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Smart kicks off search for youth-created digital solutions

Aimed at harnessing the creativity of today’s youth, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has launched an incubation program for youth-led digital solutions that enable Filipinos to surmount the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presented by Smart Prepaid, Innovation Generation will tap college students to develop innovative solutions that utilize wireless technologies to solve community problems in such fields as livelihood, education, and transportation.

In its pilot run this year, participants in the incubation program will be drawn from students of the 34 member colleges and universities of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), the company’s industry-academe collaboration program with educational institutions that offer electronics and communications engineering (ECE) and information technology (IT) courses.

The program’s tagline “(You)th Can Be Part of the Solution,” recognizes the valuable contribution of the youth in creating innovative solutions, especially in the time of the pandemic where Filipinos face daily challenges in adapting to the new normal.

“The younger generation easily adapts to technologies, and their fresh perspective brings new ideas to the table—all of which are essential to drive innovation and to utilize the technology and resources we have today,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Cash grants, expert mentoring and training

Under the program’s guidelines, each partner school allowed to submit a maximum of three entries. From the submitted entries, one team from each school will be chosen and be given a cash grant and various Smart products and services amounting to Php 100,000.

They will also be given expert mentoring and training to further develop their innovation projects. Validation of projects is slated for the first quarter of 2021.