Location : UITM, Kota Samarahan, Samarahan Division, Sarawak, Malaysia

An invitation from UiTM to be one of the judges for their invention/creativity competition. There were some with extremely good potential and should be seriously looked into. But I must point out that there were 3 glaring weaknesses.

No.1– Very poor prototype construction which fail to impress judges although the ideas were good. Most of them gave the lame excuse of ‘not enough time’.
No.2– Most of them do not have data, photos or video clips to support their claims of what their contraptions can accomplish. Perhaps, organising committee of UiTM should come up with a new scoring system whereby No.1 and No.2 be given points so students would take note.
No. 3– Multi function (or serbaguna) ‘this and that contraptions’ entries should have no place at tertiary level. They are for elementary schools. Lecturers should immediately discard such entries without wasting students’ time, money and effort. As I have explained to those students that a competition judge as well as those in the Intellectual Property panel, only look for the primary criteria of novelty and ‘inventive step’ in the innovation/invention categories and ‘inventive step’ must involve the 3 fields of science, namely biology, chemistry or physics. By merely combining existing features into one single product does not constitute innovation much less invention. Otherwise these mediocre entries should be entered in the creativity section but never in the innovation or invention categories.

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