Honey and bees brought Estonians main prize in China

At the international innovation competition in Shanghai, which had more than 700 participants from 40 countries, UT doctoral students won first place with their idea about creating an innovative environmental indicator based on the analysis of the chemical composition of honey and which also promoted keeping bees in urban environments.

The main topic of the Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance was sustainable development and the only Estonians who participated in the contest, doctoral students of UT School of Economics and Business Administration Tõnis Tänav, Kristian Pentus and Tarmo Polokainen, had to proceed from that and present an idea which would take them to the final in tight competition among 40 teams.

“The idea had to contribute to the achievement of the UN’s objectives of sustainable development, such as reducing poverty, access to education, environmental conditions etc.,” said Kristian Pentus on behalf of the team. Pentus participated in the competition also in 2014 with most of the same team members. There they learned of the information about the 2016 competition early on. “We used the advantage and took time before the deadline for submitting the project so that we could develop the project as thoroughly as possible.”

The idea to link the project with bees and honey came from life itself. “Our team member Tõnis has worked briefly with bees and he knows some beekeepers, which is where the initial idea came from. From there on we started thinking as a team how to form the raw idea into a project,” said Pentus.

The idea of the doctoral students regarded creating a novel complex environmental indicator which is based on the analysis of the chemical composition of honey, death rate of bees, productivity of honey and other indicators, on the basis of which it is possible to map and compare the environmental problems of different urban areas, cities and countries. The system would work on the data of urban beehives kept by people themselves and would also promote beekeeping in cities.

The team used the strengths of each member—Kristian’s gamification, Tõnis’ innovation and experience with bees and Tarmo’s benchmarking. By combining these strengths they achieved the synergy which earned them success in Shanghai.

Pentus said that there was no award for the main prize Most Innovative Team, which they received together with representatives of Singapore: “The fact that it was us who won among ingenious projects from 40 countries is a great recognition in itself.”

“Discussions in an international team and communicating with other participants were an opportunity to see problems from the viewpoint of 29 countries. A diverse spectrum of opinions and solutions where understanding and cooperation were crucial,” described Pentus.

At the same time as the competition, they also participated in the Y20 China summit which was the pre-event for the G20 summit taking place in Hangzhou in September.

Additional information
Kristian Pentus, doctoral student at UT School of Economics and Business Administration
+372 51935615

Virge Tamme
Press Officer of the UT
Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5815 5392