The project of a team from Mozambique’s Eduardo Mondlane University, for production of biogas from poultry farm waste, last Friday won second place in the “928 Challenge” competition in Macau.
In all, 16 finalist teams, ten of which were Chinese, divided into two categories, universities and startups, competed in the final of the second edition of this Sino-Lusophone competition.
The first place went to the University of Shenzhen, a Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong, with a project of an oxygen generator for aquaculture, while the third place was given to the Beijing University of Foreign Studies, whose team presented a training plan in the scope of coffee culture in Timor-Leste, mainly destined to women.
In the startups category, the Chinese company OneDrop, with an application to avoid food waste already in operation, won the first place, followed by two more Chinese startups: Ecomel Ecological & Technology and Reconnect Environmental Institute.
“This second edition confirmed the enormous interest around the concept of platform,” not only by the 1,250 participants and 256 teams, but also by the “quality of the projects presented,” said the two co-founders and coordinators of the “928 Challenge” José Alves and Marco Rizzolio, both from Macau City University (CityU).
According to José Alves, also director of the Faculty of Management at CityU, this initiative allows for the transfer of Chinese technologies to the Portuguese-speaking countries, in infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, agriculture, fisheries or food, which are much needed in these countries, and “many of which exist in Macau, in companies that can organise themselves and make these transfers.
“We hope that the Macau government and the business environment [of the territory] will continue to support this initiative that can bring added value projects to the Greater Bay Area and the Portuguese-speaking countries,” he said.
In 2003 China established the Macau Special Administrative Region as a platform for economic and trade cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor, through Forum Macau.
The Greater Bay Area is a Beijing project to create a metropolis from the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, and nine cities of Guangdong province (Canton, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing), with around 70 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product (GDP) of around 1.2 trillion euros.
At the opening of the award ceremony a message from the Portuguese Secretary of State for Digitisation and Administrative Modernisation, Mário Campolargo, was broadcast on video, in which he stressed the existence of a common heritage between Macau and the Portuguese-speaking bloc that needs to be further explored.
The two officials added that next year they would “rethink the format” of the initiative “to make better use of the potential of the teams and projects,” focusing on greater dissemination in the Greater Bay Area and the Portuguese-speaking bloc.
In addition, the challenge will be called 929: nine cities of the Greater Bay Area, two Chinese special administrative regions (Macau and Hong Kong) and nine Portuguese-speaking countries, after Equatorial Guinea joined the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and Forum Macau, they said.
The competition is jointly organised by the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau) and several universities from Macau and the Greater Bay Area and the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
The first places received a prize of 20,000 patacas (2,480 euros), the second 10,000 (1,240 euros) and the third five thousand (620 euros).