Crown Prince at CIPTA awards
By Zasika Musdi & Kartika Rahman

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, yesterday consented to present prizes to the winners of the prestigious Crown Prince CIPTA Award 2007 at the Songket Ballroom, The Rizqun International Hotel.

HRH was greeted by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib, Minister of Education. Also present were senior government officials, and members of the IT business community.

In Category 1, first place went to Awang Chua Kok Vee @ Alan for the creation PIC Controlled Cloth Line System; second place went to Awang Mat Kapar bin Hj Awg Karim for the EE Padi Harvesting Device; and third place went to Awang Ong Wee Hong, Awang Liong Hong Hwa and Awang Ho Chang Jie for their creation of the Party Launcher.

In Category 2, first place went to Awang Yee Soon Keong, Awang M Supramaniam and Awang Manuel Victoria for their creation of the Electric Motor Controller with three Operational Functions; second place went to Awang Sharizan bin Hamidon for their PIC Controller Mobile Car Alarm System; while third place went to Awang Suardy Joffry bin Awang Jumat.

Winners from both categories received a trophy, $6,000 cash and certificate of participation from the Crown Prince.

The competition was divided into two categories: Category 1 - Create New Products, Process or Technology, and Category 2 - Modifying Existing Products, Process or Technology. Category 1 was judged in accordance to novelty, originality and creativity of the work; potential for commercial application and contribution to the development of society; and the possibility of utilisation of the project in the design and manufacture of end product. Category 2 was judged in accordance to creativity and level of improvement of the project over other alternatives; workability, acceptability to potential users, and its economical feasibility; potential for commercial application and contribution to the development of society; and the working performance.

The Crown Prince CIPTA is a biennial competition held to support innovation and creativity in Brunei Darussalam, which is open to all schools, technical and tertiary educational institutions, government and private organisations as well as the general public. The competition was organised by Institut Teknologi Brunei in partnership with BLNG and co-sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.

The winning projects in the competition will be recommended to appropriate authorities for further sponsorship, research and development. The competition covers all areas of science, technology and engineering including civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic, computer, microprocessors and chemical engineering.

The objectives of CIPTA are to inspire the youth and public to develop creative products, processes or technology for national aspirations; encourage inventions and innovations in Brunei; recognise and award creative talents in the country; and to promote manufacturing processes and technological products development in the country. These were highlighted by Dr Hajah Naemah bte Haji Basir, Acting Director of Institut Teknologi Brunei during her welcoming speech. "With this it is hoped that our aspirations to develop the local production of technological innovations will be achieved," she added.

Eight judges were invited to judge the four-day competition, held from March 5-8. The judges for Category 1 were Associate Professor Pulung Nurprasetio from Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia; Dr Martin Blundell from University Brunei Darussalam; Awang Mohammad Safri bin Hj Masri from Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd; and Ak Adi Johan bin Pg Hj Annuar from Brunei Petroleum. Judges for Category 2 were Professor Stephen Heppell from United Kingdom; Awang Chong Chin Fatt from Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd; Awang Derek Wong Tet Leong from DST Communication Sdn Bhd; and Awang Ahmad Fazil bin Mohammad Hashim from Schlumberger Brunei.

The judges were unanimous in their praise for the competition and the quality of the entries. The event was considered to be essential to encourage individuals and companies in the promotion of new ideas, inventions, and modifications for improvement to existing products. They believed the successful projects have promising potential for commercial development and could be further developed in collaboration with higher education institutions and relevant government institutions. They were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the inventions especially in terms of putting together existing engineering principles and components into a new and simple product. The Crown Prince then launched the three-day CIPTA exhibition that displays the 16 inventions that competed for the CIPTA Award, as well as private sector companies in the IT industry.

Among the displays is the winning invention the 'PIC Controlled Cloth Line System', a clothesline that ingeniously functions with the use of mechanics and software that consists of a rain detector and a night sensor.

IT facilities for the visually impaired is also on display at the Standard Chartered Bank booth, where the bank's 'Seeing Is Believing' initiative and Ministry of Education's Special Education Unit showcasing computers and demonstrating software to assist those with visual impairment.

CIPTA continues to draw the attention of IT enthusiasts, namely various computer vendors that entice the crowd with promotional prices. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd March 2007)