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Singularity is approaching – and what does Central and Eastern Europe do about it?

What is singularity? The word has several interpretations in mathematics, geometry, natural sciences and technology. Increasingly, it is used to describe an exponential emergence of technological development with the potential of changing the world as we know it.

Singularity University (SU), located at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, was established in 2008 to create a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs, technologists and young leaders, dedicated to innovation and exploring the ways to singularity.

To make its efforts truly world-wide, SU launched a series of Global Impact Competitions, including one in Central and Eastern Europe, which is nearing its finals at the end of this week. Supported by Cisco, the competition reached thousands of university students, young entrepreneurs and business people in the region. Organizers were looking for innovative project ideas which could improve the lives of one million people in a 3-year period with the help of technology.

54 applications were submitted from eight countries, addressing issues of health, education or security. The minds behind the six most outstanding projects will get together on May 4th in Budapest, Hungary, to present their ideas and compete for the grand prize, an invitation to Singularity University’s summer course this year, worth 30 000 USD.  The jury will be chaired by noone less than Professor Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik cube.

So cross fingers for the finalists and their exciting ideas and watch this space to find out who wins later this week:

  • Agnieszka Gaczkowska, Poland: Drug waste -- web-based service for used medicaments location and drug shortages alerts
  • Tamas Haidegger, Hungary: Hand Hygiene for a Healthier Planet- innovative education and objective control on personal hygiene
  • Vaclav Plevka, Czech Republic: Avoiding the Gridlock Incident in order to Keep the Conurbations in Operation
  • Bogdana Rakova, Bulgaria: LIVEstat- phone assisted healthy shopping
  • Daniel Ratai, Hungary: Leonar3Do the VR kit changing education, teaching and lifelong learning
  • Priszcilla Varnagy, Hungary: Be-novative: Conquering real-life challenges with creativity

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