MAKE IT CHALLENGE 2019-08-16T12:54:06+00:00


Make It Challenge is a one-week collaborative challenge for students to build solutions to tackle responsible consumption and production focused on re-imagining how food can be produced and consumed in a sustainable manner. ​Make It Challenge is organised by Sunway University in collaboration with Lancaster University and a partnership with United Nations Technology Innovation Labs, UNTIL.

By joining the Make It Challenge, you will gain the opportunity to:

  1. Travel to Pangkor Island & Kedah!
  2. Solve real-life challenges revolving around responsible consumption and production.
  3. Play a role in realising goal-12 of the 17 sustainable development goals.
  4. Participate in an exclusive field trip in Malaysia designed to bring you closer to the problems that you are keen to solve.
  5. Gain access to mentors from the industry.
  6. Learn about responsible consumption and production.
  7. Experience cultural exchange.
  8. Potential for best solutions to be implemented by Sunway Group and possible follow up research opportunities with Sunway University and Jefferey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development.

In essence, the Make It Challenge consists of 3 phases:
Understanding Problem Statement > Ideate > Pitch


You will start off with an immersive field visit to really understand the core and crux of the problem faced by various stakeholders when it comes to responsible consumption and production.


You’ve understood the problems? Good. Now it’s time to start cracking your brain for solutions! We will be guiding you on how to define and curate your ideas into a structured value proposition.



Participants will go through a pitch training session progressively throughout the program to develop an ideal pitch and will be presenting the pitch as part of a social innovation conference.


You can apply to participate in the competition through this online application. This competition is only open to students from Sunway University, Sunway College, and Lancaster University, England.

Students will have to submit the deliverable listed in the “Deliverable” section of this page. The problem statements mentioned in the deliverable can be found in the Problem Statement section on this page.

The application to participate is on an individual basis, no team entry will be entertained. Submission deadline is on the 2nd of September. Selected participants will be announced on 7th September 2019.


The following are three problem statements revolving around Responsible Consumption & Production:

  1. Food Waste Management

      • Wastage of food surplus is a growing concern in urban areas. The issue affects multiple dimensions including lower income groups, malnourished children, homeless citizens, the release of methane from decaying organic matter, etc. As the world becomes more urbanised, this issue will be of greater concern if it is allowed to continue with minimal intervention.


      • This is an issue that pertains most developed nations and developing nations. America for example loses up to 40% of its food from farm to fork to landfill. In cost, what this means is that each year, America spends over $220 billion growing, transporting, and processing almost 70 million tons of food that ends up going to waste.


      • Students are suggested to provide probable but well thought out solutions that could tackle issued related to food waste management. This includes both edible and inedible food waste. The solutions should be innovative but does not necessarily have to be a tech-based solution.


  2. Sustainable Food Production

      • Today, agricultural systems across Asia Pacific are challenged by climate change and other threats such as increased energy costs. Within such a context, sustainable, resource-efficient agricultural practices help farmers adapt to change, sustain their livelihoods and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farm activities. Fishing activities must also be managed carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy.


      • Global food production methods must change to minimise the impact on the environment and support the world’s capacity to produce food in the future. As with other man-made activities, food production contributes to climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation and the destruction of biodiversity both on land and water.


      • Students are encouraged to explore efficient and innovative methods to sustain food production be it farming, livestock rearing or fishing with minimal effect on the environment.


  3. Packaging and Transportation

      • The food supply chain continues to grow rapidly, with consumers now expecting a large variety of food, fresh on their plates, year round. This has extended the supply chain geographically and across many more parties, making the supply chain longer and more complicated than ever.


      • The seriousness of the problem that unsustainable practices in food packaging causes, has oftentimes been neglected. The direct or indirect impacts of packaging on the environment include soil degradation, water pollution, and the sharp reduction of scarce resources such as forests, solid waste pollution and toxic chemical pollution. It has severely affected the sustainable development of resources and environment.


      • Students should be looking into ways to develop innovative food packaging that reduces environmental impact. Students can also look into increasing the efficiency of the logistics system that deals with food transportation.



  1. National Resources Defence Council
  2. United Nations Environment Programme
  3. Marine Stewardship Council
  4. Food Security & Food Justice, University of Sheffield


Applicants must choose one out of the three problem statements described in the “Problem Statement” section and propose a sustainable solution to tackle the chosen problem. All applicants should submit the following items:

  • Pitch Deck: Should follow the NABC Model. Your slides should demonstrate excellent research and analysis, reasonable assumptions and a compelling story (motivation) behind your innovation. The problem should be addressed from a localized point of view based on scenarios and issues from the respective participating countries. Pitch deck should contain a maximum of 10 slides.
  • Video: Should be less than 3 minutes long. Use the video as a creative medium to tell your story about your idea and yourself. There are no restrictions on what you can or cannot do with the video.
  • Submission: Please submit your applications here!
Make It Challenge Timeline
iLabs Make It Challenge 2019
  • 25 Aug (Sun)

    Application Deadline

    Only open to students from Sunway University, Sunway College, and Lancaster University, England

  • 30 Aug (Fri)

    Announcement of Selected Participants

    Selected participants will be announced. Time to check your email!

  • 23 Sep (Mon) to 27 Sep (Fri)

    Make It Challenge Begins!

    Challenge begins at Sunway Innovation Labs, Malaysia!

Application Deadline (2 September 2019)

Online applications will close at 10 pm on 2 September, 2019.

Announcement of Selected Participants (7 September 2019)

Selected participants will be invited to join the Make It Challenge program at Sunway Innovation Labs & Sunway University, Malaysia.

Launch of Make It Challenge (23 September 2019)

This will be the first day of the Make It Challenge where all selected participants from Lancaster and Sunway will be going through the challenge. Participants will be formed into teams and will be briefed on the activities for the rest of the days of the program.

Post Competition

All solutions could potentially be implemented in Sunway Group and be brought to market. The solutions could also be converted into a collaborative research project between Lancaster University and Sunway University.

iLabs has partnered with United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) to provide their expertise in relation to the problem statements to help in the development of the solutions.