| Danial Norjidi |
THREE local merit winners of the APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Alliance) Awards 2014 were each presented with grants of $25,000 while being celebrated at an appreciation event last night.
The event, held by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) at Emperor’s Court, saw the attendance of the Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar as the guest of honour.
The three Merit Award winners were: Chung Hwa Middle School, BSB for their travel app, “Heritage of South East Asia”; Institut Teknologi Brunei for their augmented reality storybook, “The Sulu Princess”; and Teleconsult Sdn Bhd for their aerial capture and processing technology, “Sky Eye”.
The $25,000 grant that each winner received from AITI was provided for them to further improve and enhance their winning products, and the Minister was on hand to present them with their hard-earned prizes.
APICTA 2014 was recently held in Jakarta, Indonesia and saw 183 entries from 13 member economies. Brunei participated with a total of six entries from one secondary school, three tertiary schools and another two from the ICT industry, all of whom were amongst the winners of the Brunei Info-Communication Technology Awards (BICTA) in 2014.
“It is heartening that even with these six entries competing against 183 others, we were able to bring home three Merit Awards,” said Awang Hj Yahkup bin Hj Menudin, the Chief Executive of AITI and Chairman of the BICTA 2014 Working Committee in a speech yesterday.
“Well done to the Merit winners. Your courage to present to a panel of international experts and hours of preparation have paid off,” he continued. “You have made Brunei Darussalam proud.
“Use these grants wisely to enhance your products for competition in BICTA 2015 and the Asean ICT Awards 2015,” he added. “As we begin to prepare for APICTA 2015 in Sri Lanka this year, I am hopeful that we can strive for even more awards.”
According to the Alliance’s website, the APICTA Awards has been dubbed “the Oscars of the ICT arena”, recognising significant achievements and innovations in the field by participants from member nations. Each year, the awards are organised and hosted by a different member country.
Brunei’s nominees for APICTA are usually selected from the BICTA, which is organised annually by the Ministry of Communications to stimulate innovation and creativity in the ICT industry amongst individuals, students and associations, including SMEs. This year’s BICTA will be open for submissions at a date to be announced by AITI.
Among those present for yesterday’s event were Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, Chairman of AITI and Chairman of the BICTA 2014 Steering Committee, as well as Awang Mohd Riza bin Dato Paduka Awang Hj Mohd Yunos, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communciations.