STUDENT INNOVATION CHALLENGE (STIC)

 THE STUDENT INNOVATION CHALLENGE GRAND FINAL

The maiden edition of the Student Innovation Challenge grand finale took place at the ISSER Conference room on the 18th of October 2018. The challenge which was organized by the Institute of Applied Sciences as part of the University of Ghana 70th anniversary celebrations was to bring out the innovative and creative abilities in students and to encourage participation in the application of acquired knowledge, skills and abilities to solve problems pertaining to industries.

The much-anticipated event began with an opening prayer from Dr. Henry Ofosuhene Sintim. The Director of the Institute, Prof. George Oduro Nkansah, in his welcome address stated that this is the maiden UG Students Innovation Challenge organized by the Institute aimed at bringing out creative and innovative ideas in students to help solve everyday problems. He added that it is a pleasure to have all seated audience for the final event and hopes that the event will be an educative and entertaining one to everyone especially the senior high school students.

The chairman of the event, Prof. Boateng Onwona Agyeman, was introduced by Ms. Jeanette Aduhene-Chinbuah. In the Chairman's remarks, he stated that innovations play a key role in development. He indicated that Innovation is the process of bringing the best ideas into reality and this is by triggering a creative idea you have. He explained that due to global advancements, there is the need for improved way of doing things or getting jobs done in the earliest time and this is as a result of evolving technologies. As the Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences, Prof. Onwona said he was elated that some students of the University have come up with innovative ideas or devices to solve problems and this was a positive step in the development of the skills of entrepreneurship. He added that the STIC would empower students to create innovative ideas and solutions to real life problems existing within our communities and industries.

A short documentary on the Institute of Applied Science and Technology was played to the audience. The video outlined the key research areas of the institute and some current activities they are into which included securing internship slots for UG students, the SDF training and the organization of the Student Innovation Challenge. The video also outlined the application process, advertisements, review of proposals until the final stages of the Students Innovation challenge.

The first presentation was by the DroneFarmzGH, a group made up of 3 members; Ernestina Asiamah Agyei, Patience Nayo (both of Agricultural Extension department) and Joseph Antwi-Bosiako (Business School). Their innovation was the usage of an application to access drones to provide service to farmers in the area of soil field analysis, irrigation and spraying of various agro-chemicals. Farmers will be able to access the application through the usage of feature phones. The group was mentored by Dr. Kofi Henaku, CEO of Henson Geodata Technologies Limited Ghana.

The next group to present was the Paint’n Africa group. The group, made up of Sedem Quame (Computer engineering) and Theophilus Dorh(Biomedical Engineering), presented on an application to promote Local Arts and Crafts. Like Jumia and E-bay, their project is an e-commerce web application which facilitates the buying and selling of art in Ghana and overseas. In their presentation, they stated that their goal is to connect artists to prospective buyers and art lovers. They also aim at getting the highest possible amount for a given African network. This group was also mentored by Dr. Kofi Henaku.

Mr. Stephen Ofosu Asomani, a final year Chemistry student, presented on an innovative means of preventing fire outbreaks caused by electrical malfunctioning with a wireless controlled device. He indicated that rampant fire outbreaks have become a menace in our society leading to massive loss of lives and properties and has designed a wireless control system that can be used to curb these occurrences. Mr. Asomani displayed a prototype of his work and the audience was thrilled with the way it functioned. Dr. Percy Okae, a lecturer at Computer Engineering department mentored Mr. Asomani.

The next presentation was by Mr. Ifeanyi Joshua Uzochukwu, a level 300 Biochemistry student. Due to the exponential increase in human activity, waste management has become a challenge and Mr. Ifeanyi proposed methanogenic archaea that can act as a non-depleting source of energy which is cost ineffective due to the use of waste as raw materials to produce renewable energy. He was mentored by Dr. Teddy Annang, a Senior Research fellow at the Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies.

The final group to present was made up of students from the Occupational Therapy department. Emmanuel Osei and Margaret Needham, both in their final year presented on the Manipulation and Colouring Guide Box. The problem they identified was that children with special needs such as cerebral palsy, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder find it challenging to track their hands movement with their eyes and have therefore designed a guide box which would use coloring and manipulations to improve the hand function in these children. The group was mentored by a lecturer and senior Occupational Therapist, Mr. Peter O Ndaa.

During the closing remarks, Prof. Onwona stated that the Students Innovation challenge is in to stay and would commend the Institute for championing such an innovative and captivating challenge. He encouraged students to put in their proposals during the next call for applications and with such enthusiasm, students will develop the skills of entrepreneurship and hence reducing the rate of unemployment in the country. He also congratulated the finalists for their innovative works and encouraged them that irrespective of their positions, they should still look at improving their models and if possible for penetration into the business markets. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the audience, judges, sponsors and the Institute for making the maiden Students Innovation challenge a success.