The team of students from Adamson University won this year’s Emerson Philippines’ 2nd Innovation Challenge with their entry called Project ISDA. This year’s theme is Digital Transformation which gave them the opportunity to identify and solve pain points in their communities.
Emerson is a multinational company that manufactures products and provides engineering services for a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets.
Project ISDA (IoT System for Dissolve Oxygen Monitoring and Analytics) is a decision support tool for fish pond farmers to prevent mass fish kills. The system is composed of sensor nodes anchored in strategic places inside the fish pond/cage. Each sensor node is capable of sending temperature and dissolve oxygen data through its sensor to a base station to monitor the water quality.
The Adamson team is composed of Angelo D. Erasmo (BS Computer Science), Jay Bhie D. Santos (BS Electronics Engineering), Jomar F. Mansilungan (BS Electronics Engineering), Reina Louise M. Salanguit (BS Electronics Engineering), and Zeldrix Don (BS Computer Science), with Engr. Jasper Meynard Araña who served as faculty adviser.
The students said they came up with the idea after learning of subsequent fish kills that affect many fisherfolks in the country.
The Emerson Innovation Challenge is a local initiative of Emerson Philippines as part of the firm’s global initiative in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) among students. The company opened the invitation to its partner schools to participate.
“In the Philippines, the Innovation Challenge is really something that engages them (the students) to practice,” said Carey Ann Ramento, Emerson STEM regional head and recruitment director. “Those kids can practice trying to solve something that’s important to them. This is a socially relevant competition and we’re giving them a chance to solve something that will spur innovation.”
“In the spirit of innovation, we wanted them to think out of the box,” said Janet Serrano, senior operations manager, Emerson Philippines. “We didn’t limit them to one specific issue in the community. We wanted them to learn how to identify the problem and provide solutions, as long as the solution is aligned with the theme of digital transformation.”
The five-month program started with the invitation from Emerson to participate. The firm conducted a workshop held at Miriam College to train the participants on areas of Design Thinking and Makers’ Mindset to reinforce their ideas as well as develop collaboration within a team.
The announcement was made after the Emerson Philippines Innovation Rally 2019 held at the Henry Sy Sr. Innovation Center at the Miriam College in Quezon City. The competition was among the representatives of partner universities including Adamson University, Asia Pacific College, Bulacan State University, Mapua University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.
The judges include Cheryl Zafra, business leader, Emerson financial services, Adel Aranton, business Leader, Emerson IT Resource Center, Ruben Cu, business leader, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, Jo-A Lozano, business leader, Emerson Automation Solutions, and Rowena Saquin, VP and GMA, Emerson Systems and Solutions Manila.
Emerson wanted the students to think like startups and not just another school project. They were also asked to test the market viability of their creations.
“They also looked at the viability of their product,” Ramento said.
She shared that some teams worked with their local government units during the development process conducting a survey that should the prototype become commercially available, will they be able to purchase them.
Emerson STEM program
In 2015, Emerson launched its STEM program (initially dubbed as I Love STEM) to encourage students to become future innovators and change-makers.
There is an increasing interest in STEM among students, according to Emerson. However, while the government is putting in efforts, the private sector’s assistance can help fast-track the careers of graduating students if they are equipped with the skills needed to advance to the workplace.
Aside from the Innovation Challenge, Emerson Philippines also has a scholarship program and is currently supporting 88 students.
“We have already hired 44 from the scholars (we had in the past) and I think that’s really a very good measure of the success of Emerson as far as STEM education is concerned,” Ramento said.