First-ever virtual IIT Cutting Edge showcases innovative IT and business solutions of students
Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), the pioneer in British higher education in Sri Lanka and the country’s premier IT and Business campus, successfully concluded its first-ever virtual IIT Cutting Edge 2020 where the latest collection of ground-breaking IT and business solutions of IIT students were showcased.
Cutting Edge is primarily an annual exhibition organised by IIT that aims to boost digital entrepreneurship among the IIT students who are currently pursuing various undergraduate programmes of the University of Westminster. The theme of Cutting Edge 2020 was “Embracing change and transformation through digital technologies”. As in previous years, hundreds of IIT undergraduates following Software Engineering, Computer Science, Business Information Systems (BIS) and Business Management degrees actively participated by presenting their IT and Business related projects. In keeping with the safety precautions that need to be taken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Cutting Edge was carried out virtually to the large audience through live streaming on the IIT Web Portal and the IIT Official Facebook page. Cutting Edge 2020 was a multi-faceted event that comprised the Cutting Edge Live Show, webinars and panel discussions, coding competition, gaming competition, quiz completion, business pitch competition and project exhibition.
Naomi Krishnarajah – Dean of IIT stated, “The first-ever Virtual Cutting Edge is an exciting event for everyone at IIT. The pandemic has helped us to think differently and adapt to the new environment. Having Cutting Edge on a virtual platform means that everyone had to think innovatively. Students had to not only think about the project but also decide how to showcase it effectively to create maximum impact. Since physically meeting was not possible, everyone worked independently and had discussions online to finetune their projects. There were a lot of challenges but through team work and determination, the students and the academic staff overcame all of them to organise a fantastic show. With the new format, the video footage is on the Web and this means that anyone can conveniently browse through the videos as and when they please and absorb it much better, without missing out on anything.”
The webinars and panel discussions at Cutting Edge 2020 provided unique insights from some of Sri Lanka’s leading personalities in the field of ICT, business and entrepreneurship. They included “Introduction of IoT and practical sessions of IoT with Arduino (or Microbit)” by Malinda Rathnayaka – Senior Technology Architect of XO Concepts, “Cyber Security – Awareness of the threats in IoT and Smart Cities” by Shan Shanmugarajah, an IT professional with over 22 years of experience in the Software Industry, and “Business Models for Smart Cities and Urban Innovation” by Randula Wijesinghe – Key Account Manager of hSenid Mobile Solutions.
During the Project Exhibition IIT students presented a wide array of innovative projects in the domains of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, Data Science, Big Data, NLP, Internet of Things, Sentiment Analysis, Embedded Systems, Robotics, Fin Tech, Entrepreneurship, E-Commerce, Game Development, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing and Image Processing. In the Best Project under the category “Software Project Innovation”, the Gold Award was won by “Smart Shoes for Visual Impaired” by Stelan Briyan Simonsz, Silver Award was bagged by “DAugmentor: Automating Generative Adversarial Networks Modulation and Tuning for Data Augmentation” by Palamuni Dilum Maduranga De Silva and Bronze Award was won by “ReviewIt: Sentiment Analyser for Recommending Products genuineness based on Customer Online Reviews” by Warnakulasuriya Ishani Rayanthi Croos. In the Best Project under the category “Business Innovation” sponsored by Idea Mart, the Gold Award Winner was “InfoChurn – Customer Retention Engine with Churn Prediction for Motor Insurance in Sri Lanka” by Thilini Prarthana Gimhani, the Silver Award Winner was “TrustCredit – A credit score for the unbanked” by Mohamed Ifram Ismath and the Bronze Award was won by “Chain of Ownership” by Hannah Natasha Hariharan. Additionally, awards were presented to projects for “Business Innovation – Information Driven Entrepreneurial Startup Awards” while “Best Project” awards were presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed projects of Foundation Level students as well as First and Second Year student projects of Business Information Systems, Business Management and Software Engineering/Computer Science.
In the Business Pitch 2020 competition there were two major tracks – School track and IIT track. School track was open for both local and international school students who are above 15 years while the IIT track was open for all undergraduates and foundation students to submit their ideas under “Non-technical Business Solution” and “Technical Business Solution” categories. The IIT Track Champion was Dinu Sudharaka Perera while the 1st Runner-up was Jittendran Jude Sajith Hector and 2nd Runner-up was M. Brian K. Anupama Fernando. The School Track Champion was Shenal Kumarawadu of St. Benedict’s College while the 1st Runner-ups were Rushda Rafeek, Amanda Fernando and Uthayakumar Jemima of OKI International School – Wattala.
The coding competition presented IIT students with the opportunity to test their coding skills against fellow students. The Cutting Edge Gamefest online tournament allowed the gaming fanatics to battle each other in Valorant, Dota 2 and Call of Duty Mobile. The “Kahoot Quiz Competition” drew an enthusiastic response from students as they challenged each other on themes such as Technology, All Things Geek, Gaming and General Knowledge.
IIT was established in 1990 as the first private higher education institute that awards reputed British degrees in the field of ICT and Business. IIT is an award-winning campus offering internal postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Westminster, UK and the Robert Gordon University, UK. IIT has played a pivotal role in strengthening the IT and Business sectors in Sri Lanka over the years by producing world-class graduates. Since its inception in 1990, IIT has produced over 5,000 graduates who are now based in many countries around the globe. These graduates have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs and IT/Business professionals in both local and international corporate and government entities. They have played a pivotal role in empowering over 250 multinational and local blue-chip companies by holding key strategic positions while contributing immensely towards the growth of their respective organizations.