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Wanderlust | Entries from Mindanao universities vie for innovation awards

The University of Southeastern Philippines and University of Immaculate Conception of Davao City, and Ateneo De Zamboanga of Zamboanga City are among the top 20 schools in the country which entries will move on to the semi-final round of the annual SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards.

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Launched in 2004, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Awards is an annual competition that encourages innovation and excellence in wireless applications development among students of tertiary schools. Initiated by Smart Communications, the competition is an industry-academe linkage program with a network of 36 colleges and universities all over the country that offer ECE and IT courses.

Joining the aforementioned Mindanao universities are entries from Ateneo De Manila University, Bicol University-Polangui Campus, Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, De La Salle Lipa, Malayan Colleges Laguna, Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sto. Tomas Batangas, Technological University of the Philippines, University of the Cordilleras, Asian College, University, La Salle University-Ozamiz, and University of San Jose-Recoletos.

The aspiring student “technopreneurs” from various tertiary schools nationwide will soon get a chance to further develop their data analytics innovations. With a maximum of five members, team composition represents various disciplines of Engineering, IT, Business, and Marketing, as each entry requires a supporting business plan.

Representatives from Smart and its parent company PLDT, as well as partners from Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev), Eskwelabs, and Timefree Innovations evaluated over a hundred entries where data analytics is employed to help address real-life problems.

Teams behind the top 20 shortlisted innovations will be trained further before undergoing a validation that will trim down the selection to 10 grand finalists. Final judging and awarding of cash prizes amounting to over one million pesos will be held in May.

Now on its 16th run, this year’s competition carries the theme #DrivenByData: Data Analytics In Action. Considered as the “modern oil” of different industries, data analytics involves the collection and processing of data to aid decision-makers in creating businesses, minimizing costs, improving service and productivity, and boosting revenues. SWEEP has trained more than 36,000 students and teachers, with over 1,000 graduates directly hired by Smart.

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