1. 3M Singapore
  2. The 3M Inspire Challenge
The 3M Inspire Challenge

The inaugural 3M Inspire Challenge 2021 has concluded. We look forward to your participation in The 3M Inspire Challenge 2022! Stay tuned for details.

Catch a glimpse of the participants’ journey during The 3M Inspire Challenge 2021.

From Apr 23 to Jun 21, 2021, The 3M Inspire Challenge was on the hunt for great ideas in Innovation, Sustainability, and Technology to create a more positive world and add value to 3M's  business and customers.

Through this challenge, 3M aspired to empower young leaders, thinkers, and creators to display their bold ideas and business acumen to reshape the industry.

Message From The Managing Director

  • Dear Students,

    At 3M, we are committed to driving a positive impact on lives around the world through the power of science and innovation.

    As we face ongoing threats posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, climate change, and more, innovative solutions are needed to solve today's challenges and elevate businesses.

    We believe the next generation of diverse talent can help answer these challenges. Thus, we are launching an undergraduate-level case challenge across Southeast Asia.

    My challenge to you is this: How can we leverage Innovation, Sustainability, and Technology to create a more positive world and add value to our business and customers?

    Join us in The 3M Inspire Challenge and I'm confident you’ll will gain a richer appreciation for innovation.

    Best regards,

    Mr Kevin McGuigan, Managing Director, 3M South East Asia Region and Country Leader, Singapore

About The 3M Inspire Challenge 2021

From Apr 23 to Jun 21, 2021, The 3M Inspire Challenge was on the hunt for great ideas in Innovation, Sustainability, and Technology to create a more positive world and add value to 3M’s business and customers.

The challenge welcomed entries from students from all courses of study in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The 3M Inspire Challenge took place across two stages. The first stage, known as the Country-Level Semi-Finals, saw students faceoff against their local peers in a live judging panel on August 24, 2021. The winners of this stage were crowned the title of “Country Champion”, awarded a cash prize of US$1,000, and internships at local 3M offices.

Each Country Champion then proceeded to the second stage, known as the Regional Level Finals, where teams competed against all the Country Champions. The winning team was crowned “Regional Champions” and walked away with a US$2,000 cash prize.

Throughout the challenge, participants enjoyed access to 3M mentors from diverse backgrounds who sharpened their ideas in preparation for Country-Level Semi-Finals and Regional-Level Finals.

About The Themes
  • Technology

    Technology: Embracing the wave of digitization

  • Sustainability

    Sustainability: How can 3M reach its 2025 sustainability goals and drive a positive impact on our planet?

  • Innovation

    Innovation: Optimizing business models to thrive post-COVID


The Country Champion and Regional Champion have won up to US$1,000 and US$2,000 cash prizes respectively, and scored internship opportunities at local 3M offices.

Regional Champion



Team name: Too Good Duo

University: National University of Malaysia

Team members: Mohd Fahad Saleem and Nur Liyana Syasya Mohd Zamuri

Worth nearly USD$3.9 billion by 2025, the Asia Pacific bandages market is among the fastest growing in the world. To drive sustainability, the duo aims to modify the Nexcare™ Waterproof Bandages utilizing green nano composite to enhance and monitor wound healing.


First Runner-Up



Team name: Team CHARMMM

University: RMIT University Vietnam

Team members: Phan Le Minh An, Tran Kim Huong, Rahul Sharma and Vuong Anh Chien

With the disruption of COVID-19, businesses must pivot to thrive.

Team CHARMMM’s  3M 360° Virtual Store idea will give customers a fully immersive experience, complete with interactive 3D products, virtual tours, and science and community activities to engage customers.

Second Runner-Up


Team name: Team Kancil

University: Institut Teknologi Bandung

Team members: Muhammad Rahmadito, Gabriele Maruli Tondi, Ramadhana Bhanuharya Krishnamurti and Safira Dastalenta

To help reduce waste from billions of single-use masks disposed everyday, Team Kancil wants to create masks with “a sustainability spirit”.

Instead of regular plastic, these masks use PHB, a bio compatible and biodegradable material. About 80% less CO2 is also emitted during the production process.


Other Finalist Teams



Team name: 3MPHANT

University: University of the Philippines - Diliman

Team members: P Mariz Gebrielle M. Domingo, Lila Iysobelle E. Lu, Caleb Joshua R. Abrazaldo and Joseph Matthew N. Paraiso

Non-toxic biodegradable plastic from water hyacinth – this was 3MPHANT’s answer to tackle the overwhelming plastic pollution in oceans.

While ideally recycled, it will not harm marine life even if these plastic material ends up in water bodies.




Team name: Team TITAN

University: Singapore Management University

Team members: Lim Qian Ying, Mok Zi Yang and Gan Hui Xuen

Did you know a kilogram of algae can reduce CO2 emissions by two kilograms each year?

The trio thus wants to grow algae on 3M sites to help capture carbon. The algae can also be used as raw material for biodegradable plastic.




Team name: Les Grands Chats team

University: Chulalongkorn University

Team members: Panwad Korkirdtaweechai, Peeranat Chaisiriroj, Yanisa Mattayasuwan and Patcharisa Klinpaka

The COVID-19 pandemic has made consumers more health-conscious than ever.

To “bring wellness to all homes”, the team proposes a 3M COVID-19 cleaning kit refill stations and service. Consumers can order their products online, reducing cost time, and packaging needed.


