A TEAM of students from Wesleyan University Philippines of Cabanatuan City bested nine other teams at the 11th Sweep Innovation and Excellence Awards of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) with a mobile application that hopes to facilitate efficient trade of agricultural crops.

Basic agricultural crops such as rice and corn play an important role in the Philippine economy. It is also staple food for most Filipinos. This is why Wesleyan University’s S-MART (Smart Market Assistance and Product Trading) was judged most innovative and promising among the top entries for this year’s innovation awards.

S-MART is an app that allows the users to track prices of basic agricultural crops allowing producers to maximize their profit margins and consumers to choose the best buys in the market.

Meanwhile, Smart Image (Instant Multiple-option Assessor for General Examinations) of Bulacan State University, and #Bayanihan of Batangas State University won 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up, respectively. Smart Image is an attempt at making more efficient checking of examination papers while #Bayanihan is a cloud-based application for local government units (LGUs).

The grand champion took home P500,000 in cash prize, and the equivalent amount in grant for their school. The second and third placers received P200,000 and P100,000, respectively, with their schools getting the same amount in grant.

The Sweep Awards is the biggest and longest-running technology competition in the country. It is organized yearly by the telco as part of its Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep), an industry-academe linkage program that has a network of 52 colleges and universities all over the country. The goal of the partnership is to enhance Philippine engineering and IT education, and help partner-schools produce industry-ready graduates.

“At Smart, we champion innovation especially among the students, encouraging them to identify consumer pain points within their community, think outside the box, and design game-changing devices or applications anchored on mobile-enabled technologies,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

“Through the years, we’ve seen the vast improvement in the quality of entries submitted for the Sweep Awards and the increasing potential for commercialization of what used to be prototypes for college theses. These young innovators have effectively transformed the mobile phone into a tool that can be used to help solve everyday problems and needs,” said Isberto.

With the theme, “Building Cloud-based Communities,” Smart’s Sweep Awards continues to provide college students with the platform to develop and create innovative mobile applications that provide solutions to existing consumer pain points using mobile and Cloud technologies.

The other finalists are Smart I-Print (De La Salle Lipa); Smart A.S.S.: Aerial Surveillance System (Bulacan State University); Sentinel: Smart Emergency Necklace Triggering Internet-Enabled Locator (Bulacan State University); Smart Reserve (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila); AIDPH: A Web and Mobile-Based Application for Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Information System (University of Cebu-Main Campus); Constello (Ateneo de Manila University); and ALMS: Automated Landslide Monitoring System (University of Southeastern Philippines).

Smart also allowed for the first time non-Sweep schools to participate via the open competition on mobile apps development and vie for the Smart DevNet Innovation Award.

Five special awards were given to teams from the University of Southeastern Philippines. Each team got P10,000 plus a path to commercialization. Once the app is commercialized, the winning team will get an additional P40,000 plus a share of the revenues. (PR)