Crown Prince awards CIPTA 2011 winners
By Danial Norjidi

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office graced the Crown Prince Creative, Innovative Product and Technological Advancement (CIPTA) 2011 Awards ceremony and products showcase at the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

The awards ceremony saw His Royal Highness present prizes and awards to participants who have succeeded in creating an innovative piece of technology at the CIPTA 2011 competition.

Themed 'Global Competitiveness through Creativity and Innovation', this is the fourth time that the Institut of Teknologi Brunei (ITB) has organised this biannual, prestigious invention and innovation-related national competition in partnership with Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd.

Before the awards ceremony began, Dato Paduka Dr Awang Haji Omar, the Vice Chancellor at ITB spoke.

"As with previous editions of this competition, the primary objective of this event is to encourage invention and innovation, while recognising creative talent in this country and to encourage the process of production and development of technological products in Brunei.

"It is also hoped that this competition will have a positive impact in supporting the national Vision of 2035, towards making Brunei known around the world as a country which possesses educated, highly experienced and successful citizens."

After presenting the awards and prizes to the recipients, His Royal Highness officially opened the CIPTA 2011 showcase, which will be open to the public until 5pm today.

The Crown Prince viewed the exhibition and took a closer look at all the different local inventions on display.

A total of 31 projects were submitted for the competition, of which 29 were shortlisted, and were divided into three categories.

The first category, "Creating a New Product, Process or Technology", covered any of the aforementioned that benefits society or the environment. Category 2 covered the modification of any existing product, process or technology, which improve or enhance their functionality or quality.

The third category was for inventors and dealt with the creation of a new product, process or technology or the modification of existing ones. This category was open to upper secondary students and was aimed at encouraging creativity and ingenuity among Brunei's youths.

Categories 1 and 2 both carried similar prizes, with first to third places in either garnering the winners a trophy as well as B$6,000, B$4,000 and B$2,000 in cash respectively. Two consolation prizes of B$500 and a certificate were also given to those who did not quite make it into the top three.

In Category 3, the first prize earned the winner B$3,000, followed by B$2,000 and B$1,000 for second and third prizes, along with a trophy for all three places. Three consolation prizes of B$250 and a certificate were also presented.

In Category 1, the judges were unanimous in deciding that none of the participants were eligible to receive the first prize. However, Syed Bilal Hassan, Hj Md Adi Mukmin Hj Sarbini and Saifulbahri Hj Md Ja'afar were able to gain second place for their Electronic Vision Assistance (EVA) project for the visually impaired.

Third place was shared between two projects, GZUP B-Rust Remover For Automotive Cooling System and GZUP Crunchy Coal, which were invented by Haji Zupri bin Haji Kamis and Haji Mohd Faizal Haji Wahab respectively.

In Category 2, Haji Zupri bin Haji Kamis won again, this time in first place with Hj Mohammad Nazmie bin Haji Mohammad Daud for their invention, GZUP Bottling Systems.

Haji Ja'afar bin Awg Besar and Azmi bin Haji Ja'afar came away with second prize for their Cendol and Coconut Milk Machine, while Amali bin Abdul Rahman won third prize for his Smart Home project.

In the young inventors' category, Category 3, Dayang Amanina @ Nurfatin binti Haji Bakar from Sultan Sharif Ali Secondary School won first prize for her Solar Water Heater project, while Adzrimi bin Amin and Mohd Kamil Hakimin bin Mohd Amin from Katok Sixth Form Centre won second place for their Multi-functional Study Table project.

Third place went to Michael Erlangga Vekananda, Nur Atikah binti Hj Omar and Ronald Allan Ramos Wong from St George's School for their project, Quick Track.

According to information from the organisers, the international judges during the judging process last month saw much improvement in the products submitted by CIPTA 2011 participants as opposed to those in the previous editions.

"(The judges) expressed their optimism with CIPTA 2011 submissions although they admitted that the participants need more resources to progress and it would be beneficial for them to enter international exhibitions and market their inventions. The participants need to be given assistance (through the provision) of incubators or test labs to develop their products."

The judges were also impressed with the students' inventions, thanks to help from the introduction of the Design and Technology subject in schools. - Borneo Bulletin (8th April 2011)