On the 25th and 26th of May, students from around the state gathered in person and online for the South Australian chapter of the National Innovation Games held at the Adelaide Town Hall.
Supported by the South Australian Government, the City of Adelaide and a number of other local public and private sponsors, the theme for this particular competition was “A Sustainable Fashion, Clothing and Textile Sector in South Australia.”
National Innovation Games teams come up with textile and fashion innovations
There were lots of fantastic solutions proposed and a total of 7 Torrens University students participated in the challenge. Among them was the second place winning recycled plastics concept developed by ‘Team Betta Shredda,’ of which Ceren Yaman, currently a Master of Business Information Systems student at Torrens University, was a member.
“First, they asked us to identify problem statements related to the topics of waste management, recycling, repurposing, and industry,” Ceren explained.
“In the first sprint, my group did a brain-storming session, and we wrote down all the current industry problems related to the topic in small sticky notes. Then, we categorised the problems. Next, we voted on the sticky notes and selected the most important issue we would like to address and find a solution.
Our project's name is ‘The Betta Shredda’. The main aim of the Betta Shredda is to turn shredded wasted products into value.”
First place was awarded to ‘Team Pure South Hemp’, and third place went to ‘Team Button Back’.
A series of Innovation Challenges across every State and Territory of Australia
The National Innovation Games is funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and delivered by Paddl Co.and the Council of Small Business Organisations (COSBOA). The vision of the games is for emerging talent, small to medium businesses, industry and the research sector to come together and innovate in the economic and social interest of the nation.
Competing teams are a mix of industry professionals, researchers and students, and they must work together to develop cutting edge new ideas.
Team Betta Shredda consisted of three fashion industry professionals, two facilitators, and five students from all around Australia:
- Laura Gransbury from Cinch Textiles
- Theresa Brown from Play It On
- Sharon Ryder from R.M. Williams
- Nijole Lloyd, Student, Flinders University/TAFE SA
- Boadicea Salter, Student, Flinders University/TAFE SA
- Danielle Anya-Kaye Nembhard, Student, James Cook University
- Ceyda Ceren Yaman, Student, Torrens University
- Eric Deng, Student, University of Sydney
- Team Facilitator: Anthea Rowberry & JD Knight
Ceren got the idea to sign up from Careers Connect, Torrens University's digital career services platform that connects students with available industry positions.
Torrens University Australia has a strong focus on industry-led learning, and connecting students to professional opportunities outside the classroom. Careers Connect provides information and support for students to connect with industry, find placements or internships, and take advantage of a range of extra-curricular opportunities on offer.
“Thanks to the Careers Connect and the Employability Services team, I was able to hear about the National Innovation Games. When I first got the notification, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to meet with people from diverse backgrounds and improve my confidence working as a team member on a project.
I got some great support during the project especially from facilitator J.D. Knight from Paddl, who was always with us throughout the event, helping to shape our ideas and direct us to important issues for presentation to the jury.”
The National Innovation Games address major topics relevant to small and medium businesses, such as removing barriers for women in S.T.E.M, transitioning to renewables, and community engagement for business growth.
The challenge to address unsustainable practices in the South Australia fashion and textile industry
“Every ten minutes Australians dump fifteen tonnes of clothing and fabric waste,” said Ceren.
“This waste is destroyed through burning and as a result, gases that threaten human health are released. If we don't find a solution now, it will be worse in the future. There is only one world and we humans are responsible for taking care of it.”
The Betta Shredda team developed a solution: an open source design for textile shredding machinery that can be easily constructed and distributed. The shredded cellulose material can then be reintroduced back into the market as a new product, such as fertiliser, soundproofing, stuffing material, padding or as acoustic screens.
The Betta Shredda solution to unsustainable practices
“The Betta Shredda gives the fashion manufacturer back control over the destruction of garments and other waste textiles, and also provides an opportunity to create a new product. These shredded textiles can be used as fertiliser in mushroom production or as filling material in construction or for stuffing toys. So, it can be recycled back into the economy,” Ceren explained.
As well as figuring out ways to make industry better for future generations, students who participate in the National Innovation Games learn a lot and get to work directly with industry professionals. Plus, they learn some new skills along the way.
“Doing the National Innovation Games was so fun,” said Ceren. “It was also a good opportunity for me to meet with people who work in the sector. I can say that this game and its challenges help me to improve my team communication skills.
Ceren's learnings from the National Innovation Games
Thanks to Paddl, I now feel more confident to share my ideas with a team.
In addition, the Paddl team introduced me to new applications, such as Slack and Miro, which I will definitely use in the future. There is much more to be said, but in summary, I would recommend all my fellow students to participate in and experience the games at least once."
The National Innovation Games gave Ceren the opportunity to test her learning and put some of the content of her Master of Business Information Systems into practice.
“I absolutely love studying at Torrens. Even though it is just my second trimester, I have learnt a lot of new concepts so far. I know that every subject I complete will help me to build my employability skill set in future,” Ceren explained.
What's next for this innovation award winning student?
“In terms of job content,” Ceren said, “I’m interested in work that involves problem-solving and analysing data. I’ve been curious about things like this ever since my bachelor's degree, so I would definitely want that to be part of my dream job. I am planning to find a job as a Business Analyst or Data Analyst when I graduate.”
With her proactive attitude and positive work ethic, the future is definitely bright for this member of Team Betta Shredda.
See here for more information about industry-led learning, industry partnerships and career opportunities for students at Torrens University Australia.