The Solidarity FabLabs based in Cairo, Tunis, Parthenay and Toulouse have each bagged 15,000 euros from the #Imake4mycity Orange Foundation Challenge. The prizes were awarded to the Solidarity FabLabs on Wednesday April 6 in Paris. The awards were by handed out by several member of the Orange Executive Committee.
The challenge and its three prizes are part of the Orange Foundation’s efforts (www.FondationOrange.com) to support young people in its FabLabs to integrate the worlds of work and education. Seventeen teams of young people in six countries took part in this first international Solidarity FabLabs challenge organized by the Foundation.
The Jury’s Prize: Presented by Béatrice Duboisset, a digital entrepreneur, it was awarded to a training kit for young people in Egypt.
The prize was awarded by a jury of five experts to the Egypt FabLab for Guru Project. Faced with the challenge of access to education in their country, the young people from the FabLab had the idea of producing an open source kit to learn how to make a robot very easily. The jury was won over by the educational and digital dimensions of this project. Indeed, the project would allow a very high number of young people not in education to develop digital skills. It’s an innovative project to provide access to learning which responds to our priority: using digital technologies for the benefit of people not in education.
The Web Users’ Prize: Presented by Jérôme Barré, HRD for the Orange Group, to a connected object which measures pollution levels in Tunis.
Over the course of a month – from 1 March to 4 April – 20,000 of you voted to show your support for the projects on FondationOrange.com. In the end, the Smart Khadra project by the Tunis Solidarity FabLab received the most votes and therefore receives the web users’ prize. The FabLab team produced a connected object to measure the effects of pollution in Tunis and visualize them using online and mobile applications. This project received a lot of online support. It is an intelligent solution to environmental issues facing cities.
The Orange Foundation Favourites prize: presented by Christine Albanel, Vice-President of the Orange Foundation, to the Toulouse and Parthenay teams – joint winners!
Smart Checkers was made by the Parth’Lab team. The project was rewarded for its originality and its value to partially-sighted and blind people. It is a digitally accessible checkers board. The connected board enables blind, partially sighted or sighted people to play in person or online. This impressive project demonstrates the potential of digital technologies to improve the lives of disabled people.
In Toulouse, the young people from the Artilect FabLab made Clean Up, an environmental robot which collects plastic detritus from the Garonne. What attracted us to this project was its universal dimension. If it is replicated, Clean Up could be used in polluted rivers and waterways, and even help to protect the oceans.
By awarding these four prizes, the Orange Foundation is providing additional support to the four winning Solidarity FabLabs. The Foundation also wishes to use the challenge to emphasize the value of the thirteen other projects developed by the young people. All of them reflect the creativity and talent of the young people working in the Solidarity FabLabs. For the most part, these young people do not have qualifications and are not in education.
While most of the projects are currently in their prototype phase, some of them may become essential items in the cities of tomorrow. It goes to show that, using digital technologies and new collaborative learning models, all young people can become productive, confident, and work towards their choice of future career.