‘Incredible’ student ideas that could change our lives: 13 MTIA Finalists Announced for 2023

From solar panel drones to attached reel systems for ECG machines and a device that makes it easier to shop, the Sunshine Coast’s brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators are rising to the challenge.

The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are hotting up with a record 13 finalists named in Years 9 to 12 across multiple Sunshine Coast schools.

The awards program presents a rare opportunity for student teams to bring their creative ideas or business solution to life.

Finalists will now advance after the opening phase of judging to connect with some of the region’s most successful industry leaders and mentors to further develop their concepts.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the awards supported the development of ideas that used creativity, innovation or technology to solve a community, environmental or business challenge.

“We’ve had an incredible entries response this year with an increase in schools participating, which includes all schools returning from last year and a great mix of new schools joining the program,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The calibre of applications has been fantastic and it’s great to see the program is building with double the entries from last year.

“From aquaponics to smart life jackets to automated biowaste systems, our future leaders have put forward an incredible array of ideas, many of which align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which could one day strengthen and enhance capabilities in our region.

“And whether they got through to the next stage or not, we have been so impressed by all the entries this year and thank these students for their innovative thinking and confidence to participate in programs like this.”

Finalists and their amazing ideas (in no particular order):

Burnside State High School

  • Yabbieponics: Repurposing IBCs that are chopped up to make fish tanks that can house and grow fish and crustaceans that feed the plants, with my point of difference to make a product that is available to the public to buy that uses Aquaponics to grow food.

Caloundra State High School

  • Accessible Sunshine Coast: A website designed to show accessibility in Caloundra for tourists, visitors and locals, including areas that are bad for sensory sensitivities.

Chancellor State College

  • A-Bite: A-BITE (Automated Biowaste Intelligently Transforming Energy) is an improved renewable energy cycle using smart technologies to innovate the capture of under-utilized bioenergy from the Maroochydore Smart City food waste.

Glasshouse Christian College

  • Solbot: Solbot uses drone technology to dispatch autonomous cleaning robots to rejuvenate the efficiency of solar panels, increasing the overall sustainability while making cleaning of solar panels safe.

Matthew Flinders Anglican College

  • MyPark Finder: MyPark Finder is an app that can be downloaded on all mobile phones which assists people in locating car parks.

Mountain Creek State High School

  • Forever Alive: A smart, self-watering pot plant system. The aim is to prevent plants dying from incorrect watering.

Suncoast Christian College

  • Send It Siren: A bicycle alarm which is in the stem of the bike. This device will detect movement when turned on and will sound an alarm which will scare thieves while also alerting the owner.
  • Sunny Stations: Solar powered electric scooter charging stations. These charging stations will complement the beach environment by being in the shape of a palm tree with solar panels being the leaves.
  • The Fape: We have produced the newest and boldest idea. The Fape is a fake vape that runs off saline solution, good for your lungs as only consists of salt and water. What sets our idea apart is the 100% chemical free inhalation.

Sunshine Coast Grammar

  • Handi-Shoppa: Our accessible shopping cart is designed to assist disabled and elderly people. It is an invaluable aid for those who struggle with mobility issues.
  • JobsLaunch: JobLaunch is a highly-scalable and innovative job-seeking app designed specifically for teenagers on the Sunshine Coast.
  • MelodyMatch: MelodyMatch’s innovative song recommendation algorithm will change how we listen to and experience music. Song ID compared with song database to find similar songs then songs are outputted from the database that are similar to your favourite song.
  • Reel Health: This product is an attachable reel system for a 12-lead ECG machine. 12 individual reels for each lead, which all attach to form the unit. This product will use a spring reel system in order to retract the ECG cords back into the machine with a simple tug.

More than 10 mentors have already been confirmed, including Andrew Bradley Professor in Computer Science at UniSC, Dominic Vrolijks Founder at Sunshine Coast Maker Space and Tim Kelly Founding Director at Manufacturing Excellence Forum.

At the conclusion of Phase 2 each team will then put forward a second submission, with all finalists invited to participate in a Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony on July 20, 2023 for their chance to win more than $10,000 in shared prizes.

Sunshine Coast Council is proud to partner with Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast to deliver the 2023 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards  exclusively to high schools within the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.

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