Gadjah Mada University Students Named Finalists in International Food Innovation Challenge

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JAKARTA – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) announced that a youth team from Gadjah Mada University was chosen as one of the three finalists in the YSEALI World of Food Innovation Challenge, which seeks technology solutions for challenges in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries. MINO Microbubbles of Gadjah Mada University and two youth projects from Cambodia and Malaysia were selected from over 200 entries coming in from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The finalists attended special boot camp training in Singapore in July and received mentorship from tech giants Cisco and Intel to further develop their solutions. The three teams will travel to Cambodia in late October to present their technology-based solutions at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology. The winner will be announced during this Ministerial meeting on October 28, 2016. The grand prize is a study trip to Austin, Texas, one of the main technology hubs in the United States, in March 2017.

“USAID is committed to partnering with young people to solve the world’s most difficult development problems and end extreme poverty,” said Chargé d’Affaires Brian McFeeters.  “These young innovators from Gadjah Mada University have come up with an advanced water treatment technology that helps tilapia farmers increase their harvest, which in turn helps increase incomes and food security. We wish them luck as they travel to Cambodia to compete in the final stage of the competition.”

The MINO Microbubbles youth team includes Muhammad Nabil Satria Faradis, Fajar Sidik Abdullah, and Untari Febrian Ramadhani, who are advised by Dr. Deendarlianto. The team presented a live online pitch to a judging panel of government and business representatives, demonstrating why increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in water improves fish growth. Based on lab-test results, the water treatment helped produce heavier tilapia and could shorten the harvest time of an average tilapia farmer from twice a year to three times a year. Their innovation could increase the average harvest time of tilapia fisheries by 62 percent.

To learn more about the MINO team, see their 90-second video pitch on with the password ysealichallenge2016. For more information on USAID, visit or contact USAID Communications Officer Janice Laurente at