1. What is a case competition?

A case competition challenges participants to examine real-life business problems and present solutions and ideas. All teams will be given the same case based on their selected theme.

Participating teams’ solutions should answer the case. If selected, they will present their solutions to a live panel of judges, who will judge the solutions based on aspects such as originality, creativity, replicability, etc.

2. Who is eligible to participate in this challenge?

  • The challenge is eligible to all undergraduate students from all courses of study in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam
  • All teams must comprise 2 - 4 individuals and must have at least one male and one female
  • All participants must agree to a list of terms and conditions and acknowledge a release form at the point of submission.

3. Why should I participate in The 3M Inspire Challenge?

Participants can gain a multitude of benefits from joining The 3M Inspire Challenge, including:

  • Experience: This challenge provides a hands-on, realistic simulation of today's problems. Your team will be given opportunities to analyze and make strategic recommendations on real-life strategic issues just like a real business professional. This challenge will serve as an avenue for ambitious youths to showcase their brilliant ideas.
  • Application of Skills: Get the opportunity to apply the skills you have learned in the classroom to real-world experiences.
  • Networking: There are many opportunities to meet and interact with various representatives from 3M.
  • Confidence and Resume Booster: Winning a case competition increases your confidence in your own skills, which can help you present yourself better in an interview. You will also be able to present the case competition as an impressive experience on your resume and as a talking point in interviews.
  • Prizes: The Country Champion and Regional Champion stand to win up to US$1,000 and US$2,000 cash prizes respectively, and score internship opportunities at 3M.

4. How do I register for this challenge?

Registration has closed on 7 June 2021.

5. What is the submission requirement?

Submission has ended on 21 June 2021.

6. Are submissions in non-English allowed?

Submissions must be made in English. However, no points will be deducted for errors in English language use as long as the explanation is understandable.

7. Are presentations needed? When?

No presentation is required for the first wave of submissions. Presentations are only required for the Country-Level Semi-Finals and the Regional-Level Finals.

8. What is the timeline of the challenge?

Date Activity
23 April 2021 • Registration opens for The 3M Inspire Challenge
22 May 2021
7 June 2021
• Challenge theme cases releases and submissions open at 0000 hours on 22 May 2021 (Singapore time)
• Registrations close at 2359 hours (Singapore time)
21 June 2021 • Submissions close at 2359 hours (Singapore time)
By 20 July 2021 • Shortlisted teams are notified to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals
By 13 August 2021 • 3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams (with in-country representatives)
24 August 2021 • Round 1 Country-Level Semi-Finals presentation Challenge
• Country Champions announcement
By 15 September 2021 • 3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams (with in-country leaders)
21 September 2021 • Round 2 Regional-Level Presentation Challenge
• Regional Champion and runners-up announcement

9. Where will the challenge take place?

The challenge will take place online. Further details will be provided soon.

10. What are the prizes?

The Country Champion Team will win US$1,000 in cash prizes and score internship opportunities at 3M. The final winning team, the Regional Champion, will win US$2,000 in cash prizes. 

11. What are the judges looking for?

The judges are looking for the following criteria:

  • Innovation, Creativity, and Originality
  • Replicability and future-proofed
  • Sustainability
  • Content

During the presentation, the judging panel will also score teams based on:

  • Verbal Delivery
  • Visual Delivery
  • Time
  • Q&A

12. Is there any fee to enter the competition?

The challenge is free of charge.

13. Can I enter as an individual if I do not have a team?

Unfortunately, individuals are not allowed to participate. Participants must join as a team of 2 - 4 individuals and have at least one male and one female.

14. Do all team members have to be from the same school?

Participants can be from different schools as long as they are based in the same country.

15. Will I be required to miss class?

Most case competitions happen during the school terms. Therefore, there is a chance that you may miss class. The case competition does not provide students with a legitimate excuse to be absent from class. Students should communicate with and make arrangements with their faculties and course coordinators.

16. Can this challenge help me get an internship or job at 3M?

The Country Champion and Regional Champion stand to win up to US$1,000 and US$2,000 cash prizes respectively, and score internship opportunities at 3M.

17. Will I get paid for the internship?

Internship allowance will be provided for internship opportunities at 3M for the Country Champion and Regional Champion. 

18. What kind of the internship at 3M will I be participating in?

The Country Champion will be awarded internships at local 3M offices. The internships are currently being scoped and more details will be provided soon.

19. I have recently graduated. Can I participate?

No, this challenge is only open to students who are currently pursuing undergraduate degrees.

20. I am under 18 years old. Can I participate?

Yes, as long as you are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree, you are eligible to participate.

21. If a team member withdraws during the competition, will the team be allowed to continue with the competition?

Yes, the team will still be allowed to proceed with the competition as long as there is at least one male and one female in the team.

22. Who can I contact for further questions on the challenge?

For further questions on the challenge, please drop us an email at (insert based on below).

Country Email
Singapore 3minspirechallenge_singapore@mmm.com
Malaysia 3minspirechallenge_malaysia@mmm.com
Vietnam 3minspirechallenge_vietnam@mmm.com
Thailand 3minspirechallenge_thailand@mmm.com
Indonesia 3minspirechallenge_indonesia@mmm.com
Philippines 3minspirechallenge_philippines@mmm.com

23. How many teams will be shortlisted for the Country-Level Semi-Finals?

Three teams from each country will be shortlisted to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals.

24. How many teams will be in the Regional-Level Finals?

Six teams of Country Champions (one representing each of the countries) will compete in the Regional-Level Finals.