Campus Features


/ 29 August 2021

Philippines – Four 4th year students from the University of the Philippines emerged as Country Champions in the 3M Inspire Challenge, a regional case challenge by global science company 3M seeking solutions in Technology, Sustainability, and Innovation.

Comprising of Caleb Abrazaldo (BS Materials Engineering), Mariz Domingo (BS Materials Engineering), Lila Lu (BS Materials Engineering), and Joseph Paaraiso (BS Business Administration), the group emerged victorious among the 16 competing groups in the Philippines with their winning solution 3M Hypack. Their proposal aims to offer a non-toxic pro-marine life compostable packaging to help solve the problem of plastic pollution, especially with the Philippines contributing 1.9 metric tons of plastic waste. They also won USD$1,000, and an internship with 3M Philippines.

Country Champion team member, Mariz Domingo, shared the group’s inspiration for their solution: “We don’t have to choose between saving our planet or keeping our access to safe, efficient, durable plastic.”

Following the team’s victory in the national round, the challenge continues. On September 21, they will proceed to the Regional-Level Finals where their team and five other hopefuls from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will vie for the title of “Regional Champions” and USD$2,000 cash prize in a live judging panel.

As they gear up for the next stage of the challenge, the team will continue to enjoy access to 3M mentors who will help them sharpen their ideas.

“I’m very impressed by the participants’ robust innovations and solutions,” said Kevin McGuigan, Vice President and Managing Director, 3M Southeast Asia Region and Country Leader in Singapore. “These are critical in helping 3M elevate our business and solve challenges around the world. We are glad to offer platforms like this to support and empower the next generation of diverse leaders, thinkers and creators.”

A heated battle to the Regional-Level Finals awaits

With a month to the final round of the challenge, the competition is getting heated.

The Regional-Level Finals will see a total of 21 students across six teams pitching their solutions to Southeast Asia’s leading subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds in manufacturing and supply chain, research and development, sustainability, branding and communications, as well as business management. They include:

Kiyoshi Endo – Vice President, Plant Operations, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Asia Pacific

Yen Sze Chan – R&D Operations Leader, Southeast Asia Region

Jun Lee – Sustainability Leader for Asia, Brand & Communication, Ethics & Compliance Leader for Korea

Napaporn Ratanasaenghirun – Southeast Asia Regional Business Group Leader, Consumer Business Group (name, designation, organization)

Full timeline of the challenge

Date Activity
23 April 2021 Registration opened for The 3M Inspire Challenge
22 May 2021 Challenge theme cases released and submissions opened at 0000 hours on 22 May 2021 PHT
7 June 2021 Registrations closed at 2359 hours PHT
21 June 2021 Submissions closed at 2359 hours PHT
By 20 July 2021 Shortlisted teams notified to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals
By 13 August 2021 3M Mentor sessions held with the shortlisted teams (with in-country representatives)
24 August 2021 Round 1 Country-Level Semi-Finals Presentation Challenge

Country Champion announcement

By 15 September 2021 3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams
21 September 2021 Round 2 Regional-Level Presentation Challenge

Regional Champion and runners-up announcement

About 3M

At 3M, they apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to global challenges at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.