Minister S.B. Dissanayake has finished his tour of the stalls, and now we’re seeing Dr. Janaka Liyanagama, Dr. K. Subramanian, Dr. P.B. Wickrama and Mr Anuradha Tennakoon taking their places at the head table. Mr Anuradha Tennakoon delivered an address explaining the economics and situation behind enterprise mobility solutions and describing the inception of this competition. All competitors have left their stalls and are no seated, listening intently. This is where 5-7 months of work from each team pays off.
We’ve seen competition from all over the island, and from Mr Tennakoon’s address we learn that the Ministry of Education is also contributing to the cash prize this time, bringing the totals to:
1st prize = Rs 200, 000
2nd prize = Rs 120, 000
And the third prize = Rs 80, 000.
A strong criticism on the current university education system, emphasizing marketability of talents and ideas was delivered by Dr Sunil Narathne, the Secretary to the Department of Education, pinpointing how talented university students neglect marketing and innovation. A valid and well-thought out speech, using the example of the founder of Honda (who only studied up to the fifth grade) as a prime example of how innovation and marketing matters just as much as education. He spoke at length about the value of R&D in making a solution practically viable from a commercial stand point, which is frankly a lesson every successful entrepreneur has to learn at some point.
After Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s speech, each of the 16 teams assembled were given awards for their participation in the competition. Every team gets something to take home, then. It looks like a cheque.
The special award for the most responsive team goes to the folks behind Project bus Tracker from IIT.
Up on the big screen we’re seeing the interesting (and large) tokens of appreciation being handed out to the engineers who make up the judging panel.
And now for the final awards,
Wait. An interruption occurred: there’s a small speech on behalf of the judges, explaining their procedure – a wise idea before announcing the results. The envelopes containing the winner’s names have now been handed to the compere and we wait…
And in third place:
The team from University of Jayawardenepura with their Smart meter reading solution.
Second, hitting silver at Rs 120, 000:
The Railway Information System from the University of Kelaniya
FYI: behind us we can hear the previously announced team trying to hide their glee and keep a formal face, but they’re failing …
And the grand gold award, along with 200, 000 rupees…
goes to the lucky team from the University of Rajarata who created the computerized vehicle guidance system.
This is an iconic moment for the student devs behind these projects, and we’re sure there might be some heavy-duty cheering scheduled for later. At the moment, while the winners examine their shiny new awards, we sit back and wait for the photos..