From Bihac to Sri Lanka - Our students - Our Pride

When Silmija Ferizovic Topoljak and her team won the 2017 IEEE Innovation Nation - YEP/IEEE Innovation Challenge in Bosnia & Herzegovina, never in her wildest dreams did she think that exactly 12 months later she and one of her team members, thanks to BH Futures Foundation and IEEE Entrepreneurship would be rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to attend the same event in Sri Lanka. Silmija and Harun, presented their project, acted as judges and most importantly made hundreds of new contacts, expanding their intercultural knowledge.

When Silmija Ferizovic Topoljak and her team won the 2017 IEEE Innovation Nation - YEP/IEEE Innovation Challenge in Bosnia & Herzegovina, never in her wildest dreams did she think that exactly 12 months later she and one of her team members, thanks to BH Futures Foundation and IEEE Entrepreneurship would be rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to attend the same event in Sri Lanka. Silmija and Harun, presented their project, acted as judges and most importantly made hundreds of new contacts, expanding their intercultural knowledge.

Silmija writes:

Our wonderful experience begins with a message of Professor Eddie Custovic, who showed us great trust and invited us to participate in the IEEE Innovation Nation Sri Lanka Congress, which took place from 28th to 30th December in Sri Lanka in Padukka. Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, we were welcomed with a tropical climate with four and a half hours time difference. During the period of the congress, we were accommodated at the Kithul Kanda-Mountain Resort where we had a close encounter with the beautiful nature of Sri Lanka. The view from the restaurant where we had breakfast every morning, tasting traditional food and enjoying tropical fruit, left a special impression on us.

Our presentation was expected on the first day of the congress. We made every effort to transfer our experience and knowledge that we gathered during the process of developing our innovation.

There were about 300 participants from 19 faculties, and all of them showed great interest and desire to learn from our presentation as much as possible, and we did our best to fulfill their expectations. On the second day of the congress, we had the roles of judges during the IEEE Innovation Nation Sri Lanka challenge, where we carefully judged their ideas in which they put a lot of effort and thought. All ideas were based on mobile applications, and the best one was the mobile application through which it is possible to detect early symptoms of the appearance of certain foot diseases through sensors in the shoes that are associated with the application.

All in all, there were very interesting ideas with a perspective for further development and promotion. At the end, together with the three remaining judges, we decided on the top three places and they were announced the same evening at a gala dinner, which completed the second day of the congress with excellent speakers, traditional dance and delicious food.

The third day of the congress was held in the spirit of farewell speeches and socializing with students from the SLTC University where the congress was held. Our further journey after the end of the congress led us to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, where we were accommodated at the Hilton hotel and where we had little but sufficient time to explore the narrow part of the city and get to know about their way of life.

Our journey to Sri Lanka was a wonderful experience where we had the opportunity to meet a whole new part of the world with different customs, culture, lifestyle and attitude towards people where we enriched our knowledge and expanded our horizons.

We heartily want to thank the organizers of the congress who brought the whole event to a high level, who made sure that everything was provided for us with an unforgettable experience. We would like to thank BH Futures Foundation, IEEE Entrepreneurship and Professor Eddie Custovic for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to be part of this wonderful event.

Naše predivno iskustvo počinje porukom profesora Eddija kojom nam je ukazao veliko povjerenje i pozvao nas da učestvujemo na kongresu IEEE Innovation Nation Šri Lanka koji se održao u periodu od 28. - 30. 12. u Šri Lanci u gradu Padukka. Po dolasku u Šri Lanku dočekala nas je tropska klima sa vremenskom razlikom od 4,5 sata. U periodu tranjanja kongresa bili smo smješteni u rezortu Kithul Kanda- The Mountain Resort gdje smo doživjeli bliski susret sa netaknutom prirodom. Poseban utisak na nas je ostavio pogled iz restorana u kojem smo svako jutro doručkovali, kušali tradiconalnu hranu i uživali u tropskom voću.

Naša prezentacija nas je očekivala odmah prvog dana kongresa. Za nju smo se vrijedno potrudili kako bismo im prenjeli naše iskustvo i znanje koje smo prikupili tokom procesa razvijanja naše inovacije.

Bilo je oko 300 učesnika sa 19 fakulteta, svi su nas posmatrali sa velikim interesovanjem i željom da iz naše prezentacije nauče što više moguće, a mi smo dali sve od sebe da ispunimo njihova očekivanja. Drugog dana kongresa imali smo uloge sudaca na njihovom inovacijskom izazovu gdje smo pažljivo prosuđivali njihove ideje u koje su uložili puno truda i razmišljanja. Sve ideje su bile bazirane na mobilnim aplikacijama, a kao najbolja pokazala se mobilna aplikacija preko koje je moguće ustanoviti rane simptome pojave određene bolesti stopala putem senzora u obući koji su povezani sa aplikacijom. Sve u svemu, vrlo interesantne i zanimljive ideje sa perspektivom za daljnjim razvojem i napredovanjem. Zajedno sa tri preostala sudca, odlučili smo o prva tri najbolja mjesta, a prva tri najbolja su proglašena tu istu večer na gala večeri koja je upotpunila drugi dan kongresa sa vrsnim govornicama, tradicionalnim plesovima i ukusnoj hrani.

Treći dan kongresa je protekao u duhu oproštajnih govora i kroz bliže druženje sa studentima sa univerziteta SLTC na kojem je kongres i bio održan. Naš daljnji put nakon završetka kongresa nas je odveo u Kolombo, glavni grad Šri Lanke, gdje smo bili smješteni u hotelu Hilton i gdje smo imali malo ali dovoljno vremena da istražimo uži dio grada i pobliže se upoznamo sa njihovim načinom života.

Put u Šri Lanku je bio divno iskustvo gdje smo imali priliku upoznati sasvim novi dio svijeta sa svojim posebnim običajima, kulturom, načinom života i ophođenjem prema ljudima i gdje smo obogatili naša saznanja i proširili naše vidike.

Od srca se zahvaljujemo organizatorima kongresa koji su cjelokupan događaj doveli na visok nivo, pobrinuli su se da nam sve bude obezbjeđeno i pružili nam nezaboravno iskustvo. Ponajviše se zahvaljujemo BH Futures Foundation, IEEE Entrepreneurship i profesoru Eddiju Custovicu koji nas je pozvao i pružio nam priliku da budemo dio ovoga predivnog događaja.