Months after Sept Lozada and his schoolmates garnered top honors at the 2017 innovation competition of Smart Communications, the information technology student from University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) in Cebu found himself learning from one of the world’s technology giants, Huawei.
PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart, had endorsed Lozada to participate in Huawei’s Seed for the Future initiative, a 17-day training program conducted in Beijing and in the research and development centers of Huawei in Shenzhen, China. There, Lozada learned about the development of next generation networks, cloud technology, and the internet of things. He also received hands-on training on programming and configuration.
“It was really a bonus for me,” Lozada said. “As IT students, we are not able to discuss deeply the communication side of technology, like 3G and 4G networks. It was great to know more about telecommunications technology.”
Lozada added that his experience in China boosted his determination to continue working on his team’s award-winning project. BloodSeeker, the grand prize winner at the 13th SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards, is a mobile and web application seeking to connect those in need of blood with potential donors.
“It took Huawei many years to become what it is now. That’s because of perseverance. I want to finish our project and launch it as soon as possible. We are still in the development stage, but we are completing it,” he said.
Lozada and his teammates received a P300,000 prize from Smart, while their school got a P150,000 grant.
The 20-year-old encouraged college students to join the 14th SWEEP Awards and come up with innovations that solve actual consumer problems.
“We have to do whatever we can and to the best of our abilities to make the country a better place. Please join Smart SWEEP Awards because it’s not only a competition. It helps you be the best that you can be. Smart does not only connect people with each other; it also connects people to their dreams,” Lozada said.
“If not for the SWEEP Awards, I wouldn’t have been able to go to China and join Huawei’s Seed for the Future. It also broadened my mind, making me realize that I had a lot of opportunities outside school, that I could achieve a lot of things even while I’m still studying,” he added.
Smart is accepting entries to the 14th SWEEP Awards until December 15, which has the theme “#LifeLikeNeverBefore: Digital Innovations for a Better Tomorrow.” Interested college students should form a team, think of an innovation that can improve people’s lives, and upload a video pitch at www.smartsweep.ph. The full mechanics can also be found on this site.
The winning team will receive P300,000, the second placer will get P200,000, while the third placer will win P100,000. Schools of the top three teams will each get a digital campus package from Smart and PLDT.
The SWEEP Awards was launched in 2004 to promote the culture of innovation among college students. It is a component of SWEEP, an internationally recognized program under which Smart collaborates with the academe to improve engineering and IT education in the country.