Team Handi’Educ from Senegal has emerged a semi-finalist in the Ericsson Innovation Awards representing sub-Saharan Africa. The innovative team, comprising three engineering students, developed an educative web/mobile application to support handicapped children in a learning environment.
HANDI’EDUC is an educative web/mobile application for handicapped children. The application addresses challenges faced by children who have vision, speech, hearing and mobility disabilities. Some of the features of the innovation include converting text to audio for the visually impaired and converting speech by educators to text for learners who may be hearing and speech impaired.
It will be developed in a multi-platform environment and it will run on all devices. According to the type of handicap it will offer different functionalities to support the handicapped.
Fatou Diop, Team Lead, Handi’Educ says: “We are thankful that we made it to the semi-finals of this competition. Our team is committed to helping children from all over the world, irrespective of economic background, gain access to quality education and we appreciate the platform to achieve this”.
Started in 2009, the competition began as the Ericsson Application Awards, a research and development initiative to spark app development and boost innovation.
In 2015, the competition’s name was changed to the Ericsson Innovation Awards, and the scope was broadened to target university talent globally. It has moved from being a competition based on app development to one focusing on innovation.
Tumi Sekhukhune, Vice President and Head of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Ericsson, says: “The Ericsson Innovation Awards creates a platform for inspired undergraduates with a vision of the future to share their insights. This year, several exciting ideas were received on the future of learning from sub-Saharan Africa and around the world. We are proud that one of the ideas that emerged from our region is in the running to showcase their ideas to a global audience.”
With education playing a key part in the move toward Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society – where everything that can be connected will be connected – the 2015 theme is The Future of Learning.
The competition has been open to students from any academic institution, and in 2015, 270 teams from 43 countries have entered.
The finalists will be announced on March 16.
The finalists will then gather at Ericsson’s headquarters in Sweden, where the winners will be revealed on April 15.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
Each team was required to provide a product description document, a business case and a description of why their idea should be chosen, along with contact information.
Ten semifinalists have been chosen by a mix of an Ericsson jury and an open voting process. The Ericsson jury will now whittle down this group to the four teams that will make it to the finals.
A specially composed finalist jury will then decide who gets first, second and third place.
The prizes are EUR 25,000 for first place, EUR 10,000 for second place and EUR 5,000 for third. All 10 semifinalists will be invited to an interview with Ericsson, with the possibility of landing either a job or an internship with the competition after their studies.
The evaluation criteria for 2015 are:
• CSR positive impact – Technology For Good
• Global versus local (multimarket potential)
• Value argumentation – potential revenue or cost reduction
• Can the idea be easily developed?
• User benefit – can the idea be easily deployed?
• Innovative solution.
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