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C5 Challenge Students to Solve Marine Pollution

April 10, 2018

A digital solution to help tackle marine plastic pollution will be worked on by four C5 Alliance bursary students and a Discover Digital Internship student this summer.

The issue of plastic pollution was chosen following a full day workshop at the Digital Greenhouse which saw three groups of C5 developers and analysts, headed up by bursary students, work together to brainstorm ideas and solutions to the following problem statements:
• How can we collect information on litter washed up around our coastline to help tackle the problem of marine plastic pollution?
• How can the public help identify road safety incidents and exact locations to improve planning?
• How can technology improve accessibility to arts and culture for island residents?

The workshop concluded with the teams pitching their best idea on one of the problem statements to a panel of expert judges; Jon Buckland, chief secretary for the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure; David Ummels, banker, investor and entrepreneur and Phil Ruelle, chief digital officer at BDO Jersey.

Business analyst at C5, Matthew Skillett said: “It’s great to give students a specific project they can really get their teeth into, especially if it will generate benefits for the local community.

“The workshop also offered students an insight into the skillset that we would use day-to-day as business analysts – looking at the requirements of a problem, coming up with solutions and implementing them but in a light-hearted environment and working on interesting concepts, with a community benefit rather than just a business benefit.”

The team had just 10 minutes to convince the panel why their viable idea would be beneficial to the community through the use of innovative technology and on a realistic budget.

C5 bursary student Dan Wainwright is currently studying Computer Science and Mathematics at University of Manchester and headed up one of the teams. “To be given a problem statement and come up with an idea and a reasonable budget in half a day is a challenge in itself – to try and innovate that quickly and come up with something tangible that we can promote is not easy,” he said.

Dan’s team pitched ‘Track Trash’ an app that turns the collection and data recording of litter into a game, providing people with an incentive to clean up the Island’s beaches.

The app, along with ‘Plastic Go’ pitched by Alex Guilmoto’s team, persuaded the expert panel to declare ‘how can we collect information on litter washed up around our coastline to help tackle the problem of marine plastic pollution’ as the winning statement.

Chief secretary for the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure Jon Buckland said: “Today was a superb example of the public and private sector coming together to address issues that affect the community and leveraging the expertise and enthusiasm needed to find solutions to real world problems. The delivery of the presentations earlier in the day and seeing how the teams were working together was really encouraging.”

C5 Alliance is committed to investing in local students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the technology sector and understands the importance of nurturing innovation.

Technology experts at C5 will assist the students to create a viable product that will collect information on litter washed up around the Island’s coastline over the course of six weeks this summer.

The project will allow the students to develop their digital problem-solving skills and give them a real sense of what working in the industry is like.

C5 is currently inviting students with a passion for technology to apply for its university bursary. Applicants interested in being part of the technological revolution are asked to visit www.c5alliance.com/careers and complete the bursary scheme application form.