59 hours PHT
By 20 July 2021 Shortlisted teams notified to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals
By 13 August 2021 3M Mentor sessions held with the shortlisted teams (with in-country representatives)
24 August 2021 Round 1 Country-Level Semi-Finals Presentation Challenge  Country Champion announcement
By 15 September 2021 3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams 
21 September 2021 Round 2 Regional-Level Presentation Challenge Regional Champion and runners-up announcement

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