CNL, Data Science Nigeria reward winners of AI Hackathon
Data Science Nigeria (DSN), a non-governmental organization that is building a world-class Artificial Intelligence (AI) knowledge, research, and innovation ecosystem in Nigeria, has delivered another high-impact transformational programme through its AI for Energy Hackathon.
The programme sponsored by NNPC/CNL JV (CNL) was created for participants to develop Artificial Intelligence solutions for Carbon Reduction in the energy sector, with three teams emerging as the top winners.
According to Data Science Nigeria, 609 applications were received from over 100 institutions. After a punctilious process of selection, 184 participants were selected into 40 separate teams.
A total number of 25 solution documentation was received with different outcomes ranging from Hardware, Software, Academic papers/Posters, Analytical models, and Proof of Concept.
From the documentation submitted, seven top finalists were selected to pitch their solution.
Three teams emerged as winners of a total cash prize of N3,000,000 (Three Million Naira).
- The winner of the grand prize of N1,500,000 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira ) is TEAM Premier;
- The runner-up (2nd Position) is Team Chemotronix, winning N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) and
- The second runner-up (3rd Position) is Team Titans, winning N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) in the process.
Speaking at the grand finale over the weekend, Dr. Uyi Stewart, chairman, Data Science Nigeria, and Chief Data Scientist, Seagen, USA, said “…What you have set in motion today has the capacity to change our country Nigeria and positively impact our dire capital development effort…”
“It is no fluke what AI can do to transform society, I am living proof in my day to day job, what we need now is for you to unleash your creative and innovative potential to explore how to solve local problems that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of everyday people….”
Mr. Bobby Hulett, Deepwater and PSCs director and Digital Sponsor, Chevron Nigeria Limited in his welcome speech said, “Chevron Nigeria Limited has shown commitment in quality education through investment in education, infrastructure, sponsorship, and empowerment development programme because education remains a veritable tool for personal and societal growth and sustainable development.”
He challenged the participants to focus on evolving real-life solutions that solve real world problems and advance the field of artificial intelligence in Nigeria rather than winning..
Also speaking at the event was Mrs. Eloho Agbaje, manager, Information Technology, Chevron Nigeria Limited.
She remarked that “Every great solution we have today started with an idea and for many innovators that failed, they learnt from their failures and persevered again and again”
Mr. Cosmos Iwueze, director Business Services Department, Chevron Nigeria Limited, commended Data Science Nigeria for initiating the hackathon with the intent to build an ecosystem for local talent development and sectoral application in Energy with the broader objective of increasing employability of young Nigerians through hands-on exposure to data science in a real-world capacity.
He said, “Building solution-orientation where theories are applied and deployed is a very commendable initiative”.
“It has been a very intensive program and I am proud of the participants”, Mr. Iwueze said, urging the students to hone the complementary skills they developed during the hackathon in addition to the technical skills they demonstrated. “The skills are not just there to progress your efforts to full-blown solutions, but pre-requisite for success in life. Therefore, consider the speed involved in developing your solutions. I am very pleased because what you have developed shows Nigeria is better in your hands. As you worked as a team during the process, embrace collaborative spirit; that is the only way you can make it happen,” he advised.
The Director also expressed confidence that the Data Science Nigeria (DSN’s) effort could spur a new generation of energy-focused Startups in the country.
The hackathon was conceived with the idea to enhance the quality of the machine learning skill set available in the country while deepening local content agenda, and to drive real-world application that solves specific business problems whilst finding an intersection between theory and practice.
It is part of DSN’s quest to raise 1 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) talents in 10 years and position Nigeria as a leading AI Hub in the world.