Technology Innovation is alive and well in Bermuda

22 December, 2021

On Monday December 13th, the Economic Development Department (EDD) held its first Leadership Innovation Awards reception to celebrate individuals and entities who in the past year continued to capitalise on technology to create solutions.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Hon. Wayne Furbert and the Minister of Education, the Hon. Diallo Rabain were also in attendance at the event, which was safely hosted, and presented awards to the winners.

The evening was held in two parts. The first portion of the evening was dedicated to three professionals who on their own initiative, spent considerable time developing innovative technology solutions.

One of these problem-solvers, Mr. Adrian Lodge, had designed a solution that supported businesses through coronavirus-related restrictions and through their imposition of digitisation on many a workplace. Virtual AP now allows businesses whose staff works remotely to benefit from paperless processes with better accountability and efficiency. Virtual AP is available both locally and internationally.
The second leader in technology innovation recognised that evening was Mrs. Coral Wells who had found a way to virtually take a whole group of students overseas and into advanced app development, thereby ensuring that their interest in coding didn’t wane over time. Together with Silicon-based @Company, these students are currently designing their own apps thanks to Connectech Coding’s Advanced Coding Programme.

And the third innovator was Mr. Edmond Johnson and his solution Test Guard. As a committed problem-solving technologist, Mr. Johnson had taken a critical look at the current solutions and designed an additional option that now allows antigen tests to benefit from the credibility of an online registration system.

Introducing the winners of the 2021 EDD Innovation Leadership Awards, Minister Furbert said, “We are here to celebrate some of the best that Bermudian tech talent has to offer. These individuals have looked beyond the various and often unfamiliar challenges that are continuously imposed by the pandemic to help the country to continue moving forward. We are here today to celebrate the positive impact their work can have on our Island and even beyond our shores.”

The second part of the evening was dedicated to Bermuda’s first Reverse Pitch student competition, Minister Rabain said, “Celebrating Bermuda’s students and their achievements was the most gratifying part of the evening. It all starts with each one of you, Bermuda’s youth. You will be leading the charge; and your presentations - all of them - have shown that should you choose to continue in the technology path, you will do so very competently.”

Maryem Biadillah, Senior Analyst at the EDD, expanded on the concept of a Reverse Pitch. In contrast to a regular pitch competition where a person proposes their idea to anyone willing to hear about it, the premise for a reverse pitch is that local companies actually do the pitching, hoping that someone will develop a solution to their challenge. On October 14th, in an effort to assist local companies with innovative technology solutions to real-life pain points, the EDD had called on middle- and high-school students to participate in a technology-focused Reverse Pitch.

Three local companies had submitted challenges: Bermuda Press, Red Laser, and Gear & Gadget. Seven school teams entered the competition and, supported by a teacher and by a tech mentor, developed a solution to the challenge they had selected, all within a mere six-week period. The participating schools were: The Berkeley Institute (3 teams), Bermuda High School team, Clearwater Middle School, Saltus Grammar School, and Sandy’s Middle School.