Thailand Team Wins ASEAN Foundation, SAP Data Science Challenge


This year’s ASEAN Foundation and SAP data science challenge, ASEAN DSE 2021, focused on solutions that have a sustainable impact on communities across the region and supported Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”.

Team Youth Forward, comprising Rada Prapaikornkiet and Kanjaree Suppawittaya from Saint Joseph Convent School, Thailand, emerged as the top winner in the recently concluded ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) Regional Finals 2021. The winning entry focused on empowering farming towards a sustainable future of the ASEAN Community covering SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 4 – Quality Education, and SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. 2021 marks the fifth-year milestone for the ASEAN DSE competition with a renewed focus on UN SDGs that target climate and sustainability.

“We are so surprised, excited, and honored to be the ASEAN DSE Regional Finals Winner! We didn’t expect this at all. This journey has been memorable and life-changing for us. We learned so many new skills from this competition,” said Team Youth Forward. “Lastly, here is our message to ASEAN’s youth: Go for it! Don’t hesitate to join ASEAN DSE and your voices will definitely be heard, as our slogan: Let’s grow together as one ASEAN community that harmonizes in one vision, one identity, and become the remarkable changemakers of ASEAN’s future!”

Working Together for Sustainability Goals 

Since 2017, ASEAN Foundation and SAP have been engaging the university students in Southeast Asia through the ASEAN DSE programme to develop data-driven solutions that highlight six Sustainable Development Goals namely Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13), by harnessing SAP’s Analytics Cloud software. The SAP Analytics Cloud solution combines BI, augmented and predictive analytics, and planning capabilities into one cloud environment.

This year, the competition was focused on insights and data-driven solutions that address climate action and sustainability. Against the COVID-19 backdrop, the ASEAN DSE conducted the data analytics challenge in a hybrid model– hosting virtual and in-person events. The awarding session for the regional competition was held on the second day of the three-day event, which was live-streamed on the ASEAN Foundation’s Facebook channel and achieved over 2,200 views.

As the top winner of the regional finals, the Thailand team was awarded the Regional Champion trophy and prize money of US$1,500. The first runner-up recognition was given to Team Sprinkle of Cambodia, comprising Chakriya Suy and Serei Neath Reasey from Kirirom Institute of Technology, who featured recycling centers as the solution for waste management covering SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic. Team Brain Drain of Malaysia, comprising Ryan Kok Lam Liew and Jia Hui Ng from Sunway University, took the second runner-up place for their presentation that focused on prioritising e-waste covering SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

Beyond the ASEAN Foundation and SAP Data Science Challenge

Going beyond the ASEAN Foundation and SAP data science challenge, the ASEAN DSE programme also delivered enablement sessions, both online and in-person, in partnership with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in ten ASEAN member states (AMS) to equip the youth, including those with limited access to technology and youth with disabilities, with next-level digital skills. As a result of this collaborative effort, the programme was able to cascade SAP Analytics Cloud training to 11,782 students and lecturers in 2021, with females making up 53{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} of the youth beneficiaries.

“The ASEAN DSE initiative sets the foundation of a digital world where our ASEAN youth are inspired and motivated to create and solve challenges through technology. This will also cultivate digital inclusion by imbuing youths and lecturers with data analytics skills and nurturing and deepening a pool of homegrown talents in the region to build the workforce of the future,” said Verena Siow, President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia.

“Through our collaboration with the ASEAN Foundation, we aim to empower the diverse ASEAN community to be the world’s economic powerhouse, be at the forefront of innovation, and drive sustainable economies,” she added.

Throughout the event, the regional finalists have participated in series of activities such as team building, networking sessions, storyboard presentations to build connections, strengthen their future-ready skills and grow their appreciation for being a citizen of ASEAN. On the last day, all participants engaged in sharing sessions with the ASEAN Secretariat, Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN, alumni of ASEAN DSE, and social enterprises.

“ASEAN Foundation and SAP aspire to help young people in the region to be future-ready by nurturing their 21st-century skills. Aligned with the theme of Brunei’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2021 ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,’ this programme also allows youth to better understand the shared challenges the region must overcome together and fosters a deeper sense of belonging towards the ASEAN Community. We also hope that the collaboration between ASEAN Foundation and SAP can inspire more public-private partnerships in the future to support the development of our future generation,” said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.

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