Competition to stimulate and inspire innovation concludes at NUST
Share this story:
Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS) is flagship programme of NUST that encourages Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to devise technology based solutions focusing on social problems. In line with NUST’s mission to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, FICS envisions to become one of the vehicles for National Development by aligning it with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
FICS competition comprises 3 stages:
- In Stage 1, student teams submit project synopsis of their unique ideas with positive social impact. Subsequently, the ideas shortlisted in Stage 1 make it to the next stage.
- In Stage 2 the student teams present their ideas to a wider audience in the form of PowerPoint presentation. The judges at this stage include Industry Partners; they assess the impact and practicability of the project ideas, and ability to be commercialized.
- In the 3rd and final Stage of the competition, the teams shortlisted in Stage 2 present working prototypes of their solution (alternatively, students can display plant design, equipment design, product design or process design). The judges evaluate the prototypes on various parameters and select the best projects, which are given cash prizes (depending on the projects presented at Stage 3).
This year Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) along with FICS‘20 Student Organising Committee (OC) formally launched the FICS 2020 on Oct 21, 2019 with a renewed rigor. All NUST Schools and Colleges formally nominated their respective Lead Coordinators for FICS to augment their participation in the programme.
In Stage 1 (Online Idea Submission), FICS Programme received 231 innovative projects from 14 Schools, Colleges & Institutes of NUST in 15 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), out of 17, including; Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, Reduced Inequality, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life On Land, and Peace and Justice Strong Institutions.
FICS’20 Idea Generation Sessions
Idea Generation Sessions are held in connection with the NUSTs’ flagship programme; Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS). FICS is a multi-stage competition in which students submit their technology-based solutions to the problems faced by the society. These Ideas are submitted online via FICS website portal (fics.nust.edu.pk). For Stage 2, students prepare a video or a PowerPoint presentation to be presented to the Industry judges. In the 3rd and final leg of the competition, the students prepare a validated working prototype of their solution, winners are selected by the Industry; which evaluates the projects on the basis of carefully prepared Rubric/evaluation criteria.
Before culmination of Stage 1; CAC organises “Idea Generation Sessions” for prospective FICS participants. The objective of these interactive sessions is to invite top professionals from the Industry to give a motivational talk to the students; urge them to come forward and participate wholeheartedly; and also identify pertinent social issues where student can possibly devise some technical solution to address any particular problem(s). The solutions revolve around the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) which are also the guiding principles for FICS.
Following Idea Generation Sessions were conducted during 0ct- Dec 2019 timeframe:
146 project ideas were further qualified for FICS‘20 Stage 2 exclusive events held in each School & College during Feb-Mar 2020 timeframe. Out of 146, 105 teams presented their project ideas to a panel of 48 Industry & Alumni Judges. In total 53 project teams have been selected in 14 SDGs for the 3rd and final Stage of FICS 2020. It is also very pertinent to mention here that so far 36 IPs have been filed which is a huge landmark this year.
FICS 2020 Grand Finale /Closing Ceremony
Grand Finale & Prize Distribution Ceremony of Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS 2020), a platform to foster social entrepreneurship, was held at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) on Tuesday . In view of the situation caused by COVID-19 outbreak, extraordinary measures were taken to conduct the event. The overall winner of FICS ’20 was Team Cyber Guard from NUST Military College of Signals (MCS), which emerged victorious from amongst 231 project ideas pitched during the 3-stage competition. Cyber Guard monitors and protects the pilferage and exfiltration of sensitive organisation data, either at rest or at motion. The winning team was awarded a cash prize of PKR 100,000/-, sponsored by Army Welfare Trust (AWT). In addition, the first 3 Runners-up and winners of Special Categories in 3 SGDs were awarded a cash prize of PKR 20,000/-, each. Out of a total of 53, 31 finalist teams of FICS’20 demonstrated their prototypes of technology-based innovative solutions using online mode to 4 panels of judges at the Grand Finale. Winning teams have also been awarded 6-month free incubation space at TechOne – NUST’s Incubation Centre.
Apart from the Prototype Development Fund (PDF) sponsored by the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC), FICS is fortunate to have patronage for 7 SDG categories from a diverse set of industries. FICS ’20 sponsors and partners included NRTC, AWT, Reenergia, Arkhitech, Alfoze Technologies Pvt Ltd and Graana.