FICS is an important component of NUST’s overarching goal to bring about a positive, discernible impact in the society by applying scientific knowledge and tools. It has been structured as a 3-stage competition and requires participating teams to utilize their technical expertise and skills in developing projects (products & services) that can help the communities around them. The objective of FICS is to encourage students to identify social problems around them and to develop innovative technology-based solutions to these problems. It aims to encourage Social Entrepreneurship among students, and to involve the Industry as mentors and judges in order to help the best projects to be commercialized.
We welcome project ideas that integrate interdisciplinary strengths from different Schools / departments at NUST. We hope that this integration will lead to projects with large benefits for society, and also bring Industry members from different Sectors on board.
FICS is a multi-stage competition which involves three stages. Detail is mentioned below:
Your idea can broadly fall under the following categories:
Students from NUST are invited to participate in FICS. The team leader should be from NUST. As for team members, they could be students from NUST or any other university / college or any other institution or organization. Your team members could be Industry members, lab technicians, or any other individuals that you feel can add value to your project.
After you submit your idea online (by filling out the Idea Submission form given on the home page), an initial scrutinization of your idea will be carried out by the Lead Coordinator of your School to make sure that the basic information required in the form is given and that there is no major discrepancy. Once the Lead Coordinator approves the idea, it is considered to be officially submitted for Stage 1 of FICS.
After the deadline for Stage 1 is over, an Evaluation Committee comprising faculty members will evaluate the synopses against a rubric especially designed for Stage 1 (you can view rubrics for all stages on the FICS website). The Evaluation Committee decides which ideas should be shortlisted. The shortlisted ideas make it to Stage 2 of FICS; teams that qualify for Stage 2 are required to prepare Videos or PowerPoint presentations of their projects, along with a poster / standee. An event is held to mark the Stage 2 of FICS, where all shortlisted teams are required to set up their stalls and show presentations / videos to a panel of judges. This time the judges comprise Industry members. The Industry judges evaluate the ideas based on the presentations / videos shown by the teams, according to the rubric for Stage 2. Based on the marking received in the Rubric 2, the best projects are qualified for Stage 3.
Stage 3 is the final stage of FICS; the finalists are required to develop working prototype of their solutions. At the Grand Finale - the Stage 3 event - the finalists display their prototypes to a panel of Industry judges. The top 4 teams are selected for cash awards. Additionally, there is a special category of "Counter Terrorism," for which there is a special prize. So all in all, there are 5 cash prizes.
Stage 3 marks the end of the competition, but not the end of FICS. FICS is a program that aims to help you develop innovative solutions and then commercialize them with the help of Industry and other partners. Even if you do not win one of the 5 prizes, and your project has potential, you stand a very good chance of finding an Industry mentor / sponsor who can help you deploy your solution and make a profitable business out of your idea - this is basically what Social Entrepreneurship is about.
You will also get an opportunity to participate in other, bigger competitions, like NUST's business plan competition "DISCOVER," as well as other competitions organized by national and international organizations.
We encourage a team of max. 5 students however based on the expertise required for your project, you can increase of decrease the number of team members. We encourage you to form multidisciplinary teams rather than restricting yourselves to students from your own School / department. The rubrics contain additional marks for teams that have multidisciplinary capability. Please also remember that the evaluation criteria require you to give information about sustainability and business aspects of your proposed solutions (products / services). Please do refer to rubrics for all 3 Stages of FICS, and see how the weightage for commercial viability of your solution increases progressively from Stage 1 to Stage 3 of the competition. You may need at least one student from NUST Business School (NBS) or School of Social Sciences & Humanities (S3H) to become part of your team, so that a business plan for your product / service can be prepared in accordance with the evaluation criteria.
We do not encourage submitting more than one idea. The effort to launch just one idea is quite exhaustive, which in itself requires 100% concentration and dedication. Therefore, the applicants are encouraged to enter the competition with the idea that has the greatest potential in terms of providing solution to the masses.
FICS website has a link, http://fics.nust.edu.pk/industry,where Industry members can submit their own project ideas. Student teams can come up with their own project ideas, or choose from the list of ideas given by you.