For The Cricketeers, entering Shell Ideas360 was just a bit of fun. Months later and thousands of miles from home, Omer and Chaw found themselves in the Netherlands, standing in front of a team of judges, presenting their idea. 

Shell Ideas360 challenges students to tackle the world’s food, water and energy problems by finding new ways of using the earth’s resources. The Cricketeers’ idea was to use crickets - a natural and abundant source of protein - to help feed the 24% of the global population suffering from malnutrition. 

Omer, who is studying alongside Chaw for a degree in Petroleum Engineering, said: “We had to produce an idea that was about food, water or energy and while we were brainstorming I saw a report about children in Israel bottling crickets and cooking them as snacks. Chaw mentioned how they were a street delicacy in her home country of Mayanmar and I thought we could perhaps start a cricket farm.”

The duo found that Crickets contain twice as much protein as beef and are available across the planet, so decided to create kits that families or individuals could use at home. One box would act as a nursery for the baby crickets, while another would house adult crickets. Chaw added: “We wanted to create a cheaper and more affordable protein source for people, and eating crickets is environmentally sustainable, too.”

Throughout the competition The Cricketeers received support from Shell, as well as from a mentor accessed through the online community, “They helped us so much and if we were ever confused about our mission, we just spoke to our mentor,” Chaw said. “Shell offered so much support throughout and we are grateful to them.”

From left to right:Omer Choudhry and Rukia Chaw Yinnyein from the University Teknologi Petronas in Malaysia

For the young engineers, the trip to Shell’s headquarters in the Netherlands was the highlight of their experience. Omer explains: “I was so nervous but it went so well. Everyone was so friendly and we enjoyed meeting the other teams. We even had the opportunity to go sightseeing in Amsterdam, which was a lot of fun.”

Now back studying at university, Chaw and Omer are concentrating on graduating. They may not have won the overall competition, but the challenge ignited an idea that they plan to see through. “We will set it up on a small scale and just see what happens. It’s exciting and it has the ability to go global,” Omer said. 

Their advice for anyone thinking about entering the Shell Ideas360 competition is to just go for it. Omer added: “As corny as it sounds, don’t back down. No matter how crazy your idea may seem, if you think it has potential to help people, why not do it?”

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