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The final round of Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS ‘21) was held at the NUST main campus on Thursday. FICS is NUST’s flagship programme for stimulating innovation and fostering a culture of social entrepreneurship. The event was held while strictly adhering to SOPs in the wake of COVID-19.
The overall winner of FICS ’21 was Team MRI Coils from NUST RIMMS that competed amongst as many as 257 teams that pitched project ideas during the three-stage competition. The project has developed one of the most promising image modalities to detect abnormalities in the human anatomy. The winning team was awarded a cash prize of PKR 100,000/-, sponsored by the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC). In addition, 3 Runners-up and 2 winners of Special Categories in SDGs were awarded a cash prize of PKR 50,000 and 25,000 respectively.
A total of 61 finalist teams of FICS ’21 demonstrated their prototypes of technology-based innovative solutions to a panel of 29 industry judges. The top teams have also been awarded a six-month free incubation space at TechOne – NUST’s Incubation Centre.
Apart from the Prototype Development Fund (PDF) sponsored by the NRTC, FICS is fortunate to have patronage from a diverse set of industries, which includes seed fund for promising projects. FICS ’21 sponsors and partners included NRTC, Central Asian Cellular Forum (CACF), Graana, SI Global Pvt. Ltd. iEngineering Pvt. Ltd. Arkhitech, and Alfoze Technologies Pvt Ltd.
President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Mr Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, commended the efforts of NUST for building trust between industry and university. Mr Sardar was extremely pleased with the quality of prototypes displayed at the Grand Finale. He assured NUST of his complete support and continued interaction in order to take this initiative to new heights.
Addressing the audience, the chief guest, Dr Rizwan Riaz, NUST Pro-Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialisation particularly urged S&T universities to play an instrumental role in bringing about improvements to the standard of lives of communities at large through technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. He said FICS is a perfect example of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, consisting of many critical components, working efficiently in unison to create the desired output. He complimented the winners and runners-up for pulling through the rigorous 3-stage competition and acknowledged the efforts of faculty supervisors and the management of NUST Schools and Colleges. He also made a special announcement that FICS 2022 will be an international level competition.

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