BPhil Student Innovation Challenge

BPhil Student Innovation Challenge

The perth usasia centre and the uwa bphil program - student innovation challenge

the conference

In collaboration with The University of Western Australia, the Perth USAsia Centre will host the 2017 In The Zone Conference – “The Blue Zone” on Monday, 2 October 2017 in Perth, Western Australia.

This event will feature speakers including the Honourable Julie Bishop, Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Han Sueng-soo, former President of the United Nations General Assembly (2001) and former South Korean Prime Minister (2008-2009) and Mr Chris Salisbury, Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto. 

Approximately 350 attendees will participate in the 1-day program which will include keynote speeches, short presentations, panel discussions and the student innovation challenge.

the challenge

The 2017 Blue Zone conference will explore the future of the Indo-Pacific maritime domain, focusing on maritime resources, environment and security. UWA BPhil students are invited to propose innovative ‘solutions to shared issues of concern in the Indo-Pacific’s Blue Zone’ via 2 minute presentations. Students should:
  • Choose any issue they deem relevant to the focus of the conference
  • Prepare a 2-minute presentation that describes an innovative solution to that problem
  • Use a single PowerPoint slide during their presentation that shows the challenge being addressed (only). No other visual aids can be used during the presentation.

the process

  • 31 July - entries open. Students should sign up to the challenge online (see below). The entry form asks for students' names, contact information, the 'shared issue of concern', and a summary (up to 60 words) of the proposed solution.
  • 8 September - entries close. 10 presentations will be shortlisted for presentation at the preliminary final.
  • 20 September - preliminary final will be held on the UWA campus and will be co-judged by the BPhil and Perth USAsia Centre staff. 3-5 finalises will be selected.
  • 2 October - finalists will pitch their solutions in front of the audience at the Blue Zone 2017 conference (a 30 minute slot starting at 3pm has been reserved for this). Finalists will be granted free access to the conference (waiving the $82.50 ticket price). The audience will vote for the best presentation and a prize awarded.


  • The student innovation challenge is open to students enrolled in the BPhil program.
  • The proposed solution should be innovative but within the realms of reality.
  • Students are welcome to work in groups of up to four students but only one individual can deliver the presentation.
  • Judges decision is final.
  • Prepare a 2-minute presentation that describes an innovative solution to that problem.