Muscat: The Information Technology Authority (ITA) honoured and announced three winners in Oman Open Data Competition during an awarding ceremony held on Monday.
The event was held at the Oil and Gas Centre in the presence of Dr Salim bin Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, ITA’s management, IT specialistsand participants.
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 OMR2,000. Shopping Facilitator is an online app which connects the appropriate consumables available in the various consumer centres 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 center in terms of price or location based on the user's choice.
InvestGo came in the second place and received OMR1,500.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 third winner was Sakani and got OMR1,000. 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 centers 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. As many as 19 of them were qualified to meet the jury committee, and the committee selected 10 teams, qualified for the final stage.
About the competition, 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.
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 they needed in their applications; 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.”
It is worth mentioning that open data is data that can be accessed, reused, and redistributed by anyone, for any purposes, including commercial reuse, free of charge and without any restrictions. Open Data refers to datasets that are held in organisational databases.