The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), represented by the ICT Fund, honored the seven best projects in the 2019 Seeds for the Future Competition during its participation in GITEX Technology Week 2019. The TRA has launched the 2019 Seeds for the Future in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Huawei and strategic partners: Dubai Investments in cooperation with Think Science.
Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, this initiative reflects the joint direction between the Ministry of Education and the TRA in developing national cadres and raising the spirit of competition and innovation among youth.
On this initiative, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi said: “At the Ministry of Education, we seek to activate partnerships with all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, which will have a positive impact on enhancing the skills of our human resources, making them more prepared for the future. This stems from our belief that science and skill enhancement are the perfect tools to tackle the global challenges and changes we see and that affect us locally. A key goal of ours is to achieve maximum alignment between the outputs of higher education and the requirements of the future labor market.”
H.E. Al Falasi added: “Seeds for the Future” is an innovative way to motivate students and hone their skills. Participants have demonstrated exemplary resolve and determination over the past months, where we have seen outstanding projects offering innovative solutions of which winners have every right to be proud. We at the Ministry of Education encourage all students to take part in such competitions offered by UAE organizations in cooperation with international companies, given the valuable opportunities they present to motivate minds and meet trainers with international expertise to benefit from throughout their scientific and practical careers. I would also like to thank the TRA, Huawei, Dubai Investments and Think Science for their efforts in coordinating and completing the competition to the honoring of winners today.
On his part, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Director General, said: 'Betting on the new generation of students is a worthy bet, as this generation has the knowledge, skills and technical know-hows to today’s tools. We at the TRA, in general, and the ICT, in particular, spare no effort to channel the energies and creativity of the youth to develop future solutions that benefit the community and serve as a catalyst for others to take the path of competition and innovation.”
For his part, Omar Al Mahmoud, Acting CEO, ICT Fund said: “Today, we concluded the third edition of Seeds for the Future, honoring seven teams who presented the best ideas and future projects that are in line with the seven themes of innovation in the UAE. The past few months were full of creativity, innovation and action, through which we sought to stimulate the infinite potential of our youth, and bring out their best ideas in driving UAE's digital transformation ambitions and entering the age of artificial intelligence. We are leveraging the significant advantages offered by our country to innovators, be it by providing the necessary research centers, or by providing huge amounts of open data that help researchers and innovators in developing their ideas to meet the needs of the UAE.
Li Shi, CEO of Huawei UAE, said: "The pace of digital transformation in the UAE is accelerating in all areas, and the good news is that this acceleration is in line with UAE government's keenness to provide more modern technologies and digital solutions to support the development of the UAE. However, the most important element that we all seek to take care of and requires a high degree of attention is the human element, which is the promising young generation who will be responsible for leading the transformation and shaping the future by making the most of digitization and modern technology. And here comes our role as a global leader in the ICT industry in support of UAE government's vision and plans in motivating the younger generation to take an interest in technology and instilling their innovative thinking through initiatives aimed at honing their skills and raising their competencies. One of such initiatives is Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Program that we hope will contribute in preparing future leaders who know how best to deal with technology and harness it in building a sustainable, knowledge-based economy, thereby furthering social and economic development, business efficiency and citizens' happiness.”
The third edition of Seeds for the Future saw the participation of 500 students from 18 universities, who submitted 150 innovative projects. There was a 60% participation by young women in the competition, while 90% were citizen students, compared to 10% of other nationalities.
The first place went to the Ablution (Wudu) Chair Project, this first of its kind seat comes equipped with many tools that help people of determination to easily perform ablution. The second place went to the Risk Sensing through Reactions Project, a smart system that measures vital signs of workers in the workplace and sends these signs to a smartphone application. In the third place was the ‘Tawasul’ Project, consisting of two electronic tools, one with the child and the other with one of the parents. This device helps parents to stay in touch with their children and know what they need. The honoring included backing winning projects with a total amount of AED 300,000, which will be allocated to support and develop these projects under the supervision of some of UAE’s key business incubators.
The projects were evaluated on seven global standards: content, applicability of the idea, innovative and creative dimension, quality, integration, idea's level of development, presentation and structure as well as overall experience. The evaluation was attended by a jury consisting of arbitrators from the TRA, Dubai Investments, Sheraa Entrepreneurship Center, Smart IOT, StartAD, Sandooq Al Watan, Dubai Consultancy and Huawei.
“Seeds for the Future” is an educational and training initiative that provides the right platform to university students to present their innovative ICT ideas and projects, and thus provides the opportunity to turn the ideas into effective products and tangible realities through the support of the program partners. “Seeds for the Future” challenges cover a variety of topics including science and innovation in transportation, education, e-security, smart cities, healthcare, infrastructure and space. The winning teams will have the opportunity to travel to China where Huawei's innovation center is located.