(SDN) — Team iNON of the Philippines has won the Galactic Impact Award of the global Space Apps Challenge 2018 which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organized.
Composed of five members, the iNON (it’s Now or Never) team took the award through their app titled “ISDApp: Bridging Fishermen to Information with Analog Phones” which they designed as a solution “to effectively communicate scientific data as useful information to underprivileged fishermen, even if they don’t have smartphones and internet connection.”
The NASA Space Apps Challenge is an annual international hackathon launched to solve Earth and space problems. It is also a NASA incubator innovation program.
Around 18,000 participants competed in the early stages of the challenge held in 200 events in 200 cities across 75 countries. Participants totaled 2,729 teams worldwide.
Team iNON emerged victorious in the Philippine leg conducted on October 19-21, 2018 at De La Salle University (DLSU), Malate, Manila.
At the end of the early stages of the challenge only 25 teams qualified for the global finals the judging of which was conducted in 2019. iNON was one of the lucky qualifiers for the finals.
The 25 finalists competed for six award categories such as Best Use of Data, Best Use of Hardware, Best Mission Concept, Galactic Impact, Most Inspirational, and Best Use of Science.Here are all the six winners and their respective category as announced by NASA:
- Best Use of Data, Olik, Spread Paradigm Shifting Extraterrestrial Virtual Experience;
- Best Use of Hardware, Delta Protocol, Providing safety, comfort and support;
- Best Mission Concept, that-vr-team, VR here VR everywhere;
- Galactic Impact, iNON, It’s now or never;
- Most Inspirational, Salinity, We’re salty so you don’t have to be, and;
- Best Use of Knowledge, Pillars of Creation, Escape the Earth
IT (information technology) professional Michael Lance M. Domagas relayed on Saturday, February 16, to SDN — Science and Digital News the winners of the Space Apps 2018 competition.
Judges selected the winners on the basis of the following criteria, such as:
- Impact: How much impact (quality and quantity) can this project have? Does it solve a big problem or a little problem? Will it inspire or help many, or a few?
- Creativity: How creative/innovative is the approach? Is the project novel and something that hasn’t been attempted before, or is it an incremental improvement on something that already exists?
- Validity: Is the solution scientifically valid? Will it do what it sets out to do? Can it work in the real world?
- Relevance: Is this project responsive to the challenge for which it was submitted? Is it a complete solution or does it have a long way to go? Is it technically feasible? How usable or user friendly is the solution?
- Presentation: How well did the team communicate their project? Were they effective in telling the story of the project: the challenge, the solution, and why it is important?
In a statement relayed to SDN — Science and Digital News through Domagas, Team iNON stalwarts Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda shared their breakthrough triumph with their countrymen.
They thanked their families, friends, officemates, DLSU, and the United States Embassy for their success.
Technology also needs a heart
“Team iNON is truly overwhelmed with this achievement since most of our members are first time joiners of a hackathon. We are a mixture of IT and creative professionals who harmoniously worked together to build ISDApp,” they said.
They added that their winning solution for the Philippines’ — and the world’s — poor fishermen “represented the country with a simple solution but with a deep purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success. This is proof that even technology needs a heart.”
On the other hand, Team iNON acknowledged that winning the NASA Space App 2018 competition is only the beginning.
“The real challenge is finding investors who believe in the vision of our team — giving the less privileged access to data and information to help them improve their lives.”
Congratulations! Team iNON, winner of the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018’s Galactic Impact Award category on February 15 with ISDApp built to help Filipino fishermen.
They are optimistic of their solution’s impact on Filipino fishermen when it realizes its full potentials by providing them with more accurate and localized weather and sea information that they sorely need for their every day work as they scour the sea for their catch.
“From the bottom of our hearts (and the sea), we thanked everybody who believed in us and prayed for our success — our families, friends, officemates, DLSU and the U.S. Embassy,” Team iNON said.
Domagas said they were “expecting that winners of the Space Apps 2018 event would receive an invite to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, U.S.”
He said NASA was supposed to announced the winners in mid-January but the shutdown of the American government delayed the judging and the announcement.
NASA made the winners public only on February 15.
NASA praised the “astonishingly high” quality of all the projects entered in the 2018 challenge, saying, “we are delighted and honored that so many of you came together in the teams around the world to respond to the challenges we posed. You thought deeply and worked hard to produce solutions that use NASA data across astonishingly wide range of problems, from deep space exploration to solving real and immediate problems here on Earth,” said PatJJ.
Meanwhile, NASA said the Space Apps Challenge 2019 is now on. (EKU)
Sources for the article including images are from NASA, iNON, and Michael Lance M. Domagas.