Reading Time: 3 minutesIt was a memorable evening for four IT students attending the CeBIT ICT Dinner and Awards night on May 23, as they were each presented with the NASSCOM Innovation Student Award (NISA) for excellence in innovation in the field of information technology. The winners carried away a trophy, a certificate and $1000 in cash for their contributions to NASSCOM Australia’s inaugural awards specifically tailored to encouraging and supporting creative innovation in ICT students across universities in Australia .
The ICT Awards night had been hosted by the Government of India in its role as Partner Country in CeBIT , Australia ’s largest ICT exhibition and conference forum which was held from April 22-24. The dinner was attended by over 700 special invitees from the industry and trade, Indian and Australian governments and other international delegates. Apart from the Bollywood dances which kept the audience mildly entertained, the NISA presentation truly highlighted India ’s role in CeBIT as a Partner Country.
The awards were presented by Sachin Pilot (India’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India), Greg Pearce (NSW Minister of Finance) and Paul Toole (MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and for Asia-Pacific Trade) at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Mr Pilot was impressive in his speech, coming across as calm, erudite, concise, humorous and a definite cut above our dated notions of long-winded, khadi-clad netas who enjoy the sound of their own voices. He certainly portrayed the right image of India as a vibrant, savvy and intelligent nation to the somewhat surprised audience. Mr Som Mittal, Chairman, NASSCOM India was his usual knowledgeable and cultured self, adding to the respectful image that India has garnered within the ICT industry worldwide.
12 participants from six universities across New South Wales and Canberra presented in the two categories – IT Innovation and IT-enabled Business Innovation – to a panel of five eminent judges from the ICT and Education sectors and the corporate world. After deliberation, the 4 winning entries were:
University of Wollongong: Compressed Sensing Imager which can see through walls and opaque structures and can be used in surveillance and rescue missions
University of NSW: Confufish provides a ‘lite’ logistics solution for NGOs who provide critical aid in quite difficult logistical areas
University of Sydney: MyPower Energy Management Platform gives consumers a complete view of their power consumption that can be deployed quickly and easily
University of Western Sydney: STEP ON IT PROGRAMTM is an eHealth solution that provides real time feedback on key health measurements.
During his speech, Sachin Pilot stressed the need of innovation in countries like India and Australia to address the myriad challenges of the new century and congratulated NASSCOM and its Australian chapter to initiate such awards for students in Australian universities.
Mr Som Mittal, President of NASSCOM said, “It is our endeavour to encourage continuous development and innovation in countries our members operate in. I am extremely happy that our Australian chapter has taken the lead to launch this award”.
Mr Anu Agrawal, Chairman of NASSCOM Australia said, “We are privileged to recognise the high level of innovation from students of Australia ‘s universities, which are and ought to be a breeding ground of innovation in any country. The content and quality of the presentations to our judges was excellent and demonstrated many fine examples of originality.”
The Awards, which will be presented annually, aim to recognise and award innovation in Australia ’s universities and are a great opportunity to showcase innovative solutions to the rest of the world. The awards were managed by Consensus, with Fragomen, Wipro and Advantage Wollongong coming on board as sponsors.
The award ceremony was a part of the ongoing 3-day mega business event CeBIT 2012 in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, which had a high level of participation overall, including a 70+ high-profile delegation from India.
NASSCOM Australia is the Australian chapter of NASSCOM. Its members have currently invested upwards of $100M to set up more than 20 development centres in Australia and currently employ more than 7000 people in Australia . They have strong links with many universities in Australia to recruit students for global projects, run student internships programs and have established scholarships.
In a follow up event, the outgoing Consul General of India for Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta recently held a felicitation ceremony for all the winners and participants of the NASSCOM Innovation Student Awards recently. Dr Geoff Lee, MP Member for Parramatta; Ms. Verity Lomax, Policy Advisor for Aboriginal Affairs to the Hon. Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; Mr Neville Roach, Patron NASSCOM Australia; and Ms. Sheba Nandkeolyar, President AIBC were also present at the well-attended event.
NASSCOM Australia Chairman Mr Anu Agrawal presented Mr Dasgupta with a memento felicitating his tenure here in Sydney and in thanks for his support and encouragement towards the Group.