ASEAN Data Science Explorers to Host First Virtual National Finals This Year

ASEAN Foundation and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) are pleased to announce that the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) faces no slowdown despite the COVID-19 pandemic as it hosts its first virtual National Finals this year. Crowned national champions are the three teams from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Imperium International College, Sunway University, and Monash University Malaysia in ASEANDSE 2020 National Finals – Viet Nam that took place today virtually.

Despite the global pandemic, ASEAN DSE continues to solicit interest from the youth community and remains in its endeavor to skill and equip youths with essential digital age skills. A total of 852 youths across the region competed to represent their country in the National Finals, with 4,563 students and lecturers trained in SAP Analytics Cloud in 2020.  

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The three winners were judged based on their ability to design a best all-rounded concept that tackles ASEAN socio-economic issues, driven by data insights. The judging criteria look at the creativity, feasibility, innovation, and the team’s ability to demonstrate the solution’s implementation. 

As the first winner, Team Psyduck from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia will represent Malaysia in the ASEAN DSE 2020’s Regional Finals in November. Below are the details of the winners:

[First winner] Team Psyduck, comprising Oscar Fang Jack Ling and Quah Chun Meng from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, took first place at the National Finals. Their project focused on Digital Integration: the Key to Growth.

[Runner-up] Team The Patriot Duo, comprising Mohd Fahad Saleem and Viknesa Vetrivelan from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Imperium International College, emerged as the runner-up. Their project was designed to tackle the climate change issue, threatening the food ecosystem’s biodiversity in ASEAN.

[Second runner-up] Meanwhile, Team Protein, comprising Nikola Adiprasetya and How Jo Yi from Sunway University and Monash University Malaysia, became the second runner-up for their project on reviving the tourism industry in ASEAN.

“Youth enhancement in advanced data transformation is the key for nation-building with emphasizing on youth-centered, data-driven,” said Dr. Vellapandian A/L Ponnusamy, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Youth Research, Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“ASEAN will get stronger through advanced data science technology,” said YBhg. Prof Dato’ Dr. Muhammad Fauzi Mohd. Zain, Director of Institutions of Higher Education Excellence Research Division, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education.

“Together with the ASEAN Foundation, we at SAP strongly encourage the youths to use their newly learned skills from SAP Analytics Cloud to create sustainable innovations for current social and economic issues. Also, youths should utilize these skills for their self-development,” said KC Hong, SAP Managing Director for Malaysia. “Digital skills are more relevant now in the middle of our current pandemic situation and as we look towards recovery. We are pleased to see that youths in ASEAN can make a difference in that goal and improve people’s lives.”

“ASEAN DSE is the embodiment of our commitment with SAP to empower youth in the region with future-ready skills that will allow them to thrive and become globally competitive during this difficult period and in the years to come,” said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, the ASEAN Foundation’s Executive Director. “We are very happy to see so many innovative data-driven proposals presented by all National Finalists today. It is a testament to what our youths can do when exposed to and equipped with relevant digital skills and provided with an immersive platform to showcase their talents. We believe that our ASEAN youths can create impactful solutions for the community to prosper if given the opportunity.”  

“The ADSE competition is a first for us. We had no prior experience joining case competitions but were intrigued to know what data science was all about. Of course, the journey was filled with ups & downs as expected, though the number of ups is certainly not more than the number of fingers on my right hand. It all started with our illustrious lecturer, Dr. Yeong Che Fai. After attending a training session on the SAP Data Analytics platform. He introduced the software to our club, UTM Airost. Little did we know that it was to encourage the club’s members to participate in a data science competition (ASEAN DSE). Pulled by the allure of ‘data science’ despite knowing close to nothing about it, the two of us teamed up, and Team Psyduck was underway,” said Team Psyduck.

The National Finals were also streamed live via Facebook, attracting more than 630 viewers.

ASEAN DSE is a regional programme by the ASEAN Foundation and SAP that aims to catalyze activism and critical thinking among university students in ASEAN. Since its inception in 2017, ASEAN DSE has empowered over 16,259 students, 1,420 lecturers from 370 higher education institutes in the region with data analytics skills. The programme engages youth to develop data-driven solutions that highlight six Sustainable Development Goals namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) decent work and economic growth, (5) industry, innovation & infrastructure and (6) sustainable cities and communities by harnessing SAP’s Analytics Cloud software.

ASEAN Foundation and SAP share the common objective of  continuing the implementation of ASEAN DSE 2020 as a way of equipping youths with future-ready skills that will enable them to thrive in the “New Normal” era and supporting the theme of Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship, which is building a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN.” 

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