2012 NASSCOM Innovation Students Awards

Winners announced - 4 Universities win Awards

Students from the Universities of Sydney, Western Sydney, NSW and Wollongong won 2012 NASSCOM Innovation Student Awards. Projects from University of Technology, Sydney, Australian National University, University of Sydney and University of NSW were Highly Commended. Page down for Winning entries and the Judges' Citations.

"By winning the NASSCOM Innovation Award, our project was given more opportunities than we could have hoped for. The feedback from the judges gave us a unique perspective into our solution and helped us to build the next stage. The prize being announced at CeBIT was a bonus we weren't ready for; companies we had been trying to talk to for months were trying to call us, and by the time we had made it back to our seats from the stage we already had a couple of tentative funding offers. Our team immensely appreciated the work that the NASSCOM Awards team put into the program, and all the opportunities which arose from it!"

- Brad Lorge, UNSW


Hon. Sachin Pilot (centre), Mr. Som Mittal NASSCOM President (left), Mr. Toole (2nd left),
Hon. Greg Pearce (2nd right) and Anu Agrawal NASSCOM Australia Chairman (right)
with Winners of the 2012 NASSCOM Innovation Student Awards

Each of the Winners received a trophy and $1,000 prize. The Awards are supported by the Australia India Business Council (AIBC). and sponsored by Fragomen, Wipro and Advantage Wollongong. See Media Release and click here for a list of the Judges.

The inaugural NASSCOM Innovation Students Awards were presented by The Hon. Sachin Pilot, Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, The Hon Greg Pearce, NSW Minister of Finance, and Mr Paul Toole, NSW MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and for Asia-Pacific Trade at the CeBIT ICT Celebration Dinner on Wednesday 23rd May at Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour.

Kapil Sibal Kapil Sibal

---------- The Hon. Sachin Pilot ----------

The Awards recognise and award innovation in Australia's Universities. They are a great opportunity to showcase innovative solutions to the rest of the world, especially India, the Partner Country at CeBIT 2012. 12 Nominations were received from 6 Universities.

2 Winners - IT Innovation

Compressed Sensing Imager    
ICT Research Institute University of Wollongong
Students: Alex Seng, Matthew Kitchener, Wenbin Shao, Jie Yang, Zhenxin Feng

The Compressed Sensing Imager (CSI) is a low-cost and efficient next-generation radar system for "seeing" through walls and opaque materials. The system utilizes state-of-the-art Compressed Sensing and Image Processing approaches to non-destructively detect, classify, and track targets behind a visually impenetrable structure. Imaging through obstacles is of high practical interest for many law enforcement, military, and civil applications.

Examples include search-and-rescue operations or identification between hostages and suspects in a crime scene. For resource exploration and infrastructure maintenance, the system can also reveal underground objects non-intrusively. Overall, the CSI is an intelligent real-time solution for high-resolution imaging.

Judges' Citation: "The CSI Solution addresses a key issue faced by defence, surveillance and rescue forces in seeing through barriers such as walls and opaque materials in search and rescue mission. The solution will also benefit the mining industry and also industries where there are assets underground (e.g. utilities, rail etc). The solution has been prototyped and available in a hand held brief case tool to be mounted on a car for various applications and use. The main component of the innovation is the software that allows the data from the radar to easily convert and display, removing the need for multiple receivers as designed in current systems.

The presentation was focused on the key technology and benefits and the potential business model for the future. The team has collaborated with universities in the United States to come up with this research and solution and have prototyped this in various locations. They have various patents and patents pending for their solution and will be taking this to a commercial solution soon. The judging panel was impressed not only by the innovative approach to solving the problem, but also by strong technology and patent registration to take the lead in this space of solving a critical issue."

MyPower Energy Management Platform    
School of Information Technologies University of Sydney
Students: Waiho Wong, Mahboobeh Moggaddam

MyPower Energy Management Platform offers a technically and economically feasible solution that can contribute to a 10% reduction in the electricity consumption in homes. Power consumption by major appliances such as washing machines, clothes driers, refrigerators, microwaves etc. in participating households will be continuously monitored using custom-designed smart plugs equipped with GSM units. The actual consumption by each appliance will be transmitted to a cloud data warehouse by SMS every 30 minutes.

