(Singapore, 25 August 2020) — The 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 National University of Singapore, Yale-NUS College, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic in ASEANDSE 2020 National Finals – Singapore 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 4563 students and lecturers trained in SAP Analytics Cloud in 2020.
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 Halcyon Seraph from the National University of Singapore and Yale-NUS College will represent Singapore for the ASEAN DSE 2020's Regional Finals in November. Below are the details of the winners:
[First winner] Team Halycon Seraph, comprising Koay Tze Min and Ng Yi Ming from the National University of Singapore and Yale-NUS College, took first place at the National Finals. Their project focused on economically uplifting Southeast Asia women, township by township, during COVID-19 and beyond.
[Runner-up] Team Double McSpicy Add Cheese, comprising Chiang Shun De and Applelyn Tan from the National University of Singapore, emerged as the runner-up. Their project was designed to strengthen public health emergency preparedness and response.
[Second runner-up] Meanwhile, Team Optimizer, comprising Tan Xiang Yu and Lau Yi Lin from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, became the second runner-up for their project on making mental health to be one of the ASEAN region's priorities.
“COVID-19 has given all of us a stronger impetus to do things differently and use digital tools and data for greater impact. While there’s truth in “knowledge being king”, it’s even more relevant now for our youths to be given every opportunity to learn how to effectively harness the power of data and apply their minds to designing effective solutions that can work across different socio-cultural contexts, said Deputy Director Jedidiah Tan. “The National Youth Council is pleased to support this initiative and are heartened to see more youths from our Institutes of Higher Learning participating in the ASEAN DSE platform to acquire these skills and to learn more about ASEAN through this process.”
"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, as well as utilize these skills for their own self-development,” said SAP Singapore’s Managing Director, Ms. Eileen Chua. “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 towards 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 they are exposed to and equipped with relevant digital skills and provided with immersive platform to showcase their talents. We believe that if given the opportunity, our ASEAN youths can create impactful solutions for the community to prosper.”
“ASEAN DSE gave me a good chance to look into how data can be used for social issues. As we come from a policy analysis background, recently, more policies require data science such as data trends and demographics. When I first signed up for ASEAN DSE, I thought it was a good opportunity to merge my two interests of policy analysis and data science,” said Team Halcyon Seraph.
The National Finals was also streamed live via Facebook, attracting more than 1,280 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."