3 startup teams win 2021 Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge

Judy Lin, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Credit: Qualcomm Taiwan

Qualcomm announces its 2021 Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge (QITC) results, with NUWA Robotics winning the champion title and a US$125,000 cheque, while Heroic-Faith and AVILON grabbed the second and the third place, winning $100,000 and $75,000, respectively.

S.T. Liew, president and VP of Qualcomm Taiwan and Southeast Asia, said that the startups in this year's Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge impressed him by using 5G, AI, IoT technologies to provide innovative products or services for med-tech, smart city, drones, robotics, and digital transformation solutions. "With the deepening in the commercialization of 5G, we are seeing accelerated digital transformation in businesses, connecting more smart edge devices onto the cloud, and the startups this year demonstrated their mastery in technologies and go-to-market competitiveness."

NUWA Robotics is a startup that provides software and hardware integration for companion robots and related applications. With the technological support from Qualcomm and the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, NUWA won the first prize by upgrading its robot, which now has capabilities including 5G connection, artificial intelligence at the edge, machine-learning, Heterogeneous computing, and smart sensors. The mobile service robot can provide highly customized services and hardware-software integrated solutions to customers in various domains with different needs, considered to have 5G commercial service market potential by the jury.

Heroic-Faith is a medical technology startup company focused on the development of critical care and respiratory monitoring. They developing a "real-time respiratory listening monitor" that converts breath sounds into digital data that can be used for anesthesia respiratory monitoring, respiratory arrest identification, and other situations. During the seven-month QITC development program, Heroic-Faith used Qualcomm's 5G mobile platform to enhance its "real-time respiratory listening monitor. "AI will identify and monitor the situation of the patients and notify the doctor, no matter he is in the clinics, doing surgery or on remote communication. Qualcomm press release said it is a key innovative application for telemedicine and med-tech.

AVILON, the runner-up, provides autonomous drone (UAV) and fleet management solutions for automation drone system applications in various industries. The team successfully utilized the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform to upgrade the product's commercialization and industrialization value by adding indoor localization, itinerary planning and obstacle avoiding functions to conduct autonomous navigating in buildings. Their drones can also land with accuracy and deliver details of monitored details in clear 4K video streaming via 5G communication. It is useful to expand the commercial use of drone services, such as factory inspection and warehouse management.

This is the third year that Qualcomm hosts its QITC competition in Taiwan. Under the guidance of the Ministry of Technology, Qualcomm cooperated with Taiwan Tech Arena to kick off the event in January 2021, attracting more than 120 teams to sign up for the contest. Ten teams were shortlisted for the final round in May; each received $10,000 prize money for getting into the final competition and enrolling in the seven-month incubator program. Qualcomm provided the ten shortlist teams with technical support and engineering resources for their product development processes, as well as incentives for patent applications. They also hosted workshops on the topics of intellectual property protection and business strategies, to hone the business acumen of startup entrepreneurs.

Since launching QITC in 2019 and the Qualcomm Taiwan Innovation Center to provide proprietary labs and support in 2020, Qualcomm has successfully incubated 29 startups in Taiwan so far.