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Nisti awards young innovators | 22 September 2020

Nisti awards young innovators
  • Launches next challenge, website and booklet


Competition winners of the Open Innovation Challenge launched by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation (Nisti), were yesterday awarded in a brief ceremony, attended by Vice-President Vincent Meriton, among other dignitaries.

The young innovators, from numerous schools from primary level up to post-secondary level, were presented with certificates and cash prizes sponsored by partner organisations, after submitting and pitching their project ideas, in keeping with the theme ‘Developing innovative solutions for the Covid-19 pandemic and post-pandemic Seychelles’.

Bel Ombre school, who submitted a total of nine projects for the challenge, emerged as best, clinching the R10,000 for their Automated Sprayer project to facilitate the disinfection of public transport. The winning group comprised Abigail Azemia, Vivvi Marie, Anil Elizabeth and Leyla Sopha.

In the primary school category, Tyra Telemaque of La Misère school secured the first prize of R6000 with her idea of a self-screening machine, while the second prize of R4000 went to R. Anand Narayan of Mont Fleuri school with a natural hand sanitiser.

Bel Ombre school secured multiple wins, as Noah Nalletamby took the third prize of R2000, for his project design for a foot-operated liquid soap or sanitiser dispenser.

The prize for most innovative project went to Asher Vidot of Au Cap school for his project, ‘Keeping a safe Distance’. Asher received not only a certificate, but also a R4000 cash prize, sponsored by Nisti. Best presenter in this category was awarded to Adrian Anthony of the Independent School.

In addition to primary schools, who responded positively to Nisti’s call for innovative projects in June and submitted a total of 42 projects collectively, the challenge was also open to secondary school and post-secondary institutions, to ensure that irrespective of age, youths are actively engaged with Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (Stem) and innovation.

Twenty-five projects were submitted by secondary schools and a further ten from post-secondary institutions.

The first prize in the secondary school category went to Sophie Servina, Antoinette Solin, Laura Pool and Hazel Rachel of Anse Boileau school with their project entitled ‘SOLVE’.

Second prize was awarded to Shakthi Guhan Alexander of International School while third prize went to Jade Arrissol of Pointe Larue school.

Mikhail Rudchenko, also from the International School, won the prize for innovation in the category while the prize for Best presenter went to duo Maryam Henrie and Mandy Shilwatso of Anse Boileau school.

Of the five awards to be won in the post-secondary category, three went to projects from the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (Site). Trio Clara Melanie, Julia Fabien and Natty Radegonde clinched first prize with their project geared towards improved lavatory hygiene, while Natasha Charlette won second prize for her innovative mobile application. Kurstina Esparon, Clara Melanie, Petrina Louis and Debra Leon formed the winning team for the innovation prize.

Martina Luther of the Seychelles Tourism Academy secured second prize with her idea of a convenient sanitiser wristband while Myra Georges of the University of Seychelles (UniSey), whose project was based on work place innovation, received a certificate and token as the best presenter in the category.

Prizes were sponsored by Nouvobanq, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Island Development Company (IDC), the Children’s Special Fund, Seychelles NATION, the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Laxmanbhai Seychelles and United Concrete Products Seychelles (UCPS) Ltd.

Chief executive of Nisti, Xavier Estico, is extremely satisfied with the level of interest and participation for the first-ever edition of the challenge.

“Your participation and the quality of your projects, gives us hope that we can as a small island state, innovate ourselves out of the Covid-19 pandemic, reduce our economic vulnerability through diversification of our economic activities, improve lives in our communities and connect with global communities, which means being a global player too,” Mr Estico stated.

Considering the success of this first challenge, Mr Estico also launched the second one, under the theme ‘Developing innovative solutions and climate change’.

As with the first challenge, the second one is open to schools and will this time also be open to the public.

More information can be found on Nisti’s newly launched website

Invitees and competition participants all went home with a copy of Nisti’s innovation booklet, also launched during yesterday’s ceremony.

The accompanying photographs show the various category winners with guests.


Laura Pillay

Photos: Louis Toussaint









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