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BICTA 2023 launches with expanded categories

James Kon

The Brunei Info-Communications Technology Awards (BICTA) 2023 launched yesterday with 10 categories, up from three in previous years of the annual technology contest.

The expanded list of categories was announced by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof during the launching ceremony at the Knowledge Hub (KHUB) in Anggerek Desa.

Haji Mohammad Nazri said the theme of this year’s competition is, ‘Smart Nation through Digital Transformation’, in line with the country’s aspirations outlined in the Digital Economy Master Plan 2025.

The permanent secretary said the expanded list of categories hoped to encourage more participation and open up opportunities for creativity, while generating innovation in ICT.

BICTA 2023 has four main categories: consumer and business services; inclusion and community services; industrial; public and government.

Meanwhile, there are three categories for student participants: primary school or students from Year 4 to Year 6 as individuals or groups; secondary school or students from Year 7 to Year 11; and higher education institutions or students in Year 12 to undergraduates.

There are also three cross categories: start-ups; research and development; and technology.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan at an exhibition highlighting previous BICTA participants. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Submission of an entry in one of the main categories could also be entered into one of the cross categories, subject to eligibility.

BICTA 2023 will also see five Smart Nation Awards for non-winning entries that improves quality of life, public services, schools, safety, mobility of people, environment, sustainability in tourism, agriculture, construction, logistics and transport and education.

“Since 20 years of BICTA, there is encouraging participation from year to year,” said the permanent secretary, adding that “the diversity in products and the ability of the participants, both in terms of pitching and presentation, have also increased”.

He said, “The level of competitiveness of BICTA products is also progressing well, with some penetrating local and foreign markets.

“Overall, the entries received so far has shown encouraging progress, with some able to exhibit products that are 100 per cent locally developed.”

BICTA 2023 will feature a BICTA Plus Bootcamp, a training and mentoring programme for participants, aimed to improve various skills, including ideation and validation, business planning, marketing strategy, pitching and presentation as well as design and thinking.

BICTA is a component of the Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards. The country has participation in APICTA Awards since 2008 and has since won two awards and 29 merit awards. BICTA 2023 winners will represent Brunei Darussalam in the APICTA 2023 in Hong Kong.

Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan launched the competition.

All schools, as well as local individuals, entrepreneurs, government agencies and organisational bodies are encouraged to participate.

BICTA, which was first introduced in 2004, is an annual ICT competition jointly organised by the MTIC, Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam and InfoCom FederationBrunei (IFB). BICTA is also supported by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).

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