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University graduates clinch runners-up spot in worldwide competition

University of Gloucestershire graduates Ranggada Prabu Sadewa and Bradley Warren have finished runners-up in a prestigious global competition, the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2021.

The duo, who both studied Marketing (Digital Innovation) at the University, and their two colleagues in Team Plug and Plant entered their integrated multi-environment rod sensor and AI-based system that allows users of an app to create optimal planting conditions indoors or outdoors.

The Ericsson Innovation Awards 2021 judging panel were so impressed with their submission that they awarded the team 15,000 euros in second place prize money to create portable planting kits for farmers and horticultural consumers.

Open to university students of all ages based anywhere in the world, the Ericsson Innovation Awards recognise revolutionary concepts that use technology to solve global challenges.

Bradley, who lives in Gloucester, said: “I am immensely proud to put Gloucestershire on the international stage and hungry to develop more tech innovations.

“Our plans are to continue with further device development with Ericsson, and further innovations to the Plug and Plant family.

“My time at the University was simply the best in removing some barriers of self-doubt, whilst overcoming challenges with my dyslexia through support of my peers and students along with inspiring lecturers. Above all, UOG inspired my passion for technology to shape new horizons.”

Ranggada, who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, said: “I feel disbelief because, honestly, we didn’t expect to reach the semi-finals let alone the finals.

“We worked tireless nights after getting the message that we were in the finals because the other teams had their prototypes ready while we were just starting to make it.

“I wouldn’t have known about the event if I had never met Bradley in my first year at the University since he was the one who told me about it.

“Just like the butterfly effect, if Bradley hadn’t been sitting where he was sitting all those years ago, this amazing opportunity wouldn’t have happened to me.

“To the lecturers who showed us massive support through LinkedIn, I really appreciate the support you’ve shown us. We definitely have some ideas prepped for the future too.”

Ranggada and Bradley finished second to a team from a university in India that had developed a tablet that creates digital braille in real time from any text or graphic.

Third place went to a team from a university in Sweden that has developed a beanie hat containing embedded sensors that wirelessly monitor patients’ blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

Matt Barr, Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Course Leader for Marketing, and Business and Marketing Management, said: “I am so pleased for Bradley and Ranggada and the rest of their team. This is a big accomplishment on an international stage and demonstrates what marketing graduates can achieve. 

“Both are now marketing professionals and still found time to continue with this initiative which demonstrates their commitment to digital innovation in support of sustainable practices.”