2 December 2021
ICT Minister Meets Winners of ‘ibTIECar Marathon at CREATIVA’

The Minister of Communications and Technology Amr Talaat has met with the winners of “ibTIECar Marathon at CREATIVA” via videoconference. The Marathon was organized by the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), in partnership with CREATIVA Innovation Hubs and Egypt Makes Electronics (EME) initiative, under the theme "Innovate for Better Life, Better City.”

The Marathon was organized as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is keen to promote innovation and spot and support creative students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and graduates to become key players in achieving digital transformation in different industry sectors.

During the meeting, Talaat underlined that MCIT embarked on a plan to establish CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in all the governorates, 18 months ago. The aim is to build young people’s capacity and equip them with innovative thinking, teamwork, technical expertise, and presentation skills. Talaat praised the innovative ideas that the young people presented, which prove that CREATIVA Innovation Hubs served as a destination for building capacity and fostering innovation, and a platform for starting businesses and startups.

The ICT Minister hailed the diversity of the innovative ideas presented by the young people. The ideas covered different sectors and targeted different societal challenges in areas including energy, agriculture, health, environment, education, logistics, e-commerce, mental health, and persons with disabilities (PwDs). The projects were implemented capitalizing on modern technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, embedded software, 3D printing, mechatronics, holograms, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

Talaat praised the young people’s ambitions, which are based on scientific, economic, and marketing foundations, and their aspiration to meet the needs of the local market and digital export. He stressed that the Marathon participants developed their ideas in a way that qualifies them to compete in regional and global markets.

Moreover, Talaat said he was pleased that the participating teams came from different governorates, which reflects the objective of establishing CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in governorates and reaching youth nationwide. He also commended the presence of faculty members at the Hubs, and their communication with young entrepreneurs to support them with the necessary expertise, which is why MCIT was keen to establish the Hubs inside universities.

The ICT Minister highlighted that MCIT is establishing CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in all governorates and stressed that the Ministry continues to provide training, expertise and forums that bring young entrepreneurs together with investors. This is in addition to supporting creative youth, who will play an important role in building Digital Egypt based on science and hard work. Talaat added that he plans to visit all CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in the governorates.

This year, ibTIECar Marathon was organized from July to November in a hybrid format, including both online and in-person events at CREATIVA Innovation Hubs.

ibTIECar Marathon is an annual competition organized in cooperation with local companies and MCIT affiliates. This year’s version was carried out based on developed work mechanisms and different participation criteria, allowing students, graduates, faculty members, and researchers to participate in the Marathon, where they received training and mentoring. The Marathon expanded to include six national universities: Mansoura, Menoufia, Minya, South Valley in Qena, Aswan, and Suez Canal in Ismailia, in addition to EME Labs in Cairo, Alexandria and Assiut.

The CREATIVA Innovation Hubs project was launched by MCIT with the aim of providing technical training and fostering innovation. The Hubs provide brainstorming camps, business incubators and accelerators, and training programs for startup owners, as well as forums to bring entrepreneurs and investors together. The first phase of the project included establishing seven Hubs, and the second will include establishing nine more at a total cost of EGP1.5 billion for the two phases.

During the meeting, the representatives of CREATIVA Innovation Hubs reviewed the key achievements made in capacity building and entrepreneurship, while the representatives of EME Labs showcased the efforts exerted to help young people manufacture products.

The participants presented the ideas and solutions they developed to tackle societal challenges and emphasized the important role of the Marathon in upskilling them; providing the expertise needed to develop a business plan; and enabling them to develop viable products, study the market, correct misconceptions, market their products, reach investors, and gain a competitive edge.

Furthermore, the participants highlighted that they leveraged EME Labs in manufacturing their products and used the cash prize to develop their products and cover their projects’ needs.

The winning projects featured fintech, smart transportation, a ticketing application, an AI-powered system for improving road safety, an AI-powered system for radiology, healthcare-focused smart solutions, and low-cost respirators.

Moreover, the winners created applications to transform homes into smart ones at low costs, employed assistive technology to serve the visually impaired and convert sign language into text, and developed a hydrogen generator to reduce carbon emissions and smart solutions for solid-waste management.

Other projects included a platform for changing child behavior and upskilling children, a smart system for managing education and another one for distance learning, smart solutions to serve factories and support digital transformation in the industry sector, smart systems for reducing water waste in irrigation, an integrated system to fill the gap in water resources, smart mechanisms for marketing local products, and a mobile application featuring an informational service guide for citizens in Aswan.

The wining projects from Cairo were DeltaSol, EFIKA, and GoSafe teams; from Alexandria, Robopick, Otonom, and EM-IoT; from Menoufia, Injaz, and Smart Farm; from Mansoura, Autoscan, My Relief, and Brain Sight; from Ismailia, Minerva, and Green Energy; from Minya, Naql Masr, Biobekia, and Ihgizly; from Qena, Techn School, Ebnak, and Nabta; from Assiut HoloMedica, Life Supporters, and Green ERA; and from Aswan, The Four, Atoms Tech, and Aswanny.

The meeting was attended by ITIDA CEO Amr Mahfouz, the Assistant ICT Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy, ITIDA Vice President and TIEC Chairperson Hossam Osman, and senior officials from MCIT.

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