27 December 2020

A team from Fife College has finished in third place in a national digital innovation competition sponsored by tech giant Fujitsu.

The contest, entitled Operation Innovation, was started by Fujitsu in 2016 with the aim of closing the gap between education and employment when it comes to digital skills.

This year's event brought together students aged 16 and above from over 17 education institutions across the UK, inviting them to develop a proposal to solve a real-world problem by using digital technologies.

Fife College students Andrew Macleod, Abbeygail Bryson and Dean Brown entered a submission based on their idea of a complete system for the continuous, contact-free monitoring of an individual’s health.

Using low-cost sensors and Fujitsu’s cloud-based AI technology their system, named HALTH, would gather data about the user’s health and offer advice and interventions to both the user themselves and to healthcare professionals.

Judges put the team from Fife College through to the final, where eight teams presented their ideas in a “Dragon’s Den” style to an expert Fujitsu panel through Microsoft Teams – with Andrew, Abbeygail and Dean placing third and winning a gift box of Fujitsu goodies.

Head of Digital Learning at Fife College, Sharon Burns said:

"We're immensely proud of Andrew, Abbeygail and Dean for what they've achieved.

"To go up against colleges from around the UK and make the final was already a great result.

"But to then finish third overall was brilliant, and shows the strength of the idea that they came up with, and their skills in being able to present it to the panel.

"We hope this experience helps them in their educational journey, and sets them up for a successful career once they finish their courses."

One of the members of the Fife College team Dean Brown, said:

"I was pleased to have been asked to enter this competition and I'm proud of the whole team and the effort we put in.

"Third place nationally was an amazing result.

"I'd like to thank the College for asking me to take part and for the support they gave us throughout the process."

The lead at Fujitsu for Project Innovation, Bronwyn O'Neill commented:

"The Fife College team’s collaborative presentation style had a really professional flow and the judges were really impressed by the clarity of communication which meant that the innovation behind the idea really stood out.

"It’s especially difficult to achieve this virtually so a huge pat on the back!

"The Fife College team did a brilliant job - to achieve this status out of the many entries across the rest of the UK is a real testament to the students' ingenuity, commitment, and professionalism."

Photograph: Andrew MacLeod (left) and Dean Brown (right) are pictured with their prizes. Abbeygail Bryson was unavailable to pick up her prize in person.