APU Innovations Take the Spotlight at MSC Malaysia APICTA 2023 | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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APU Innovations Take the Spotlight at MSC Malaysia APICTA 2023

APU’s ground-breaking innovations, MAVIHUB and SMECollab, were recognised as national winners at MSC Malaysia APICTA 2023 and are ready to illuminate the global stage with Malaysian ingenuity at the upcoming APICTA International competition in Hong Kong, China.

Team MAVIHUB and SMECollab’s commitment to innovation was recognised at MSC Malaysia APICTA 2023, showcasing their unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation.

In a triumphant display of innovation and technological prowess, two teams from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), MAVIHUB and SMECollab, conquered the MSC Malaysia Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) 2023, snatching the coveted Industrial (Manufacturing) and Students (Tertiary) category awards, respectively.

Their victories cemented APU’s position as a beacon of excellence in the realm of technology and innovation and are set to illuminate the global stage with Malaysian ingenuity at the upcoming APICTA competition in Hong Kong, China from 5th to 8th December 2023.

MAVIHUB, comprising Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, Ir. Narendran Ramasenderan, and Mr. Krishna Ravinchandra, impressed the judges with their innovative machine vision and deep learning solution, showcasing how their technology could transform manufacturing processes.

Their victory marked their first participation in APICTA, and the team expressed their excitement about the learning opportunities they gained.

“To win in this category, we demonstrated innovation in our machine vision and robotic autonomy solution as well as excelled in showing the practical application, scalability, and potential impact of our pilot stage project,” said Ir. Narendran representing MAVIHUB.

Embarking on this competitive journey, MAVIHUB discovered the profound significance of innovation, teamwork, and the art of transforming intricate technical concepts into captivating narratives.

From left, Ir. Narendran Ramasenderan, Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, and Mr. Krishna Ravinchandra are the three pillars of excellence for the MAVIHUB team.

They delved into the ever-evolving landscape of industrial manufacturing and technology, gaining valuable insights from their fellow competitors.

“Participating in such a prestigious competition was both exhilarating and demanding,” explained Narendran and added that “It provided an invaluable platform to not only showcase our unwavering dedication but also to engage with fellow innovators, a crucial step for our fledgling startup.”

Drawing upon the invaluable feedback and experiences gleaned from MSC Malaysia APICTA 2023, MAVIHUB team are now carefully considering their strategic approach for the upcoming competition in Hong Kong, China.

They are meticulously evaluating whether to refine their current project or embark on the development of an entirely new one.

“Our preparations encompass further project development, a thorough understanding of the competition’s specific criteria, and adapting our presentation to resonate with a potentially different audience and set of judges.

“Participation in APICTA Hong Kong holds the potential for significant long-term benefits, including exposure to international markets, networking opportunities, potential collaborations and partnerships, and a deeper understanding of global trends in technology and innovation,” he concluded.

MAVIHUB is an innovative machine vision and deep learning solution demonstrating how its emerging technologies may improve manufacturing processes.

SMECollab: Empowers and facilitates SMEs’ collaboration

Brilliant minds of team SMECollab, (from left) Kenneth Chin, Heng Kang Han, Chin Hau Jin, Tan Zhi Jun, Tiong Shao Feng, and Kelwin Chew with their mentor Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam.

SMECollab, a group of Computer Science students specialising in Data Analytics, led by Kelwin Chew, Tan Zhi Jun, Tiong Shao Feng, Chin Hau Jin, Kenneth Chin Wei Yow, and Heng Kang Han, developed a solution to address the issues that SMEs are facing today.

Since June 2023, the team had competed in rigorous competitions such as the Standard Chartered ImpactHack, Startup Weekend, UNIIC Demo Day, and ASBX Challenge under the guidance of their mentors, Prof. Vinesh and Georg Chmiel, Along the way, their featured innovation also evolved with continual improvements to date.

“Special thanks to Prof. Vinesh, who served as our academic mentor, and Georg Chmiel, who served as our industry mentor. We appreciate all the critical remarks and critiques provided by them and other judges along the journey.

“Their invaluable insights not only guided our improvements but also strengthened our AI-based collaborative platform, ultimately contributing to our success in securing this national award,” said Kelwin representing SMECollab.

The success of team SMECollab reflects the deep bonding and unique contribution of each member.

Their involvement in the competition extended beyond teamwork by involving research and surveys focused on fashion and apparel-based SMEs and businesses, gaining valuable insights applicable not only to the competition but also to real-world scenarios.

Beyond skill development, participating in all the competitions allowed them to network and socialise with mentors and professionals, which opened doors for potential partnerships and exposure.

“APICTA Malaysia awards encouraged us to push ourselves and take risks, and it unquestionably paid off. Overall, the competition was more than just a success; it was a journey full of lessons, growth, and moments that cemented our team’s bond.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Malaysia’s tech landscape. It was a journey that we will always remember, reminding us that success is not just about the destination, but also about the path we take to get there,” he said.

A screenshot of the SMECollab website, which APU Data Analytics students developed.

With the prestigious APICTA International Hong Kong competition beckoning on the horizon, the SMECollab team is meticulously crafting their strategy, poised to showcase their innovative solution on an international stage.

Undeterred by their previous achievements, the team is relentlessly elevating their project to unprecedented levels, meticulously refining every aspect from pitch deck to prototype, driven by an unwavering belief in their idea’s global market potential.

“As we step onto a larger stage, refining our presentation and prototype to meet international standards is paramount,” the group agreed.

To accomplish this, they prepared for the transition from online to physical presentations by undertaking a comprehensive revamp of their presentation slides and overall flow.

The knowledge and skills gained through university modules undertaken provided a solid foundation while the team recognised that real-world problem-solving required a deeper understanding of business dynamics.

Participating in these competitions allowed the team to apply their data analytics skills to real-world business problems and gain valuable insights into the business world, which was essential for their academic success and their ultimate goal of transforming SMECollab into a successful business.

While their immediate focus remains steadfast on this objective, they remain open to exploring future avenues, such as participating in other competitions or events, that align with their journey.

SMECollab is set to build a route toward a fulfilling and impactful future with an unrelenting dedication to constant learning and discovery.

Empowering SMEs Through Data-Driven Innovation

Under the mentorship of Prof. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, MAVIHUB and SMECollab excelled and reached the international stage.

APU Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer Prof. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, a well-known expert in data analytics and artificial intelligence, played an important role in leading, guiding, and advising both MAVIHUB and SMECollab.

His unwavering commitment to innovation, as well as his passion for nurturing young talent, have been instrumental in shaping the teams’ success.

“It is clear that innovation is deeply embedded in both MAVIHUB and SMECollab which will be the vital element for the APICTA International finals,” said Prof. Vinesh.

“Both teams have demonstrated exceptional creativity and dedication in developing a trendy solution based on skills amplified at APU as a key variable that allowed them to showcase their products on the global stage.”

In addition to their technological prowess, both MAVIHUB and SMECollab have incorporated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into their projects.

Transcending mere business needs, their solutions are meticulously crafted to not only meet current demands but also to contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future, aligning with ESG principles and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to underscore their unwavering commitment to making a positive global impact.

Both teams are brimming with excitement as they start on this international adventure, fuelled by the boundless potential of their solutions and the myriad opportunities that lie ahead.

Best wishes and congratulations to both teams as they prepare to illuminate the world with their ingenuity.