Grand Gascon, a 4th-year Chemical Engineering student from the School of Technology, University of the Philippines Visayas, was the only Filipino selected to be one of the top 10 and 2 wildcard finalists of the Bayer’s Youth Agriculture Summit. The event started six months ago and concluded on March 24, 2022.
From 2,000 applicants from nearly a hundred countries composed of undergraduate and graduate students, the event selected only 100 delegates. They were supposed to go on an all-expense-paid trip to China for this year’s summit, but the event was held online instead because of the pandemic.
The delegates were exposed to six months of idea generation and three months of business modeling and business pitching classes. They were then made to pitch their ideas so that they would be narrowed down to 10 finalists. The top 10 and 2 wildcard finalists pitched again at the final round, and each of the 3 overall winners received 5,000 euros as prize money.
Gascon’s winning pitch is entitled “More Light, More Yield” (Light Manipulation to Improve Plant Growth), aimed to redefine the way food is grown. He was originally fascinated by how the filters of Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLRs) could significantly reduce the amount of sunlight that could get inside the camera sensors. He thought that if there is a way to reduce the incoming amount of sunlight, then maybe there is also a way to improve it and utilize that method in plant development techniques.
Having been selected as one of the finalists, he will receive a brand-new laptop or tablet from the Bayer Foundation. (With sources from Grand Gascon)