Cebu schools sweep top awards at Smart in­no­va­tion com­pe­ti­tion

Manila Bulletin - - Business Tech -

Two uni­ver­si­ties from Cebu bested schools from all over the Philip­pines, gar­ner­ing top hon­ors at the 14th Smart Wire­less Engi­neer­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram (SWEEP) In­no­va­tion and Ex­cel­lence Awards.

Ten stu­dent teams from Lu­zon, Visayas, and Min­danao pitched their pro­pos­als dur­ing the fi­nal judg­ing for the SWEEP Awards, a tech­nol­ogy com­pe­ti­tion that aims to pro­vide college stu­dents with the plat­form to cre­ate in­no­va­tive ap­pli­ca­tions that solve con­sumer pain points. The fi­nal­ists made their pitch be­fore a live au­di­ence, a first in the com­pe­ti­tion’s 14-year run.

Team Eryl of Uni­ver­sity of San Car­los won first place or the Huawei Prize for Ex­cel­lence, with cash, for their on­line tu­to­rial sys­tem. Eryl is a mo­bile plat­form that will en­able stu­dents to join on­line classes or or­ga­nize one. It will let them se­lect from a teacher pool and ne­go­ti­ate for a sched­ule and fee.

Tak­ing sec­ond place or the Eric­s­son Prize for In­no­va­tion, with P200,000 cash, was Team Spor­tify of Uni­ver­sity of San Jose Reco­le­tos. Their web and mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion will link sports en­thu­si­asts with each other so they can sched­ule games.

For their men­tal health­care app, Team Sal­var earned third place or the Wuhan Fiber­home Prize for Trans­for­ma­tion, with cash. Sal­var is an app that will al­low users to book ap­point­ments with men­tal health­care pro­fes­sion­als. Ther­apy ses­sions can also be done via video chat.

Schools of the top three teams will also re­ceive a dig­i­tal cam­pus pack­age from Smart Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and par­ent com­pany PLDT.

It was a close fight, said PLDTS­mart se­nior vice pres­i­dent for net­work plan­ning and engi­neer­ing Mar Ta­mayo, who was one of the judges dur­ing the fi­nal pitch. Eryl was cho­sen, he said, be­cause it tack­led an im­por­tant is­sue.

“Eryl deals with ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing, which is what SWEEP is about. But as I said, it’s dif­fi­cult to judge. The scores were tight, and the en­tries sub­mit­ted this year were of high qual­ity and had great po­ten­tial,” said Ta­mayo.

Cebu is a fer­tile ground for in­no­va­tion, ac­cord­ing to Eryl’s project lead Cris Lawrence Mil­i­tante. “The tech com­mu­nity there is con­tin­u­ously grow­ing,” he said. “All three win­ners are from Cebu. We have the tal­ent and we cul­ti­vate it by join­ing com­pe­ti­tions like SWEEP,” added Pa­trick Wil­bur Al­dueso, the team’s fac­ulty men­tor.

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