Key Challenge, the first student competition of innovation projects toward UN SDGs, is launched this year in Chimie ParisTech

Jeffrey Sachs lors de la conférence d’inauguration du réseau SDSN à Chimie Paris
Jeffrey Sachs lors de la conférence d’inauguration du réseau SDSN à Chimie Paris

Key Challenge is a student incentive for students who wish to push the boundaries of chemical engineering by tackling the biggest Sustainable Development issues facing the world of Chemistry.

Made up of Engineering schools students, multidisciplinary teams work together to design, build, test and measure a system of their own that addresses one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Teams are self-organized by one or more initiating students through their own recruitment process. Each team decides the problem it wants to address. It is also the team’s responsibility to find one or more scientists to help them develop the project.
This year, teams will have until end of July to present their work including proof of concept and results. They will also have to upload to an open source database their protocoles/processes and security sheets of their synthesized components. The subscription of the teams will take place in Avril.

A competition to create connections between chemistry schools and SDGs
The competition encourages scientific research and education through:
-The organization and supervision of the Key Challenge competition, a competition of sustainable chemistry projects for students.
-The creation of a database of standard and open access chemistry protocols.
-The development of an open community of students, research institutes and industries.

PSL, a favorable ecosystem to bring SDGs in education
How to bring the SDGs to the real world ? How to make education more focused on the real world issues ?
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030 to address global challenges like poverty, inequality or climate.
On November 13, 2018, led jointly by the University of PSL, the University of Cergy-Pontoise (UCP) and Kedge Business School, the SDSN France network (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) was created.
Its mission is to mobilize the scientific community and the various actors from the civil, political and associative spheres around the SDGs.
SDSN France has set itself five objectives:
-Develop basic research and education around the SDGs;
-Highlight these educational and research initiatives with public authorities, international organizations, companies and NGOs;
-Foster cooperation between different stakeholders;
-Engage sponsors in financing projects from French universities;
-Disseminate and improve public knowledge and awareness of sustainable development issues.

Joining an emerging international network of disrupting education initiatives.
This year, Key Challenge teams will participate to the One Learning Planet event organized by UNESCO in CRI (Center for Research and Interdisciplinary) on July 26th and 27th. One Learning Planet is a two days international event where students, decision makers from UNESCO and journalists gather and think together on new solutions to bring Sustainable Development to education. One Learning Planet is inspired by other interdisciplinary competitions like iGEM (Synthetic biology student competition). Such students initiatives already exist in France,  the US, India or even China and are organized by institutes such as CRI, Harvard or MIT. One learning Planet brings these initiatives together by promoting knowledge sharing, sponsorship and learning in a spirit of intercultural and intergenerational emulation.
The chemistry teams from PSL will participate to the international award ceremony organized by One Learning Planet at the end of July in Paris with the other teams coming from all over the world.