Top Stories Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions (FICS ’23) concludes at NUST

Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions (FICS ’23) concludes at NUST

Grand Finale & Prize Distribution Ceremony of Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions (FICS 2023), NUST’s flagship international entrepreneurial programme, was held at the university’s main campus. FICS is Pakistan’s largest startup competition being annually held at NUST since 2013.  All projects pitched in the competition are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The latest edition of the competition witnessed a remarkable collaboration between Turkiye and Pakistan. NUST partnered with Gazi University in Ankara, and conducted the international chapter of FICS 2023 earlier this year, wherein teams from 20 universities of Turkiye competed for the top slot. The winners of this event qualified for the Grand Finale of FICS ’23.  This year, there were over 700 project submissions from multiple national and international institutions. A total of 100+ finalist teams of FICS ’23 demonstrated their prototypes of technology-based innovative solutions to a panel of over 30 industry judges. 

The overall National Winner of FICS ’23 was Team “Solar Panel Cleaning System” from U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E) NUST. Their project offers a simple, cost-effective, and efficient solution for cleaning of Solar PV panels. An international team’s project  “Recycling of silicon based solar panels“ from Gazi University Turkiye secured first position amongst the international contestants and was awarded a Global Champion Award of USD 5000.  FICS ’23 sponsors and partners included NetSol Technologies, TetraPak Pakistan, National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC), Central Asian Cellular Forum (CACF), and Alfoze Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 

An overwhelming number of dignitaries, particularly Ambassadors from Germany, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Malaysia, and Deputy Ambassadors from Palestine, Indonesia and Turkiye graced the occasion with their presence. Engr Javed Mahmood Bukhari, Rector NUST, presented souvenirs to the dignitaries. Multiple recorded messages of international dignitaries and participants were also played at the event. These included FICS 2022 International Winner from Egypt, the Vice Rector from Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr Munir Akram.  

Mr Akram emphasised the role of universities, like NUST in supporting Pakistan towards achieving the SDGs, and, in so doing, improving the lives of communities at large.  

The chief guest at the ceremony was Mr Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training. He commended NUST for creating an international platform to enable the youth from different parts of the globe to come together and develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. He was extremely pleased to observe the quality of prototypes displayed at the grand finale.