| Danial Norjidi |
INNOVATION, creativity and entrepreneurship took centre stage yesterday at the Anggerek Desa Technology Park as the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) celebrated its first Innovation Day.
Held at the iCentre and Knowledge Hub buildings located at the Technology Park, the event saw the attendance of Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of the BEDB as the guest of honour.
Proceedings kicked off with the Hackathon Final Award Ceremony at the iCentre, in which the guest of honour presented the prizes to each of the participants of the Brunei Water Hackathon – a competition organised by BEDB aimed at encouraging the public and students to create engineering solutions to everyday problems. Lasting 13 weeks, the Hackathon allowed participants to bring their ideas from the stages of concept to prototype.
Following that, the deputy minister proceeded to view a showcase of the solutions and inventions created by the winners.
Speaking at the event yesterday, Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chief Executive Officer of the BEDB highlighted, “The BEDB has organised Innovation Day to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity that is the driving force behind the BEDB’s initatives, including the Brunei Hackathon.”
He noted that various showcases and activities were taking place yesterday at the iCentre and Knowledge Hub which demonstrated “the growing pool of talented people with potential to become the key players in ICT, engineering, multimedia, design and technology.
“The BEDB hopes that with Innovation Day, the public will be able to interact with our existing entrepreneurs and innovators, and be inspired to develop their own ideas and businesses.”
In line with the celebration of Innovation Day, the iCentre and Knowledge Hub each carried their own themes. The iCentre’s theme was ‘Entrepreneurship’, and put the spotlight on its incubatees and Ignite Entrepreneurship Challenge participants, giving them the opportunity to showcase their business ideas, products and services.
In addition, the iCentre also set up entrepreneurship clinics for members of the public, offering them the opportunity to learn and understand more about creating viable business ideas, the importance of revenue generation and financial management, as well as branding and advertising.
Meanwhile, at the Knowledge Hub, the theme of ‘Creativity’ was carried, featuring members of the creative sector, who converged and showcased their production and animation creations.
One of the highlights was the CRAFT Showcase, where the deputy minister got to see work done by CRAFT students over the past year. In addition, an animation workshop for the public was organised by Autodesk, while creative group Kaleidoscope conducted a number of activities of their own, which included an acoustic session in the afternoon.
As a statement from the BEDB reads, “The main objective of Innovation Day is to celebrate, promote and get the public interested and excited about innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
“The BEDB is readily available to help entrepreneurs and innovators with initiatives like Start Up Brunei or the Local Enterprise Application and Products scheme (LEAP) to support their ideas so that they ultimately become commercialisable products or services.
“Innovators and entrepreneurs can also visit the iCentre to learn more about its services and how it is trying to develop a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Brunei.”