Open data contest yields 10 innovative projects

MUSCAT, MAY 28 – The Information Technology Authority (ITA) announced winners in the Oman Open Data Competition during an awarding ceremony held at the Oil and Gas Centre on Monday. The competition was held to complement the Sultanate’s efforts in developing the digital society and eGovernment and to benefit from the information and data produced by government agencies.
The three winners in the competition were honoured in the presence of Dr Salim bin Sultan al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA and ITA management.
The competition produced 10 projects with innovative ideas and practical applications that can be used commercially and socially.
Three winning projects were selected based on jury committee evaluation which count for 75 per cent and public vote counting for 25 per cent. The first place was taken by Shopping Facilitator project and received RO 2,000.
Reyadh al Balushi, one of the jury committee members said, “The Sultanate has made good strides in the field of open data and many government agencies have published their data online. This competition is a good step in this field since it encourages the public to use this data and to know what is available online.” The teams which participated in the competition have a variety of participants as it contains employees, students and job-seekers that came from different regions of the Sultanate as well, and this was a good thing, he added.
Shopping Facilitator is an online app which connects the appropriate consumables available in the various consumer centers in the market. It makes it easy for users to search for the materials they want to buy and allows them to compare prices and give them the best shopping centre in terms of price or location based on the user’s choice. InvestGo came in the second place and received RO 1,500. The application aims at finding suitable investment opportunities for each investor so as to provide easy and quick methods in analysing data to invest by region, location and available services. The 3rd winner was Sakani and got RO 1,000. Sakani is an app that can help university/college students to find the most convenient accommodation as quickly as possible as well as showing the nearest services needed by students in and around the college such as transportation stations, health centres and restaurants.
Oman Open Data Competition is an online competition, which allows participants to work virtually while being engaged through workshops as a checkpoint for follow up support.
It targeted individuals with expertise in various areas like design, development, entrepreneurship and engineering. It Focuses mainly on encouraging participants to come up with an idea for using open data provided by government agencies to find solutions to the challenges related to different sectors such as: Education and Employment, Tourism, logistics, housing, Public Health, Agriculture and Fisheries and Energy and environment.
The number of participants in the competition reached 223 and were distributed into 39 teams. 19 of them were qualified to meet the jury committee, and the committee selected 10 teams, qualified for the final stage.
On the innovative ideas participated, Ahmed al Mafraji, a jury member commented, “Oman Open Data Competition achieved its objectives. We have seen excellent ideas for using the open data. Some of them suffered from the lack of data. Therefore, we call on all public entities to provide their open data in an accessible, readable and sharable mean so that it can be easily and effectively utilised.”