Young innovators showcased digital solutions to help their communities adapt to the new normal during the inaugural Demo Day of Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation. A total of 13 teams from the country’s leading colleges and universities presented their innovations before their peers and mentors at the virtual Demo Day to cap off their Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation journey.
Smart received 49 entries from 22 partner colleges and universities under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP). Of this number, 16 proposals impressed judges and were signed up for the pilot run of the Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation. Nine teams who have completed and submitted the requirements on time received the full ₱100,000 grant. While the rest of the innovators also received between ₱60,000 and ₱95,000 in financial backing for their efforts.
“Smart has been guiding our youth innovators throughout this journey with capacity-building activities. They labored hard in the middle of the pandemic so that they can further grow their solutions into workable tools that can fix problems in their areas,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer.
The first Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation was launched back in August 2020 coinciding with the celebration of the International Youth Day. The initiative aims to harness the creativity and passion of the youth to give back to the nation. The small grants program challenges the current generation to develop technology-enabled, simple solutions to enable their communities to adapt to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Year 2020 was a remarkable year as we saw the youth from our SWEEP-partner schools heed the call to help communities through innovation pitches via the introduction of Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation. We aim to break the barrier or gap brought about by the pandemic by tapping the youth of this generation to offer simple solutions that can create giga impact to communities,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
Over the course of five months, Smart hosted 7 lectures and arranged more than 70 one-on-one virtual mentorship sessions to help teams develop their spark of an idea into workable solutions. Smart was joined by 19 industry experts who served as lecturers and mentors sharing valuable real-world information during these capacity-building activities.
Four teams developed solutions to safeguard the public’s health. Mariano Marcos State University designed a remote switch system that automatically turns on UV lights for disinfection purposes.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines built ‘Project AEGIS (Allied Equipment for Guaranteed Increased Security)’, an all-in-one terminal that houses an infrared thermometer and automated disinfection machine that can be placed at entry points.
Students from the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos came up with a contactless temperature monitoring system for Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs). The device sends temperature readings directly to assigned health workers without the need for physical interaction.
Innovators from the University of Baguio assembled a remotely controlled, low-cost sanitizing mobile robot (MOBOT) that uses UV light to disinfect an area.
Several teams also came up with solutions that help fellow students adapt to distance learning. Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s ‘Gratuity’ is a centralized donation website that bridges the gap between donors and beneficiaries.
Batangas State University’s ‘JUAN LOAD-i’ online donation platform provides a convenient and transparent way of helping out fellow “Juans” in need of cash, connectivity, and devices for the new normal in education.
University of Cebu – Main Campus set up ‘Brgy4All’, a hyperlocal mobile application that helps local communities distribute aid to residents with the use of QR codes.
Two teams also developed solutions that will help students gain access to modules and their schools’ learning tools remotely.
Ateneo de Manila University created a file-sharing platform that allows students and teachers to gain access to online learning materials without the need for an internet connection.
Xavier University provided access to software that their fellow engineering students need to develop codes and programs for their laboratory classes.
Teams also crafted solutions that aid businesses and underserved sectors of the community adjust to the new normal.
Bulacan State University’s offering called ‘MoM’ (Mother’s Milk) is a mobile application that provides breastfeeding information for mothers. It also connects breastmilk donors to nearby breastmilk storage facilities.
De La Salle-Lipa’s ‘i-Contact’ app uses facial recognition and QR codes for contact tracing. The system enables customers to register and validate their identities as they enter business establishments.
Mapua University developed a mobile application that automatically counts the number of people entering an establishment against the allowed capacity.
Meanwhile, the University of Southeastern Philippines came up with a low-cost, compact air sterilizer that uses UV light to clean the air.
The other three teams who also developed their solutions under the initiative are Siena College of Taytay with their Gas Analyzer: Microchip Sensor Device Analyzing Data through SMS Alert & Smart Application, Angeles University Foundation with their QR Code database system with Mobile App for Contact Tracing – converts user information into QR codes that can be read by scanners at implementing sites, and St. Mary’s University’s booth that does automated health checks called ‘Sma@rt.Dr’ (Self-monitoring and Reading Temperature with Disinfection and Recording).
Smart Prepaid Innovation Generation is part of Smart’s initiatives that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) #4 on Quality Education. Digital literacy and education continue to be a flagship CSR program of Smart and its parent firm, PLDT, Inc.