Grand Finale and Closing and Prize Distribution Ceremony of Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS’17), a platform to foster social entrepreneurship, was held at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) on Thursday, 25th May 2017.
FICS goes back to 2013, when it started in the NUST School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (SEECS). From there, it has come a long way to where it stands today, an intra NUST program spread over 6 campuses and 18 constituent Schools, Colleges and Institutes. A three stage program, FICS is very closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the projects submitted are categorized according to the domains of the SDGs. This year, 205 ideas were submitted from 13 NUST Schools and Colleges. 138 project ideas were shortlisted for the FICS’17 Stage 2 Event which was held on the 18th of April 2017. In total 52 teams, who had previously passed the two stages of this exciting competition, were selected for the 3rd and final Stage of FICS’17. Each team demonstrated the prototype of their technology-based innovative solution to a panel of 33 judges.
Addressing the audience of students, NUST faculty and management, Industry judges and Industry guests, Rector NUST, Lt. Gen. Naweed Zaman HI(M) (Retd), welcomed all the Guests and Judges from the Industry and recognized the efforts of talented and brilliant students who came forth with pioneering and inventive ideas, worked diligently for many months and throughout the course of this Competition to get to this Stage. He congratulated the finalists of FICS’17 for qualifying for the 3rd Stage and wished them the best of luck for future endeavors. He also appreciated the efforts of faculty supervisors and School Management for their continuous guidance and supervision; NUST Alumni for their commitment with which they have mentored and groomed the students; and the respected Industry partners who have been associated with and supported FICS in the form of mentors, judges, and patrons.
FICS has been fortunate to get patronage from many different groups of people, be it Industry, Government, or Academia. FICS’17 Sponsors and Partners, including Interactive Group, Crescent Steel & Allied Products Ltd., OPEN (Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs), Sybrid Pvt. Ltd., Alfoze Technologies, Arkhitech, The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), National Radio & Telecom Corporation (NRTC), and i-Intellect, also graced the occasion. We are grateful for their help and support without which FICS would definitely not have grown to its present stature.
This year, FICS announced a new special prize for the Best Project in Biotechnology. This prize was sponsored by Sybrid Pvt Ltd. Nano Medicine from the Good Health & Well-being category, representing Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), won the prize.
Henna Printer from the Lifestyle & Convenience category won the 2nd runner-up prize of Rs. 75,000/-, co-sponsored by Alfoze Technologies, Architeck and i-Intellect. The team was representing College of Electrical & Mechanical Engg. (CEME), Rawalpindi.
The 1st runner-up prize of Rs. 100,000/- was sponsored by NRTC, and was won by Wi-Vis from Pakistan Navy Engg. College (PNEC), Karachi.
The winner of FICS’17 was Avatum (part of Good Health & Well-being category) from School of Eletrical Engg. & Computer Science (SEECS), who emerged victorious amongst the 205 teams competing since the start of FICS’17. The 1st prize of Rs. 150,000/- was sponsored by NRTC.
Another new category of prize was added this year – the award for the Best Aspiring Start-up of FICS, sponsored by Crescent Steel & Allied Products Ltd. (CSAPL) TAME, a team of NUST students from SEECS, who designed a smart wearable for Tremor Acquisition & Minimization, were the winners of this special category. TAME has already done NUST and Pakistan extremely proud – they were the winners of FICS 2016, and their most recent achievement was something that made headlines all over Pakistan and internationally. They won the Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge held in California in March this year, beating teams from the best Colleges around the world, including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Cornell, Virginia Tech, and University of Waterloo.
Mr. Monis Rahman, Founder & CEO Rozee.pk; Chairman, CEO & Founder Naseeb Networks, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He extended his blessings to the participating teams of FICS’17. He appreciated the effort put in by the students, their faculty supervisors and their management, and emphasized on the role of Science & Technology Universities in improving the lives of communities through technological intervention. He mentioned FICS is a perfect example of the entrepreneurial ecosystem which is the combination of many critical components, working quite effectively and efficiently in unison to create the desired output. At this stage, FICS has come forward as a viable platform for deployment and commercialization of students’ technology-based ideas. He also protracted his compliments to the finalists of FICS’17 and wished them the best of luck for future endeavors.
This year FICS also joined hands with “The Falling Walls Lab” which is a challenging, inspiring and interdisciplinary format for outstanding talent that offers the opportunity to present innovative ideas, research projects and social initiatives at an international forum. Falling Walls Labs is held globally throughout the year. Winners of each of the International Falling Walls Lab qualify for the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin, which is held every year on 8th November and is closely connected to the annual and internationally renowned Falling Walls Conference, to be held on 9th November. At the Conference 20 world-class scientists from across the globe present their current breakthrough research answering the question: “Which are the next walls to fall?”
Soon after the closing and prize distribution ceremony of FICS’17, The Falling Walls Lab Islamabad was also held at NUST Main Campus Islamabad. Top 10 projects shortlisted at FICS’17 Stage 3 / Grand Finale were evaluated by a panel of 8 members of the interdisciplinary jury at the Falling Walls Lab Islamabad. Rushda Bashir from the team Avatum was the lucky participant who qualified for the Falling Walls Lab Finale and will be going directly to Berlin, Germany on 8th & 9th Nov 2017. Interactive Group and I-intellect co-sponsored the prize.