US Ambassador congratulates NASA Space Apps Challenge winners

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim congratulates Philippine Team iNON for winning the NASA Space Apps Challenge Galactic Impact category. Team iNON members include (left-right): Matthew Concubierta, Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda. (US Embassy Manila Photo)

MANILA, Feb 22 — US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim congratulated Team iNON for beating out 1,395 teams from around the world to win the Best Galactic Impact category in the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge.  Ambassador Kim awarded certificates of recognition to team members Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, Julius Czar Torreda, and Matthew Concubierta at the U.S. Embassy on February 21.  A fifth team member, Leandro de Guzman, was unable to attend the event.

The five Filipino innovators created ISDApp, from the Filipino word “isda,” meaning fish, to communicate crucial information about real-time weather and sea conditions to fisherfolk.  The app enables local government officials to provide this potentially life-saving information to fisherfolks’ analog cellphones using NASA Globe observer data.

Ambassador Kim said, “I am deeply impressed by team iNON’s fantastic achievement in defeating teams from around the world to win first place in the Galactic Impact category of the NASA Space Apps Challenge.  They can inspire other Filipino youth to develop innovative solutions to problems in their own communities.”

Team iNON conceived of ISDApp at the U.S. Embassy-sponsored NASA Space Apps Challenge in October 2018.  Deputy Chief of Mission Law, who served on the panel of judges, said, “Team iNON’s approach to getting important information out to members of coastal communities without internet connectivity struck me as clever and compassionate, and I’m pleased they received global recognition.”

Team iNON member Legaspi explained, “ISDapp is a simple solution with an important purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success.  This is proof that even technology needs a heart.”

Martin added, “We saw the problem, and figured we could do something to help the lives of coastal communities around the world.”

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