The finely-grained power consumption data over time will be used to enable households to make sensible decisions on operating times and optimal replacement schedules of the appliances. Aggregate level data will also be made available to utility companies, appliance manufacturers, and appropriate government agencies to devise energy conversation strategies and to encourage advanced energy analytics for greenhouse gas reduction.

Judges' Citation: "MyPower is an example of practical innovation in taking a number of proven technology components and tackling a pressing issue. As power bills drive upwards and consumers are struggling to find ways of managing their demand, the MyPower solution brings an immediate and practical solution that can quickly be deployed. Utilising cloud technologies the MyPower solution provides the consumer with an understanding of their power consumption and further added-value in helping them look for alternative appliances which may have a lower cost impact on their consumption.

We see that the solution is a 'here and now' innovation but with an eye on further utilising wireless technologies to provide a range of options for data capture and also downstream in working with partners to exploit the value of the consumption data."

2 Winners - IT-Enabled Business Innovation

School of Computer Science & Engineering University of NSW
Students: Brad Lorge, Aimee Lowth

The system has been developed to help manage distribution in the developing world. Distribution stands as one of the last major obstacles to a world without hunger. This system takes thousands of dollars of conventional equipment and replaces it with a mobile phone. The system provides a huge amount of flexibility in its design and enables for a tailored solution in a complicated space.

Confufish helps manage and optimize the distribution process across multiple charities, as well as provide a cheap mechanism for a driver to complete individual deliveries.

Judges' Citation: "Confufish exploits the KIS (Keep it Simple) guiding principle in providing a 'lite' logistics solution for NGO's who provide critical aide in quite difficult logistical areas. The simple model of 'a man, a phone and a truck' show how agencies who are trying to minimise their internal costs, can partner with a service provider who shares the same low-cost mindset and who can deliver some critical logistical capabilities in an effective manner with a very light technology footprint.

The syndication of the contributions from the subscribing agencies will lead to further development of vital logistical capabilities to drive a huge transformation in quality of service to the recipient countries and encourage even further donations as the donors see the impact achieved."

School of Computing & Mathematics University of Western Sydney
Student: Dr. Avtar Singh Gill

The STEP ON IT PROGRAMTM provides users with a mobile active lifestyle program that builds on an existing body composition analyser and clinical data acquisition unit(SK-X80) with means to assess rapid personal body measurements at home(small personal scales UWB enabled) and worksites, which is then transferred by UWB wireless technology to their iPhone or Android Smartphones, or website. It is also a tool to monitor groups of individuals for health screening or assessment e.g. schools, retirement villages, armed forces, private organisations, gyms, airports.

The data gathered of their body composition, weight and body mass index with trend reports of key markers will alert at risk users to opt for diet plan, exercise or both and view their progress over time. Users have the option to include regular medications on trend charts. Diet or exercise plans have reminders and aids to motivate. The benefits are easy access to users or clients of results and analysis, self management with option of chatSmart dieticians or personal fitness trainers, review, encouragement and rewards. Finally the benefit is also in cohort studies and data mining analysis of perceived benefits in economic and health terms in the community over time.

Judges' Citation: "eHealth is an area of internet and mobile computing which will look to bring great advantage to older members of our community and to people in rural and remote areas. Uptake of traditional health services is growing at over 20% per annum - and government funding is currently growing @ 5% per annum - the gap will require innovative and low cost eHealth solutions to help deliver the services to end users. This innovative solution is looking to provide real time feedback to the user on key health measurements and allow for this to be shared readily with healthcare professionals."

4 Highly Commended - IT Innovation

School of Information Technologies University of Sydney
Students: Anurag Dey, David Wilcox, Ben Sand

Brainworth is an online platform that will revolutionise the delivery of education. User education is delivered more effectively, utilising the latest findings in educational and social psychology, in a beautiful, immersive game like environment. The education delivered is unique to each user, dynamically optimised to reflect the path to their self-directed goals.

