Competition linked to Aberdeen 2040 strategic plan yields promising ideas

The winners of a student competition to develop an initiative that supports the University of Aberdeen's Aberdeen 2040 strategic plan have been announced.

Teams participating in Hack 2040 were encouraged to identify ideas and creative thoughts linked to Aberdeen 2040 – the University’s set of 20 commitments that aim to deliver its four key pillars of inclusivity, interdisciplinarity, internationalisation and sustainability.

In addition to supporting the four pillars, the objective of Hack 2040 was to promote and develop key employability skills such as creativity, imagination, teamwork, communication and the ability to innovate. It also aimed to develop a strong sense of community and networking opportunities for students, staff and external organisations.

The event ran from August 24-28. Individuals or teams of 2-4 people worked on their ideas before pitching them to a panel of judges.

The winning team - Team Elphinstone – developed an idea focussed on the University’s commitment to “ensure all students can have an international experience, studying abroad or working collaboratively with international partners”. The team developed a prototype app that allowed students to browse potential international placements using an interactive quiz to produce more suitable options.

Second place went to Team Powis who developed a concept involving a programme of events for academic Schools to link together and also bring in external organisations. The idea was inspired by the Aberdeen 2040 commitment to build networks across our community to foster interdisciplinary interactions to use and share expertise to drive new understanding.

Team Linklater claimed third place for their Bees for Degrees idea to install beehives around campus and to channel the profits into student bursaries. This supports the Aberdeen 2040 commitment to generate resources for investment in education and research year on year, to develop people, ideas and actions to fulfil our purpose.

Dr John Barrow, Dean for Entrepreneurship & Employability at the University of Aberdeen said: “This was a fantastic competition that really helped to bring our new Aberdeen 2040 strategy to life with some fantastic ideas that have real-world applications.

“My thanks to all the students who took part, the staff who mentored them and our panel of judges. We look forward to seeing these ideas developed further in the future.

“I am especially grateful to the prize sponsors of the top three winning teams, so my thanks go to AR Consulting Ltd. for sponsoring 2nd and 3rd place prizes and the University Development Trust for sponsoring our winning prize.”