Dell Technologies announced the winners of ‘Envision the Future’, the annual graduation project competition for Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region. The winning team were students of the Helwan University in Egypt. The competition in its fourth year witnessed significant growth from the previous editions with 327 project submissions, representing more than 90 universities in 24 countries in the region.
‘Envision the Future’, aims to inspire and support technological innovations among youth in the region. Aligned with Dell Technologies’ Progress Made Real – Vision 2030 goal to use technology to unlock innovation and transform lives, the annual competition serves as a platform for students to develop creative solutions to tackle critical issues facing the world today.
Addressing the challenge of those who are unable to speak, the innovative ‘Broca’ – a silent speech recognition system, earned Helwan University the first place from a group of 10 number] shortlisted projects. With the aim of understanding people who are unable to speak, the winning team developed a unique system that can recognize the pattern of brain waves and convert them into words. The project stands apart because of its use of innovative technology to create a system that can understand unspoken speech with an accuracy rate of at least 94%.
Helwan University was chosen as the winner through a blind review process by professors from leading universities, located around the world and outside of the META region, ensuring the fair evaluation of all submitted projects. The winners were judged based on the criteria of project idea, implementation and presentations by technical experts from Dell Technologies.
The second and third place were won by students from Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Jordan and Alexandria University, Egypt respectively. These two teams creatively used advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) to help parents and doctors monitor and adjust for a healthy pregnancy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help identify early signs of depression through a user’s social media platform. Teams from Saudi Arabia also featured strong participation with two projects being won by Princess Noura University, and one by King Abdulaziz University.Witnessing significant year on year growth, the ‘Envision the Future’ competition saw 15% increase in project submissions from last year. The increasing number of participants also witnessed an upward trend in female student participants, with 79.5% being female and 20.5% males across the top 10 projects. 60 % of the projects submitted were related to healthcare; another 60% of projects were around the development of AI based applications and 30% utilized wearable devices and IoT solutions.
By providing an opportunity for students to showcase their ability to build world changing innovations, the competition drives the next generation of leaders to review a wide range of emerging technologies and apply the knowledge acquired from the Dell Technologies’ Academic Alliance program in their respective universities. The Dell Technologies Academic Alliance program collaborates with colleges and universities worldwide to help prepare students for successful careers in a transforming IT industry. The courses focus on technology concepts and principles applicable to any vendor environment, enabling students to develop highly marketable knowledge and skills required in today’s evolving IT industry.
Quotes from participating universities:
Professor Ahmed M. El-Garhy, Dean of Faculty of Engineering at Helwan University, Egypt “I’m so proud of our students for developing a solution that can truly help those who don’t have a voice. By using advanced technology solutions, they were able to create ‘Broca’ – that can understand unspoken speech with an accuracy rate of 94%. This reflects our students’ strong understanding that technology has a critical role to play in solving human problems. The Dell Technologies ‘Envision the Future’ competition is a great platform for students to come together to learn about and put in practice, the technologies that are driving the future digital age. Greetings to our dear students, their supervisor and Dell Technologies – I wish them continued success.”
Professor Mashhoor Al-Refai, President of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, Jordan congratulated the winning team at the King Hussein School for Computing Sciences. He expressed his pride in this achievement, which brings honor to all Jordanian universities. The win comes with the start of the new academic year and is notable because this is the first time the University has participated in the competition. Prof. Al-Refai praised the ongoing efforts of the students and their supervisors in participating in national and international competitions which serve to support their academic careers and hone their practical skills. He highlighted the fact that these competitions provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their excellence and promote a spirit of teamwork and fair competition. He also said that this achievement is in line with the aspirations and vision of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the University’s Board of Trustees.Prof. Dr. Essam Elkordy, President of University of Alexandria – Egypt“Being amongst the top three winning teams is a success for us and we congratulate our students for using advanced AI based technologies to help identify early signs of depression by using social media. Tackling mental health awareness is critical and this system supports people of all ages. The Dell Technologies competition is a good platform for our youth to develop their skills and showcase it to the rest of the world.”
Dell Technologies Executive quotes:
Mohammed Amin, Sr. Vice-President, Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey (MERAT), Dell Technologies“Dell Technologies purpose is to create technologies to drive human progress and here in the region we are constantly exploring initiatives that help us drive positive change. It’s vital that we connect the next generation – our future workforce – with technology, to unlock creativity and drive innovation. We congratulate Helwan University and every other group that took part in the competition, for bringing their ideas forward and for their creative use of technology. We remain committed to driving transformational programs in the region, that equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to participate in a digital economy.” Marwa Zaghow, EMEA Channel Senior Manager – Education, Dell Technologies“Our goal is to help students further their education and develop critical digital skills for their future. The ‘Envision the Future’ competition is designed specifically for senior undergraduate students with the primary objective being to stimulate creativity and enable students to explore emerging technologies. By working with students, who represent the next generation with a unique view of the world, we can identify challenges and deliver solutions based on new technologies and innovative business models, which will help us achieve our vision of building a better world, while shaping the ICT leaders of the future.”