Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC) Grand Finale 2020 Announces Three Inventions to Benefit Local Communities


Three teams received a Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) innovation grant of RM60,000 in total to develop and upscale their functional prototypes that would be able to solve real-life issues in local communities

YSD Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Ms Caroline Christine Russell and YSD Governing Council Member YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman hands over a mock cheque signifying YSD’s continued support of RM1.5 million to Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) Executive Director Ms Sumitra Visvanathan. YSD’s support to WAO is for three years until December 2019.

The SDYIC Grand Finale 2020 highlighted this year’s finalist teams, showcasing this year’s award recipients

Kuala Lumpur, January 2021- Following the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC) National Camp 2020 hosted by Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), three teams clinched innovation grants totalling RM60,000 at the SDYIC Grand Finale held recently. Themed “Help A Person, Change the World'', the SDYIC provides a unique opportunity for the teams to further refine their prototypes by working with targeted communities for one year to implement their inventions in the real world. These prototypes aim to address community issues and challenges.

The first of three teams is Team Indahpura 1 from SMK Indahpura (1), Kulai, Johor with their prototype called “SOP Management Device”. This invention monitors the number of students entering restrooms via a mobile application which reduces waiting time for those queueing up in the toilet and adheres to the government standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the overall risk of COVID-19 transmission, among others. The team won book vouchers worth RM1,000 and the Yayasan Sime Darby innovation grant of RM20,000 to develop and upscale their prototype to become a viable solution for schools in the community.

The second team to receive the Yayasan Sime Darby innovation grant of RM 20,000 was made up of students of SMK Mulong, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. They created a height detector prototype called “Smart Height Measurer'', aimed at replacing traditional measuring equipment to provide a quick and accurate height measurement and recording. This invention is expected to benefit teachers during Standard Kecergasan Fizikal Kebangsaan (SEGAK) in schools as well as community clinics.

The third group to receive the remaining portion of the innovation grant consisted of students from SMK Tiong Hin, Sibu, Sarawak. They impressed the judges with their innovative traffic controller safety vest for school crossing guards to better communicate clear and understandable signals, thereby reducing pedestrian accidents within school zones. The three teams will have a year to further develop their prototypes before the implementation process.

YSD Governing Council Member Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson said: “With this year’s theme, we aim to encourage youths to become caring citizens who are connected to their surroundings and communities. This year’s SDYIC participants were empowered to devise prototypes that would help solve real life problems for the community.

“It’s been a delight to witness such talent and creativity in these students as they worked to create innovative tools that could help their communities. No matter your age, you have within you the ability to invent solutions that could make a difference to society. This is the message that we wish to send through with SDYIC. As in previous years, Yayasan Sime Darby will work with the recipients of the 2020 innovation grant to further develop their ideas into viable solutions.”

In addition to highlighting the innovation grant recipients, the SDYIC also recognised three other teams who merited special mentions. The students of SMK Kubang Kerian received the Favourite Innovation Award for a sound deterrent prototype for effective agricultural pest control. While students of SMK Aminuddin Baki, Kuala Lumpur and SMK Jit Sin, Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang won the Best Presenter Awards receiving book vouchers worth RM300. The respective prototypes “Waste Me Not” prevents food wastage by using inventory control while students of SMK Jit Sin created a vision control invention to protect children from computer vision syndrome.

This year, a total of 1,581 students comprising 610 teams from 406 schools nationwide had participated in the SDYIC which began as an online state-level competition nationwide. Out of the total number of participating teams, 15 finalists were selected to compete at the national level, participating in the SDYIC 2020 National Camp which was also held virtually.

A timely and comprehensive initiative in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the National Camp further guided the participants to polish various fundamental innovation skills and pitching methods to effectively communicate their inventions. The teams then presented their pitches to the final panel of judges consisting of first-hand industry experts, Sime Darby employees and innovation officers, to determine the 3 teams who took home the innovation grants.

Ahead of its time, SDYIC 2020 is the first ever edition since 2016 to have been conducted entirely online – a decision made way before the onset of COVID-19. This strategy not only eliminated logistical barriers and financial constraints, but also circumvented the challenges of restricted movement measures due to the pandemic, making the competition as accessible as possible to students and teachers nationwide.

“Due to the pandemic and school closures, it has been difficult for schools across the nation to keep up with their academic classes, in addition to not being able to carry out any co-curricular or extra-curricular activities. SDYIC was able to fill in a gap during these challenging times and had in fact received participation from an increased number of schools in 2020 (406) as compared to 2019 (336).

“This year’s competition also saw a 12% increase in the participation of rural schools, with 8 out of the 15 finalist teams coming from rural areas. We were also pleased to see that the participation of female students has maintained at about 40%, although we do hope to see an increase in female students showcasing their innovative talents in future SDYIC national championships,” Dato’ Jeffri added.

The SDYIC is a collaboration with a social business start-up, Chumbaka Sdn Bhd (Chumbaka), a training provider, approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and endorsed by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). SDYIC is an initiative for YSD and Chumbaka to provide STEM training in schools across the nation and to transform Malaysian youth from digital users to producers in the digital economy.

To date, the foundation has committed over RM4.28 million to SDYIC under its Education pillar. The program has reached out to 11,438 secondary school students, undergraduate students, school teachers and Sime Darby Innovation Officers in collaboration with Chumbaka, state education departments, and partnering universities to realise this mission.
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Last Updated:
07 Jan 2021
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