Technology Times (TT) along with its partners ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET), conceptualized Application Idea to Reality – AppIdea2R Contest
aiming to develop software applications related to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) announced by United Nations to prepare a long-term approach to address global challenges in ECO region (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).
AppIdea2R Contest had two phases. The first phase consisted of App Idea Contest (AppIdea Con); in this phase participants (in their individual capacity) aged between 16 to 32 years, having enrollment in any educational institute of ECO region were able to share their ideas on SDGs. Online registration was done by students across the ECO Member countries according to the objectives of the Contest i.e. from 17 SDGs. In the second phase of App Development Contest (AppDev Con) teams were asked to develop the apps on the shortlisted ideas from the AppIdea Con phase, selected by judges. In the second phase students (teams consist of 3-5 members), were registered online for AppDev Con and developed the app on selected ideas online under a pre-defined system.
The Award Distribution Ceremony held at MUET on 16th November, 2017 with a large number of students’ gathering and with all the winners present.
Commercialization stage of the contest started after the Prize Distribution Ceremony. Two applications were selected for commercialization stage: one is “Smart Helmet for Coal Mines”; the other is “Finding nearest water filter and ensuring its purity”. The winning first app is ready for mass production, whereas second app is in development stage.
AppIdea2R Contest aimed to develop software applications related to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The app(s) submitted to the Contest addressed at least one of the 17 SDGs either for awareness creation or to contribute to progress towards meeting the SDGs. Submissions were any kind of software application, be it for the web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, SMS, or any software platform broadly available to the public.
The AppIdea2R Contest was designed for university students of ECO region which include: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
AppIdea2R Contest was a two-stage (Educational & Commercialization) and two-phase (App Idea and App Development) contest.
Education stage was first stage of the contest that started on 4th January, 2016 and lasts throughout the contest. Educational stage consisted from several learning activities on social concerns related to SDGs, system application development, workshops and lectures. Across the ECO region, the AppIdea2R Ambassadors helped students to develop ideas and apps or raise awareness of SDGs and hold technical workshops / lectures / seminars in their universities.
The AppIdea2R Contest revolved around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in SDGs which are a universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN members using to frame their policies over the 15 years (2016-2030) with a deadline for attainment of its vision 2030. The idea of circulating and popularizing the SDGs is to involve and mobilize youth to get governments, aid organizations, foundations and NGOs on the same page about what global problems most urgently need to be solved and how to measure progress and solutions.
The Stage-I of the contest was called as the “Educational Stage”. It consisted on several workshops/seminars/lectures on social concerns related to sustainable development goals – problem identification; and system application development. In this phase, the Technology Times helped students to organize workshops and lectures in various universities within the ECO region either by holding on-spot seminars or on-line lectures. The cooperation extended by the UN Agencies, professional bodies, student societies around ECO region. The host institutions and universities welcomed holding such series of introductory and educational workshop/seminars/lectures on AppIdea2R at their premises.
The overview of the activities is as following:
Sectoral Organizations Involved
The sectoral organization were divided in two categories; Regional and Pakistan. The details of sectoral organization involved in above mentioned activities are as following:
Award & Appreciation
Awards for Phase-1
• Winner: US$500 Cash Award and Champion Trophy
• First runner up: US$300 Cash Award and 1st runner up Trophy
• Second runner up: US$200 Cash Award and 2nd runner up Trophy
Awards for Phase-II
• Winner: US$1,000 Cash Award and Champion Trophy
• First runner up: US$500 Award and 1st runner up Trophy
• Second runner up: US$250 Cash Award and 2nd runner up Trophy
Progress report of the AppIdea2R Contest
Phase-I: AppIdea Con
The AppIdea2R Contest was an opportunity for university students of ECO region to win prizes as well as become part of an international team to solve the social problems indicated in the 17 SDGs announced by United Nations. This activity helped Pakistan to connect youth in ECO region with
particular reference to academic and cultural exchange. The Contest was widely advertised in all ECO Member States, 172 ideas were submitted until the deadline on 25th May, 2017. All entries were scrutinized internally to see the relevance and in the process 144 entries were considered eligible to move to “Judgment Stage”. Six panels of Judges were established, each consisting of five Judges (one from every sector mentioned above. Total 30) and a batch of 24 ideas was circulated to each panel for evaluation. This judgment process of Phase-I was based on the following criteria:
Criteria – (Phase-I: AppIdea Con)
SDGs wise entries breakup:
Phase-II: AppDev Con
Phase-II of the contest was called as “AppDev Con”. In this phase 32 shortlisted Ideas were selected for the teams to develop apps. The team registration task was assigned to ECO Science Foundation. Registration process for AppDev Teams started from July 7th 2017. The 38 teams registered their interest to develop apps during Phase-II. Teams were requested to submit their app based on the successful ideas. 10 apps were received until the close of submission 10th September, 2017. The
result of the Phase-II was displayed on AppIdea2R webpage on 2nd October, 2017.
Two panels of Judges were established, each consisting of five Judges (2 judges from professional bodies, and 1 each from academia, development, and government sector. Total 10), and 2 apps (randomly selected) were circulated to each panel for evaluation.
Judges were asked to evaluate the apps on criteria indicated below:
Criteria – (Phase-II: AppDev Con)
After the prize distribution ceremony, with thorough consultation with technopreneurs, industry leaders, development sector experts, and faculty members two applications were selected for commercialization stage. The first-one is “Smart Helmet for Coal Mines”; the other-one is “Finding
nearest water filter and ensuring its purity”.
The winning app is ready for mass production, whereas other app is in development stage. After completion these will be handed over to ECO Science Foundation for commercialization.
AppIdea2R was a successful Contest and during its short span of life it was able to engage the younger generation which became part of that society that helped for awareness and involved in popularizing the SDGs to a wider range of population in the ECO region. The youths were encouraged to improve their technical skills and confidence to develop apps and contribute in sustainable development of various segment of our society. While doing so, the AppIdea and AppDev teams along with a large
number of workshops/seminars/lectures participants got themselves directly engaged in the SDGs and this ultimately helped to address the Goal No 17 of SDGs itself, and contributed in achieving the targets
set by the UN in its vision 2030. The contest also enhanced inter-university coordination among ECO Member states universities through several workshops/seminars/lectures, and social events which were organized under the AppIdea2R Contest.
Glimpses of activities
Photos from the Award-Winning Ceremony
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)