ASEAN Data Science Explorers Hosts its First Virtual National Finals

The ASEAN Foundation and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) are pleased to announce that the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) faces no slowdown despite the COVID-19 pandemic as it hosts its first virtual National Finals this year. Crowned national champions are the three teams from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines – Visayas, and Ateneo de Manila University in ASEANDSE 2020 National Finals – Philippines that took place today virtually.


Despite the global pandemic, ASEAN DSE continues to solicit interest from the youth community and remains in its endeavor to skill and equip youths with essential digital age skills. A total of 852 youths across the region competed to represent their country in the National Finals, with 4563 students and lecturers trained in SAP Analytics Cloud in 2020.


The three winners were judged based on their ability to design a best all-rounded concept that tackles ASEAN socio-economic issues, driven by data insights. The judging criteria look at the creativity, feasibility, innovation, and the team’s ability to demonstrate the solution’s implementation.

As the first winner, Team Incognito from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology will represent the Philippines in the ASEAN DSE 2020’s Regional Finals in November. Below are the details of the winners:


[First winner] Team Incognito, comprising Jairus Cairo Libunao and Alleah Eunice Tuliao from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, took first place at the National Finals. Their project focused on Waste Management.

[Runner-up] Team Gugma, comprising Kyle Anne Villariza and Genesis Daquinan from the University of the Philippines Visayas, emerged as the runner-up. Their project was designed to tackle the overexploitation issue of the ASEAN fisheries.

[Second runner-up] Meanwhile, Team Board Men, comprising Gabriel Carlo Gamulo and John Michel Lee from Ateneo de Manila University, became the second runner-up for their project on Neural Community.

“Now more than ever, we need the youth’s creativity and innovativeness in finding solutions and ways to solve emerging problems that our region and the world are facing. Their participation is paramount especially in our recovery from this pandemic and in pushing forward our collective vision of a more resilient and sustainable future for all,” said Mr. Paul Anthony Pangilinan, Commissioner-at-Large Office of the President of the Philippines, National Youth Commission.

“Together with the ASEAN Foundation, we at SAP strongly encourage the youths to use their newly learned skills from SAP Analytics Cloud to create sustainable innovations for current social and economic issues. Also, youths should utilize these skills for their self-development,” said Edler Panlilio, SAP Philippines’ Managing Director. “Digital skills are more relevant now in the middle of our current pandemic situation and as we look towards recovery. We are pleased to see that youths in ASEAN can make a difference in that goal and improve people’s lives.”

“ASEAN DSE is the embodiment of our commitment with SAP to empower youth in the region with future-ready skills that will allow them to thrive and become globally competitive during this difficult period and in the years to come,” said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, the ASEAN Foundation’s Executive Director. “We are very happy to see so many innovative data-driven proposals presented by all National Finalists today. It is a testament to what our youths can do when exposed to and equipped with relevant digital skills and provided with an immersive platform to showcase their talents. We believe that our ASEAN youths can create impactful solutions for the community to prosper if given the opportunity.”

“Our journey in this competition was beyond our expectation! Until now, the thought of being the national winner hasn’t sunk in yet. Going into the national finals was really nerve-wracking and, at the same time, exciting! We remember the challenges we had to face in joining this competition. We didn’t know what data science really was. Luckily, our college conducted training on how to do data analysis. That started it all! From there, we came up with a storyboard on waste management because we noticed that there’s a loophole in our current waste management system. We thought that if we don’t do any actions about this now, it will continue to cause fatal consequences to us and the environment,” said Team Incognito.The National Finals was also streamed live via Facebook, attracting more than 2,300 viewers.

ASEAN DSE is a regional programme by the ASEAN Foundation and SAP that aims to catalyze activism and critical thinking among university students in ASEAN. Since its inception in 2017, ASEAN DSE has empowered over 16,259 students, 1,420 lecturers from 370 higher education institutes in the region with data analytics skills. The programme engages youth to develop data-driven solutions that highlight six Sustainable Development Goals namely

(1) good health and well-being,

(2) quality education,

(3) gender equality,

(4) decent work and economic growth,

(5) industry, innovation & infrastructure and

(6) sustainable cities and communities by harnessing SAP’s Analytics Cloud software.

ASEAN Foundation and SAP share the common objective of  continuing the implementation of ASEAN DSE 2020 as a way of equipping youths with future-ready skills that will enable them to thrive in the “New Normal” era and supporting the theme of Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship, which is building a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN.”

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