Undergraduate team from India emerges as Regional Champions in 3M Inspire Challenge 2022

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 Addressing the theme of Sustainable Material, Team BUMBLR developed a brilliant solution to reimagine the traditional adhesives used in Post-it® Notes, one of 3M’s most iconic products by replacing it with adhesives formulated from just beeswax. This was the winning idea that helped four students from PES University in Bangalore, to come up ahead of eight other finalist teams and clinch the top title in the 3M Inspire Challenge 2022, a regional undergraduate case competition organized by global science company 3M for the second year running.

Following months of conceptualization and refinement under guidance of 3M mentors, the victorious team vied against undergraduates across ten countries in Asia-Pacific – Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Made up of Dhruva Guruprasad, Ishani Bhat, Harshitha Srikanth and Koti Anirudh, the Regional Champions walked away with a total of USD$7,000 in cash prizes and secured themselves internships at local 3M offices from the Country-Level Semi-Finals and Regional Finals. Citing the inspiration behind their innovation, winning team leader Dhruva Guruprasad said: “Our journey throughout this competition has been memorable. It was a refreshing experience to find sustainable alternatives to inorganic adhesives, an area that was initially very foreign to us”. He added “This entire journey has left us with a question, on how small changes can have cascading impacts on our environment. We would like to thank 3M for bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to reimagine sustainability and work toward a more sustainable future together.”


“I hope the participants have found the past four months both challenging and rewarding. While the 3M Inspire Challenge started out as a call for undergraduates to propose solutions that advance our business, we have achieved so much more than that,” reflected Jim Falteisek, Senior Vice President, 3M Asia Country Governance & Managing Director, 3M Korea. “These students show us how sustainable materials, innovating for the new paradigm, and strengthening equity can provide answers to some of the world’s greatest challenges and help create a more positive world.”


The Regional-Level Finals saw teams presenting their best ideas to a diverse panel of judges across three themes: (1) Sustainable Materials, (2) The New Paradigm (A Pandemic Aware World), and (3) Equity (Through Science and Technology).

Each having lengthy experience in their fields, including business, R&D, Human Resources, and marketing, the judges included:

  1. Jim Falteisek, Senior Vice President, 3M Asia Country Governance & Managing Director, 3M Korea
  2. Balbir Blassey, Corporate R&D Operations Director, 3M Asia
  3. Stella Huang, HR Operations Director, Human Resources, 3M Asia & Greater China Area
  4. Mabel Low, Director, TEBG Area Marketing Center, Asia
  5. Jalaja Menon,    TCOE Operations Leader, 3M India

The Regional Champions are Team BUMBLR:

  • Dhruva Guruprasad, 20, from PES University, Bangalore
  • Ishani Bhat, 20, PES University, Bangalore
  • Harshitha Srikanth, 20, PES University, Bangalore
  • Anirudh Koti, 20, PES University, Bangalore

Clinching the first runner-up position was Team Fighting Maroons from Philippines, who presented their solution to reimagine 3M surgical respirators by creating “Bamboost” – a biodegradable and breathable face mask. The team members are:

  • Joseph Matthew Paraiso, 22, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Rachel Vivien Roxas, 21, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Sophia Bernadette Lunor, 22, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Vivienne Viernes, 22, University of the Philippines Diliman

The second runner-up spot went to Team Karatape from Indonesia. With their solution in creating a fully biodegradable seaweed-based adhesive tape. The team members are:

  • Oliver, 21, Bandung Institute of Technology
  • Graciella Valeska Liander, 20, Bandung Institute of Technology
  • Richie Fane, 21, Bandung Institute of Technology