Through consultation, the educational challenges in Brainworth reflect the most desired skills in the industry. For businesses, Brainworth's available deep data on users provides an assurance of suitable competency in prospective candidates for available positions. Brainworth democratises the delivery of education for entry into desirable, high technology industries, enabling user empowerment and facilitating social change.

Judges' Citation: "The Brainworth solution looks to provide a community to encourage and foster eLearning. The opportunity for companies to target required competencies and candidates to "navigate" a path to organisations via the competencies and skills required was seen as innovative. We would like to see more on how this will be taken up by end user companies and the revenue models this can lead to. Another unique feature of this submission was the use of crowd sourcing for training content. Certainly looking to the new crowd sourcing model was innovative but this was also seen as a major area of risk and needed further investigating."

Jump Point Search    
School of Computer Science Australian National University
Students: Daniel Harabor, Alban Grastien

Path-finding in game-world and real-world contexts, using only very limited computational resources, is a challenging problem. We have developed Jump Point Search (JPS): a novel path-finding algorithm which has been shown to be over 30 times faster than a popular industry standard technique and many times faster than its nearest scientific rival. JPS is unique in that it has very few disadvantages: it always computes the shortest path yet it requires no extra memory and has no pre-processing (setup) time.

Judges' Citation: "The Judging panel would like to recognise this submission as Highly Commended in the area of computing research - the solution will have potential in many online games and is a growing solution for logistics.

We recognise that the majority of work is now in the public domain and hence has limit revenue opportunities as it stands and we would like to see more work done to determine commercial opportunities for this in freight, transport and logistics solution."

Faculty of Engineering & IT University of Technology, Sydney
Student: Jessica Frawley

mStories is a mobile technology storytelling project with nine people from the UK and Australia generating stories using their mobile phone device. mStories is an example of how existing technologies can be used innovatively and informally to facilitate learning, creativity, and the sharing of understanding across different global communities and literacy levels. In a world where Smartphones frequently replace pen and paper, where communicating can be achieved as easily via image and video as it can in text, mStories questions what it really means to be literate. Research found that mStories empowered users who may not ordinarily 'write' a story, to express themselves, their sense of place and culture in new ways.

Judges' Citation: "mStories is looking to provide a way that the story teller in all of us can use multimedia to compile and distribute stories to a community. Stories are a highly consumed item on the web (ebooks), yet the principle media, stories in an ebook form has not been challenged or adapted from the original stories in book form. This may provide a new way to tell stories and engage a new group of consumes - people who "read" not just text, but images and video etc. We recognise this is in the early stages and we would like to see an emphasis on the business model and possible partnership with other media outlets."

Multi-modal Trip Planner    
School of Computer Science & Engineering University of NSW
Students: Adrian Schoenig, Leonid Antsfeld

TripPlanner is a next generation intermodal journey planner. It provides users with realistic travel solutions across multiple transport modes, including car, taxi, bicycle, motorcycle, walking, public transport and any combination thereof. It provides users with the fastest or shortest trip results, and also considers each trip's monetary and environmental cost as well how convenient a trip is.

We have build a proprietary routing algorithm which can handle rich data input and multiple objectives (time, money, convenience, and environment), while providing fast results. It is many times faster than existing methods on such rich-multi objective problem. This is wrapped up in a user friendly mobile application.

Judges' Citation: "The Trip Planner App is a highly innovative next generation journey planner encompassing travel solutions across multiple transport modes, including car, taxi, bicycle, motorcycle, bus, ferry, walking and any combination thereof. Not only does it provide users with the fastest or shortest trip results, it also considers each trip's monetary and environmental cost as well as convenience.

The founders are also working on developing a learning module which will learn user behavior allowing the provision of even more tailor made solutions. The judges have given Trip Planner a highly commended award for its innovation in coming up with a simple and effective solution for a extremely complex set of requirements which incorporates both public and private transport alternatives as well as considering truly intermodal travel."