Jamshoro November 16, 2017: Pakistani students secured all prizes in each phase of AppIdea2R Contest held among ECO member countries Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan university students. The prize distribution ceremony organized at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, where President of ECO Science Foundation, Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro graced the occasion as Guest of Honour.

Pro Vice Chancellor of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Prof. Dr. Taha Hussain Ali; Dean Faculty of Electrical, Electronics, & Computer Engineering of MUET, Prof. Dr. B.S Chowdhry; CEO of Technology Times, Sayyed Paras Ali; President of Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA), Ms. Jahan Ara; and Project Manager of AppIdea2R Contest Dr. Ghazanfar Abbas along with the Guest of honour awarded the winners. A large number of students, and personalities from academia and industry witnessed the ceremony.

The AppIdea2R Contest aim to develop system applications that can be used in daily life to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). AppIdea2R is a two-phase contest targeting App Idea creators, and App Development skills teams.

Ali Gul from Balochistan University of IT and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) took lead and got first position in both AppIdea and AppDevelopment contest. His innovation ‘Smart Helmet for Coal Mines’ focussed the need of mining workers who usually stranded due to unavailability of warnings when working in mines.

The 1st Runner-Up of AppIdea Contest phase is Ahsan Ali from COMSATS University, Wah Cantt Campus for his application idea “Automobile Smoke Detection”, and 2nd Runner-Up is Halima Sadia Qureshi from Bahria University, Islamabad for her application idea “Psychological Self-Help”.

In AppDevelopment Contest phase, 1st Runner-Up is team ‘Decoders’ for its app “Finding Nearest Water Filter and Ensuring its Purity”, from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad lead by Areeba Kamil. And 2nd Runner-Up is team ‘Syntax Error’ for its app “Health Accident & Emergency Response”, from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi lead by Osama Abdul Rehman. MUET team “Alpha” lead by Hamza Ali received the consolation prize.

The AppIdea2R (Application Idea to Reality) Contest was jointly organized by ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), MUET, and Technology Times. The goal of this Contest is to provide an engaging and empowering learning experience to increase student interest and knowledge in SDGs.

In his opening remarks, Professor Dr. Taha Hussain Ali welcomed the participants and appreciated the concept and goal of Appidea2R. He said that it was an honor for MUET to hold this august ceremony at MUET and he thanked his team for conducting the ceremony under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bhawani.

Dr. Ghazanfar Abbas, Project Coordinator AppIdea2R Contest presented the procedure and practices of the Contest. He said that there were total 144 AppIdeas qualified for the contest from ECO member states. Out of these, 30 ideas were shortlisted for next phase of AppDevelopment and finally 10 teams submitted their apps, from all across the ECO region.

President, ECOSF, Prof. Dr. Manzoor H Soomro highlighted the importance of SDGs and the role of academia to achieve them. He said, “SDGs will set direction for social, economic, and environmental development for next 13 years. This is a unique opportunity to end poverty and ensuring the dignity and rights of all human beings”.

“Pakistan should focus more to function for achieving SDGs. Academia can play a critical role to support the government to accomplish its goals”, he further added.

Speaking at the ceremony, CEO, Technology Times, Sayed Paras Ali said, “SDGs are unique opportunity for student community to work together as technopreneur on 17 critical measures that exemplify the collective objectives all across the globe. Information Communication Technology (ICTs) has tremendous potential to accelerate progress towards reaching the SDGs”. He emphasized the students to step forward so that they can bring change in the society.

Ms. Jehan Ara while addressing the audience said that she is very impressed by the large number of young students who participated in the contest. She congratulated all the winners and urged them to spread their ideas and Apps in the wider range of society so that general public gets its benefits.

Prof. Dr. Bhawani in his concluding remarks stressed upon that students should be facilitated with the productive opportunities which can help them to fill the gap between academia and industry. He appreciated the efforts of all partners and particularly his team for being so responsible throughout the contest.

The next phase of the AppIdea2R Contest is the commercialization of developed apps, consequently, an ‘Idea’ will become ‘Reality’.