STEP Centre’s BEST Awards 2009/2010

On the 1st of December 2010, The Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre between BSP and MOE held the Prize Presentation for the Brunei Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Awards for 2009/2010 at Bridex.

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The projects are actually Research and Development in nature, but most of the project have some commercial value. The Secondary Schools and Tertiary Schools (Form 6 and Vocational/Technical). The schools consists of St. George, Chung Hwa, Chung Hua, Chung Ching, Sekolah Menengah Masin, STPRI, Sufri Bolkiah, SMSO, MD, MS and MTSSR. I found that in most cases, that these students were doing projects that were well beyond their syllabus. In a few there were students doing University Level projects. I would know, I took Chemistry in UBD. Of course these students had helped from MIPR, Agricultural Centre, MOH, BSP and UBD. But I was still impressed.

The judges consisted of officers and staff from  MIPR Agriculture Department, BSP, LiveWIRE and MOE.

The projects consisted of Research in Agriculture, uses of Natural Pesticides, Natural Fertilizer, Natural Fungicides, Solar Powered Fish Feeder, Coconut Battery, Hydro Electricity, Natural Medicinal Products, Fuelless Lawn Mower, and a more efficient farming techniques.

Hope to see some of them participating in future CIPTA Awards, Think Big Biz Plan Awards, or even the LiveWIRE Business Awards.

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Open Source Software Networking Event

3rd April 2010 – An open source software networking event was held at the University of Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) by the Brunei Open Source Software Community (BOSSC?). Among the contents of the event were:

  • Introduction to Open Source and its future developments presented by Pg Izam Ryan Pg Bahrin – he talked about the origins of open source, where it is headed in the context of Brunei.
  • A showcase from participants of Think Big Competition in which ITB students used open source software to develop software for a fingerprinting system used as an attendance record.
  • A presentation from the Ministry of Education (MOE) Curriculum Development Department in which free software is used to teach students in form 1 and 2 (year 7 and 8) skills such as 3D modeling using google sketch, computer graphics drawing using Artweaver and Google Apps in education.
  • Developing Islamic applications using Android by Hj Azaman Hj Sulaiman.

The events ended with a networking refreshment session. (I unfortunately had to personally go right before this as I was in a hurry to pick up my wife.)

Open source software I believe is the gateway in which Brunei can be a knowledge base economy. The use of propriety software as long as its pirated ones have been pushed to the masses for long enough, some of us have begun to realize that we do not have to settle for what is available, instead we can create something according to our own needs.

In the future, I expect the Open source movement in Brunei to flourish as soon as Copyright and Piracy laws are enforced in both the Public and Private sectors. Where the use of legal propriety software such as Windows and MS Office will be viewed as costly and many will revert to open source software such as Linux and OpenOffice.org. When this happens, then a whole new opportunity for software development, maintenance and training will  begin.

When I don’t know for sure, the copyright issues in Brunei have begun to resolve slowly, there has been rumors that the copyright enforcement in Brunei may begin more seriously in 2013.

The event Photos can be viewed on my facebook