Ericsson, UTM, AXIATA Business Services & MCMC pick the winners of ‘Hack for Good’ - Malaysia’s first Narrow Band IoT hackathon

Ericsson, in a joint initiative with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), MCMC and Axiata Business Services, under the brand Xpand, announced the winners of Hack for Good, Malaysia’s first Narrow Band Internet of Things hackathon.

Hack for Good, which was launched in March 2018, encouraged university students and experienced professionals to build IoT solutions relevant to Malaysia. The ‘Hack for Good’ hackathon focused on the following broad themes: IoT Saves Lives, IoT Sustains Water, Energy and Utilities, IoT Transforms Road Transportation, IoT Modernises Agriculture. Teams were tasked with creating Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) solutions and innovations using Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform, or making existing solutions NB-IoT compatible. Prizes totalling RM 51,000 and the opportunity to get onboarded to Ericsson Garage’s Incubation Program are being awarded to the winning teams.

The hackathon was open to University and tertiary education students from all private and public institutions in Malaysia as well as professional developers, programmers, designers, and engineers. Around 140 entries were received for this competition across both the student and professional category of entries. The top 11 ideas were shortlisted, and a Pre-Hack Workshop was carried out to prepare the participants with the necessary skills for the prototype development. The participants were given a month of hacking time to develop the prototype, using Celcom Malaysia’s NB IoT Network and Ericsson APIs. During the hacking period, periodic progress meetings with industry mentors were carried out.

Participating teams were evaluated based on originality, novelty and wow factor, usefulness and practicality, execution and quality of the prototype, business potential and Ericsson technology and API adoption.

Team NBEE IOT emerged as the winning team in the Professional category for their NB-IoT bee farming project. The winning team in the Student category was itVengers, for their Project on real time monitoring of paddy farms. NBEE IOT was declared as the Overall Hackathon Winner.

NBEE IOT Team Captain Shee Tze Jin said, “We are honoured to be selected as the winner of the Hackathon and are excited to join the incubation program by Ericsson and its partners. Our ideas were inspired by the need to address current challenges faced by Malaysians in agriculture. Through this competition, we were able to learn from the experts in the industry and successfully bring our ideas to life. We definitely welcome the industry support to innovators like us through initiatives like this Hackathon.”

Speaking on the occasion, YBHG. Dato Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus, Chief Officer, Communications and Digital Ecosystem Sector, MCMC stated,” the Digital Lifestyle Malaysia (DLM) promotes and accelerates the development and adoption of applications and services in the Internet of Things Ecosystem. We look forward to working with the winners of this Hackathon to further develop their prototype and would like them to utilize the myMaker IoT Lab facility for this purpose. Events like the NB-IoT Hackathon today will assist the country in its journey towards a Smart Digital Nation.”

Todd Ashton, Head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh states, “We and our long term partners UTM and Axiata are very encouraged by the strong participation and the innovative projects that have emerged from the Hackathon. We are delighted to be working with the best minds in the country, helping them translate their winning ideas into viable business solutions that will benefit the country.”

According to Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar, the Vice Chancellor of UTM, " Initiatives like the Hackathon serve as a great engagement platform between industry and academia to develop young talents in IoT technology. We are confident that this Hackathon will strengthen the technology incubation capabilities at UTM as part of the Innovation Center for 5G partnership with Ericsson.”

Asri Hassan Sabri, Chief Executive Officer, Axiata Business Services in congratulating the winners said, “As a solutions provider for large enterprises, we are focused on the B2B and B2B2C segments across multiple industries and I am encouraged to see how so many ideas and concepts have emerged through this hackathon that will fulfil the addressable IoT demand in Malaysia. With the aim to improve social lives and economic scalability, participants had invested significant thoughts and efforts into creating unique NB-IoT products that will take the industry forward. Xpand is proud to have been part of this initiative with the best minds and industry leaders like Ericsson, UTM, MCMC and others sponsors here today. We hope to collaborate further with likeminded organisations in challenging our young innovators to pursue IoT solutions and the world of enterprise.”

 “Hack for Good” is the first of its kind, end-to-end cellular Internet of Things hackathon covering the complete ecosystem from device, connectivity, IoT platform to apps, to provide a unique opportunity to university students and professionals to build IoT based solutions relevant for Malaysia.

For more information about Hack for Good, please visit www.t4gc.com