International Space Apps Challenge 2015 concluded
YoungInnovations couldn’t be more excited with the way International Space Apps Challenge 2015 was organized in partnership with ICIMOD under the framework of SERVIR Himalaya and in collaboration with Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) Nepal. The global event was given the grand treatment it deserved. In Kathmandu, International Space Apps Challenge 2015 was celebrated on April 11-12, 2015 at The Royal Event Pvt. Ltd, Tinkune, Kathmandu. The event was supported by Women Leaders in Technology (WLIT), Karkhana, CSIT Association of Nepal (CSITAN), Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) and GAMES Studios.
International Space Apps Challenge is a mass collaboration organized for fourth time worldwide. It has 48 hours of space exploration that takes place across multiple cities around the world. This year, it was celebrated in more than 133 cities with four themes namely, Earth, Outer Space, Humans and Robotics and 25 challenges under these themes.
Guests included experts from ICIMOD and AEPC Nepal who talked about space exploration and technology and about technological advancement as a key to solving local problems in Nepal.
Dr. Eklabya Sharma, Director Programme Operations ICIMOD talked about our journey from inventions and discoveries to innovation and today’s role of innovation in helping people. Similarly, Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) Nepal considered this event to be integral in bringing forward technologies and emphasized the need of modern approach of service delivery using innovations such as the ones presented in the event for proper service delivery. Mr. Basanta Shrestha, Director Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD talked about the significance of technology in our lives from climate change to meteorological understanding and encouraged solution based technology that impacts lives. Mr. Birendra Bajracharya, Regional Programme Manager of ICIMOD talked about the significance of space exploration especially in solving problems of mankind. Representing AEPC Nepal, Mr. Prakash Aryal discussed the role of innovation in addressing local issues countries like Nepal. Finally, Mr. Bibhusan Bista, CEO of YoungInnovations looked at the event from the participants’ perspective and considered it to be a platform to showcase their abilities and be a part of global community.
There were 63 participants working on 25 challenges that were global along with other local challenges that addressed issues currently faced by international agency and government. A total of 11 female participants, a leap from last year’s 1 participant, actively worked on the challenges rightly supporting this year’s focus of promoting Women in Data through International Space Apps Challenge 2015. There were a total of 14 teams, 11 working on global challenges while 3 focusing on local ones.
The winner of the competition Smart Energy Meter developed an Arduino based energy monitoring device that uses current sensor to read analog data which can be then converted into digital value. The winner was awarded NRs. 30, 000. Team Clean Water Mapping was the first runner-up that uses application to locate unidentified water sources through crowdsourcing. The team received NRS 20,000 and nomination for global judging. Second runner up was Team Tracking & Sensing through Android Robotics for the global challenge “Sensor Yourself”. Their Android robotics tracks nearby objects using on-board sensors present in an Android Smartphone. The team placed third place was awarded NRs 10, 000 and also nomination for global judging. Team Astroact, the most popular of the projects, was nominated for the International People’s Choice Award.
The event met and even exceeded expectations this year for two important reasons - first, it put forward ideas on space explorations, betterment of earth and humans and technological advancement from young participants who learnt, shared and enthusiastically contributed their ideas being a part of this global event. Secondly, it managed to celebrate Women in Data, NASA’s focus this year for International Space Apps Challenge, by inviting more female participants than last year. All in all, YoungInnovations through International Space Apps Challenge this year enthusiastically celebrated young minds and technology to work towards better earth and space!