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Icode784 competition will be focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Knights

Icode784 competition will be focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Knights
Apollo Knights


The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (NTRC) annual “Ideas and Innovation/iSquared (i2) competition” has been renamed “The icode784 competition.”

And this year, participants are being asked to come up with ideas and mobile applications aimed at helping the government in its drive to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the UN General Assembly in 2015, to be achieved by the year 2030. The NTRC’s competition will this year focus on six of these goals.

Speaking at the launch of the competition last Tuesday at the NTRC’s conference room located in the National Insurances Services (NIS) building on Upper Bay Street, the NTRC’s Director Apollo Knights said to achieve the SDGs, everyone has to do their part.

“The iSquared competition was already doing its small part on achieving these goals, however, we wanted to make it a bit more focussed on its role as it relates to playing its part in SVG achieving the SDGs, so we decided to rebrand the competition to reflect our objectives of targeting some of the goals in the 17 SDGs,” explained Knights.

He said they are only targeting six of the SDGs, although the competition plays a part in all.

The competition is asking persons to address SDG number one which is No Poverty, number two – Zero Hunger, number four – Quality Education, number eight – Decent Work and Economic Growth, number nine – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and number 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities.

“Our vision is to have participants keep these six UN SDGs in mind as they come up with ideas for the competitions, so we want to look at these six when they develop their ideas and apps to see how they fit in,” said Knights.

Knights said he is encouraging all schools to enter as it is not only a coding competition, but one can enter in the ideas category.

Consumer and public relations manager at the NTRC Eustasha Walter told the launch the competition creates a platform for persons to introduce dreams and innovations to the world.

“The focus will be on the development of mobile apps and ideas that can facilitate the improvement in productivity and efficiency within both the public and private sector,” said Walter.

She noted that such improvements can lead to direct economic social and cultural benefits to not only our citizens but visitors.

The competition runs from September 10 to November 12.

The categories of the competition consist of the secondary and open categories. The secondary category is asking for entries from students attending secondary schools.

The open category is requesting entries from anyone from the public (age limit is 35 years), tertiary students (technical schools, as well as students from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College).

Students from the secondary schools can enter in both secondary and open categories. There is no rule to indicate that if students enter the secondary category, they cannot enter the open category.

Walter said participants are required to create an idea or mobile app depending on the category they wish to enter. The idea or app should be about improving a service and in the finals of the competition, persons in the mobile app category must produce a working prototype.

“One of the main aims is to develop the entrepreneurial skills of the younger generation by looking at the needs in our society and finding the ICT solutions for them via mobile apps,” Walter said.

She added that participants can use the competition as a stepping-stone for the development of the next big mobile app or idea.

The competition has three phases, phase one is the launch and registration period and forms are available at the NTRC’s office and the website. Persons can also enter using the “NTRC’s icode784 app” which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The app is only available on the android platform. Application deadline is Wednesday, September 25.

Phase two begins on October 15 and this is the preliminary round of judging. This ends on October 18 and all entries will be judged with the top teams moving to the finals.

Phase three is the grand finale on November 12 and participants are expected to conduct research at public and private sector entities and say what makes their project innovative. Mobile applications will have to showcase a working prototype.

Teams must be made up of two persons and no more than four. Persons will have seven minutes to do their presentation and this will be followed by a 5-minute round of questioning.

Winners in the secondary school idea category will get $2,000 (1st), $1,000 (2nd) and $800 (3rd), while winners in the secondary school mobile app category will get $3,000, $1,500 and $1,000. The open category winners will get $5,000 (1st), $2,500 (2nd) and $1,500 (3rd).

The school with most entries will get $1,000 and winning mentors will get between $750 to $1,000.

Other prizes include smartphones, tablets and trophies.