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25 June 2014

Water Innovation Challenge pioneers new format of skills competitions

As our pilot Water Innovation Challenge was successfully held earlier this month in Singapore, the WorldSkills Foundation is now in the process of evaluating the event and planning for new and improved editions, building on the keen interest of industry partners and sponsors involved in delivering this first showcase.

This event was designed specifically to help WorldSkills representatives experiment with new approaches for running skills competitions, with the primary goal to be innovative and stretch the barriers. Further to this, the resulting design work produced has a very real and very valuable end ‘customer’: the Healthabitat Sanitation Studio programmes in Nepal and Bangladesh.

It was an intense competition between participating teams from Australia (supported by RMIT University) and USA (supported by IAPMO, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, and a number of other US Plumbing industry bodies). Both teams were formed from a range of skillsets including Plumbing, Engineering and Graphic Design, with several participants having previous experience in National Skills and WorldSkills Competitions. Read more about the backgrounds of Team Australia participants here: and Team USA participants here:

After weeks of preparation at home, three intense days of competition in the Singapore heat, and a final round of in-depth project presentations to assessors and other industry observers, it was Team USA who eventually came out on top. We wish to congratulate everyone involved with both Team Australia and Team USA for their pioneering work. The next step will be to oversee the development of their design work for actual implementation in the focus Sanitation Studio communities.