Similar to other organizations around the globe, a global crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic also had an effect on UTM Centre for Student Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship (UTM XCITE)’s predominant agenda within Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), which is to regularly conduct programs that can transform UTM students into entrepreneurial workforce and innovative technology entrepreneurs.

Although Movement Control Order (MCO) is enforced until now, UTM XCITE had managed to live up to its name of being a ‘centre of students’ innovation and technology entrepreneurship’ by coming up with new innovative and effective techniques to continue conducting programs and educating students in the field of entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation.

One such initiative taken by UTM XCITE during MCO was organizing its first-ever UTM XCITE IDEATION CHALLENGE 2020 (XIC2020) with COVID-19 theme. XIC2020 is a program to encourage UTM students to generate creative and innovative ideas that could assist in combating COVID-19.

Guidelines for UTM XCITE IDEATION CHALLENGE 2020 (XIC2020)

The entirety of the program was completely conducted using virtual approaches. It began on 16th April 2020 with calls for participation and ended on 15th May 2020 with a list of winners’ announcement.

In order to take part in the competition, students had to express their ideas in two minutes based on three designated categories; 1) Medical & Healthcare Support, 2) Social & Psychological support, and 3) Marginalized Community Support.

The competition which was open to all UTM students had received a total of 53 innovative submissions. Those submitted videos were then evaluated by the panel of judges consisting of academicians, professionals, industry experts, and medical practitioners from several institutions.

Eventually, after thorough judging and deliberation, the winners for the first-ever XIC2020 were determined. The top 3 winners won RM300, RM 200, and RM 100 respectively along with an e-certificate.  For category winners, they received RM 200 and e-certificates. There were also ten consolation prizes consisting of RM 50 and an e-certificate.

The first place of the competition went to Chin Shi Qi. Her idea also was chosen as the best idea for the category of Medical and Healthcare Support. The solution that her application ‘Fingerprint Contact Tracing’, aims to provide was to reduce the spread and outbreak of disease by working efficiently on contact tracing.

The contact tracing enables citizens to scan and record their visit to a public place effortlessly through fingerprint which can be tracked down easily when needed according to time and date.

The second place went to Low Weixin with her idea of ‘iCareU’.  Her idea also was chosen as the best idea under the category of Social and Psychological Support. iCareU is a combination of a portable device application and a wearable device.

It possesses strong artificial intelligence which makes it perform like our real friend that can grow with us, helping us to stay positive, and efficiently combat mental health and productivity issues caused by COVID19’s panic and anxiety.

The third-place went to Goh Jun Kee with his idea of Mobile Booth, a specialized mobile booth with a ‘staff-patients’ separation’ concept which will enhance the protection of medical staff while performing COVID-19 screening.

Meanwhile, Tong Xin Jo with her idea of ‘GigTrust’, won the best idea for the category of Marginalized Community Support. Her idea aims to provide a solution for the unprotected and marginalized work nature of gig workers.

Unlike other employed workers, they do not have privileges such as retirement schemes and paid leaves. They even often being cheated by their clients. Therefore, GigTrust aims to provide three core values to gig economy participants which are digital contract establishment, financial transparency, and social protection.

In a nutshell, UTM XCITE IDEATION CHALLENGE 2020 (XIC2020) was a success thanks to the organizing committee members, participants, and panel of judges. The competition proved that creativity and innovations can be ideated and cherished at any moment, even at these times of crisis and restrictions, as we continue to stay at home to fight the spread of COVID19.