3M Inspire Challenge 2022 seeks undergraduate ideas in Sustainable Materials, The New Paradigm, and Equity

Challenge expands to Asia-Pacific, aims to unlock power of people, ideas, and science

Thailand, July 11, 2022 – Global science company 3M today launched the second edition of its case competition the 3M Inspire Challenge. Previously held across Southeast Asian countries, the case competition is now open to undergraduates from all disciplines and backgrounds across ten countries in Asia-Pacific – Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The challenge is simple – to enhance 3M’s business and improve lives across three themes: (1) Sustainable Materials, (2) The New Paradigm (A Pandemic Aware World), and (3) Equity (Through Science and Technology). These themes are aligned to three of the five key trends showcased in the 3M Futures platform, which identifies trends, insights and perspectives on the most exciting science of today – and the “futures” of tomorrow. 3M’s annual science perception survey, the 3M State of Science Index 2022, also found sustainability and equity as top priorities among Asia-Pacific respondents.1

Laying out the motivations for the challenge, Jim Falteisek, Senior Vice President, 3M Asia Corporate Affairs and Managing Director, 3M Korea said: “We are passionate about unlocking the power of people, ideas, and science. Through 3M Inspire Challenge 2022, we want to uncover solutions to create a more positive world for the future, while tapping in our expertise to cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders, thinkers, and creators.” 

To help shortlisted teams fine-tune their ideas in preparation for the competition finals, professionals from 3M will mentor shortlisted participating teams from September 2022 onwards. 

Kicking off with the Country-Level Semi-Finals, three shortlisted teams will compete with local peers in a live judging panel in October this year. Awarded the title of “Country Champions”, the winning team from each country will win a cash prize of USD$2,000, and secure internships at local 3M offices. 

In November, the Country Champions from each country will proceed to the Regional-Level Finals. There, the ultimate winning team will be crowned the “Regional Champions” and receive a USD$5,000 cash prize.

The 3M Inspire Challenge had a successful run last year, with a total of 122 teams from Southeast Asia participating. Top ideas included smart bandages that can monitor different stages of the wound healing process proposed by the Malaysian team, a 3M 360° virtual store from the Vietnam team, and sustainable bioplastic surgical masks ideated by the Indonesian team. 

Encouraging diverse participation in STEM 

With an emphasis on innovation through diversity and inclusion, the 3M Inspire Challenge is an example of how 3M is dedicated to cultivating a truly diverse talent pipeline in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Making it mandatory for teams to be gender diverse, 3M ensures that women have the equal opportunity to hone their innovation acumen and gain exposure in STEM, ultimately paving the way for more creative and innovative ideas. 

Registrations are now open

Interested participants can now register at the 3M Inspire Challenge website. Groups should consist of two to four students, and must be gender diverse. Full details of the case themes can be found on the 3M Inspire Challenge website.