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The First National ICT Hackathon Competition
Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance II, in a group photo with the winners
In an effort to achieve the Wawasan Brunei 2035, His Majesty's government continues to implement essential reformations to ensure that the business environment in the country will be more conducive, pro-business and progressive. Local entrepreneurs and inventors are reminded to welcome such opportunities through facilities that are channelled via certain agencies, particularly businesses that are related to innovation and creativity. This was stated by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, the Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance during the Closing Ceremony and Prize Presentation of 'B' Code: Brunei's First National ICT Hackathon. The ceremony took place yesterday at the Design and Technology Building in Kampung Anggerek Desa. In his speech, Yang Berhormat Pehin said even though the country's involvement in the digital economy is still at a low level, it has the potential to be developed more effectively.

According to Yang Berhormat Pehin, what is important is that skill training in the field of technology should be improved and diversified in line with the needs of the changing world.  This is to prepare the locals so that they have the potential to meet the industry's workforce demand as well as being capable of competing at the regional and international level, either in digital entrepreneurship or as a skilled individual.

Yang Berhormat Pehin added that the existence of several new technologies, which highlighted the importance of digital economy, has opened new opportunities for the country to continue its exploration and development, apart from opportunities for collaboration between the government and non-government agencies to diversify and develop the country's economy.

Yang Berhormat Pehin said that from the aspect of connectivity, statistics in 2016 showed that the penetration rate of mobile phones in the country has increased from 11 percent to 125.5 percent, while the penetration rate of mobile phone broadband rose to 121.2 percent from 19 percent. This shows that a number of micro, small and medium enterprises in the country have taken the connectivity opportunity and arranged their business plan based on the use of technology.

Team One from Politeknik Brunei won the Student Category with their invention on Public Transport application. Meanwhile, the Open Category went to 'CrowdSource' with their Crowd funding on Community and Charity invention. Winners received a start-up grant worth 20 thousand dollars to develop their final product, one month mentorship in Microsoft Brunei; six months access to facilities provided at the I-CENTRE, access to available classes offered by the Industry Business Academy as well as a trophy and certificate.

More than 100 participants took part in the 2-month ICT Hackathon, which aims to encourage innovation, stimulate ideas and drive creativity to tackle as well as provide solutions to current challenges faced by the country through the use of ICT. Organised by National e-Government Centre and the Department of Energy and Industry with the cooperation of Microsoft Brunei Sendirian Berhad, 9 themes were competed in the competition including the Brunei Communication Hub, Talent Search Centre and Public Transport.

Courtesy of Brudirect.com
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