University of Puerto Rico students win Enactus entrepreneurial competition
A three-student team representing the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras won the 14th edition of the Enactus Puerto Rico social entrepreneurial competition with a clean watering filtering system called “Remora.”
The proposal is based on a machine designed to work with three different filters, which remove chemicals, bacteria, biological contaminants and microplastics from water bodies.
The machine is waiting to complete the patent process with the U.S. government, is designed to improve the quality of water in Puerto Rico and provide the resource to communities that have no access to drinking water service from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, to promote their sustainable socioeconomic development and improve their health and quality of life, the students said in their virtual presentation.
The first communities to benefit from Remora were Los Guardias in Corozal, and Punta Santiago in Humacao, and the winning group hopes to serve 10 additional communities by next year. The students project that they will be able to filter 12 million gallons of water a year and replicate it in Mexico, India, and the U.S. mainland.
The second- and third-place winners were student teams from the UPR’s Mayagüez campus and Humacao Community College. The fourth-place winners were from the UPR’s Humacao campus.
The students who developed the Remora project and won the local Enactus competition will move on to represent Puerto Rico in the global event.
“It’s evident that Enactus youth are changing perspectives on our island, investing more than 200,000 hours of volunteer work, and their projects impact the quality of life and the island’s economy by more than $12 million each year,” said Rody Rivera-Rojas, director of Enactus Puerto Rico.
“In the past 15 years, more than 200 projects have contributed to improving the quality of life of needy communities in Puerto Rico and we bet that the next generations of ‘enacters’ will spur the change that our island needs,” he added.
This year, 468 university students, with 39 social entrepreneurship projects, pushed forward with their development efforts despite the challenges of the earthquakes, the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the Isaias tropical storm.
In the competition, the college students presented 23 projects, demonstrating their talent, innovation and tangible results before a jury of 243 local entrepreneurs.