The New Zealand India Sustainability Challenge dares tertiary students to come up with an innovative, sustainable solution to an environmental or social problem present on their campus or in the local community. Each team consisted of two students from Indian institutions and one from a partnering New Zealand institution – UC’s Nicolas Steyn was part of the winning team VaxiBead.
The team, made up of Dhruv Suri and Saisri Akondi both from the Manipal Institute of Technology and Nicolas, studying towards a Bachelor of Science – financial engineering and statistics at UC, came up with VaxiBead, a project working towards the equity of vaccine delivery in India through innovative technology. The project aims towards new-born babies in India receiving proper vaccination and their records being kept in a bead that can be held on a bracelet or necklace for example. The team also produced an app that can read data on the bead and easily update records simply by holding the bead up to a smartphone.
As winners of the challenge the team received a three week trip to New Zealand where they got to spend one week at each of the New Zealand partner universities – University of Canterbury, University of Otago, and University of Waikato.
The team worked for months developing VaxiBead with Nicolas joining his team in India during the final stages, you can read about his experience in India on his blog here>