The winners of the third edition of the Upgrade Programme Competition in Muscat, Oman, were announced on September 3rd. Out of the vast pool of 125 contenders, 3 teams came out as successful with their graduation projects and secured prizes of OMR 12,000 each.
The Upgrade Programme Competition is an initiative taken by The Research Council (TRC Oman) in an effort to lead promising undergraduate projects into becoming startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that will eventually benefit the country. According to Ali Al Shidhani of TRC, “With most top-level companies in the world operating in the ICT industry, Oman needs to step up its ICT development and this programme will do exactly that”.
A total of 125 graduation projects from 17 academic institution competed this year. The number of participants was much higher this time around as compared to previous editions. The three winners were:
- ‘Renewable Energy Management System for a Smart City’ by a team from SQU.
- ‘Development of E-Voting System Based on Blockchain Technology’ by the Middle East College.
- ‘Internet of Things Water Quality Monitoring and Notification System for Red Tide’, also from Middle East College.
The competition not only supports the graduation projects of students but also provides winning teams the opportunity to transform into a successful start-up. In addition to the cash prize of 12,000 OMR, each winning team is also provided with comprehensive incubation, research and development programs and relevant training.
Several key figures attended the competition and showed support and praise for the idea behind it:
Asila Al Zeidi, Strategic Programme Specialist at the Communications and Information Technology sector at TRC, said, “We thank the programme's administrators who spared no effort in bringing this competition to as many students as possible.
Laila Al Wahaibi, CSR Manager at Omantel, also praised the programme, “The programme brings opportunities to the winners and allows them to build companies that can support Oman in the path of entrepreneurship”.
The Upgrade Programme Competition is indeed a very unique program, which provides both the seed capital and incubation help to potential start-ups. The nurturing and support of graduates will pave the way for them to become successful entrepreneurs, which will be very beneficial for Oman.