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STUST First to Bring Home Double Gold and NT$800K at 20th LITEON Award

The LITEON Award – the world’s largest and most prestigious Ethnic Chinese innovation and design competition – has announced the winners of 2020. The Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology (STUST) is the biggest winner, taking home double Gold in the Technology Innovation category and the Design Innovation category as well as a total of NT$800,000 in prize money. The gold winner in the Technology Innovation category is “A Vocal Assistant System for Laryngectomee Based on Artificial Intelligence.” It breaks through the limits of existing artificial larynx and uses AI voice recognition technology to transcribe the words and sentences of someone without a larynx immediately and clearly. The gold winner in the Design Innovation category is "HanDo," a modular prosthetic limb for unilateral child amputees. Different kits are available to suit different purposes including learning, sports and entertainment, and everyday living.


Anson Chiu, President of LITEON Technology, spoke at the event. "The LITEON Award is now in its 20th year. It has inspired tens of thousands of young designers to find new ideas in technology. This award also provides a stage to showcase talent. The theme for 2020 is "Transform and Innovate." It is chosen to encourage young innovators to approach innovation from different perspectives and apply new techniques and technologies to create new designs and excellent products. Stimulated by the pandemic, the finalists have brought, in addition to applications in smart living and smart city, a number of pieces that explore smart healthcare and disease prevention. We are very pleased to see an effort to seek technology innovation beyond the conventional fields," he said.


Partners of the LITEON Award included Merck Taiwan, Infineon, and newly joined Mouser Electronics. A total of 12 Special Awards were offered this year.


Boon Huey Ee, General Manager of Merck Taiwan and Hong Kong Biopharma Business, spoke at the event. "As a company of science and technology, Merck considers its mission to improve lives through innovation. Taiwan is a strong player in technology and medicine. These advantages can be applied to drive the smart transformation in medicine. Given the pandemic this year, smart healthcare is expected to be more widely available in the future. By choosing "Future Smart Hospitals" as the topic, we hope to draw more talent into the field. We look forward to seeing the participants' good work create more benefits in society and in the medicine industry," she said.


Mao-Yuan Huang of Infineon also spoke at the event. "We chose "Part of your life. Part of tomorrow" to be the topic this year. We invited participants to propose solutions in areas including population and social changes, climate change and resource shortage, urbanization, and digital transformation. The goal is to make the smart city safer and more efficient, more innovative, and more environmental friendly. We would like to thank LITEON for its invitation to be a part of building tech talent for the third year. We look forward to being able to work with LITEON on other projects in the future," he said.


Furthermore, Mouser Electronics, joining the awards for the first time this year, chose "Smart homes: Starting a New Life with Smart Appliances" as the topic. Daphne Tien, Mouser vice president, spoke at the event. "This is Mouser Electronics' first time as a partner at the LITEON Award. We also worked with LITEON to offer Special Awards. These awards attracted many excellent designers and quite a few outstanding innovations. These pieces not only embodied the contestants' grasp on the technologies and their skills, but also demonstrated their vision and ideal of smart living. The contestants explored needs in different future scenarios under various topics. The solutions were presented in a way that exceeded our expectations. It has given us not only the confidence in the future, but also an eager anticipation for the possible variety in smart living," she said.


The LITEON Award gold winners both demonstrated a complete research background, an innovative design that fits the need, ongoing optimization based on user experience, and the potential to be marketed globally. In particular, the Gold winner in the Technology Innovation category, "A vocal assistant system for laryngectomee based on artificial intelligence, "created a unique voice system with equal emphasis on sound quality and user friendliness. It can be connected to a multilingual speech database in the future and help laryngectomees worldwide. The Gold winner in the Design Innovation category, "HanDo, "proposed to solve the economic issues related to the need for frequent change of prosthetic limbs in child amputees. The team already had experience of working with foreign makers to help sick children overseas to use this model of prosthetic limbs. Both categories offer a cash prize of NT$400,000 for the gold winner.


Both Silver and Bronze prizes in the Technology Innovation category went to teams from National Tsing Hua University. They are the "3D Pulsed Chaos Lidar," which is a lidar sensor technology with millimeter precision that can be used in self-driving cars, AR/VR, security control, smart manufacturing, and robotics; and the "JIANDIE - rapid food sensing device," which makes innovative use of the nanostructure of a disc to test food additives that can be used to safeguard food safety. The Silver prize in the Design Innovation category went to the "S.D.F. Car Fertilizer Soil Improving Machine" by National Taipei University of Education. It mixes carbonized straw and complex fertilizers to decompose straw and increase potash in the land without causing pollution while achieving sustainable recycling. The Bronze prize went to the "Portable Multifunctional Logistics Assistant" by the Chinese team Tangshan creative cat Industrial Design Co., Ltd. It is a portable forklift that can be stored in the chassis of a truck. The cash prize is NT$200,000 for Silver winners and NT$100,000 for Bronze winners.