Mobile app competition winners announced

Published on: 12 June 2014

The winners for the mobile app competition have been announced. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

A competition to find the best staff and student ideas for a mobile app has resulted in app ideas from language sharing to diagnosing diabetes subtypes being on the road to development.

A team of judges whittled the 80 entries down to four winners who will have their app built by professional developers. One winner was selected for each of the four categories: Research enabling, societal benefit, commercial and the best student app idea.

Research

An app that allows researchers to input data into an existing honeybee colony modelling tool took the top prize in the research enabling category. BeeMapp from Dr Matthias Becher allows researchers to input data into BEEHAVE – a computer model that helps researchers understand environmental effects on honeybee colonies.

Judges felt the College of Life and Environmental Sciences researcher’s entry had potential for engagement with beekeepers and the general public, as well as a demonstrable impact on research.

Dr Becher said: “This is great! The app will be a valuable tool to identify how much food is actually out there for the bees. It will help inform more people about our free honey bee model BEEHAVE and how they can use it for their own purposes.”

Society

The societal benefit category was won with an idea for an app that will act as a portable diagnostic tool for clinicians to help classify diabetes in patients.

The idea from Medical School academic Dr Beverley Shields was shortlisted in two categories, societal benefit and research enabling. Judges felt the research evidence underpinning the app and its potential to improve the diagnosis of subtypes in diabetes showed a real and demonstrable benefit to society.

The support I have received made me realise what's possible when someone trusts and believes in your idea.

Mark Milton, Business School student

Dr Shields said: “We are delighted that our app has been selected. This is something we have wanted to develop for a while, but have lacked the necessary expertise to do it ourselves.”

Commercial

Winning the commercial category was an idea for an app that will help ecologists, conservationists and planners capture information on the location and size of key habitats, and monitor any changes over time. This will allow for the rapid collection and tagging of standardised data in the field.

The judges believed the HabitatApp from Dr Fiona Mathews showed strong commercial potential with consultant ecologists, as well as researchers, not only in the field of ecology but potentially other areas which involve field data collection.

Dr Mathews, from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, said: “This app will really make a difference by making it easy to record detailed habitat information in the field and ensuring it is available in the long-term for people making strategic planning decisions.”

Student

An app that matches users to facilitate the exchange of languages came out top of the student category.
Business School student Mark Milton’s Tandem app allows users to create profiles detailing the languages they speak and/or those they wish to learn. From there they will be able to find matches and message them to begin the exchange.

Competition judges felt this was an excellent idea for furthering language skills using the principles of social networking.

Mark was delighted to have won, he said: “Winning this competition has given me the opportunity to pursue something which was only ever a far-fetched concept. The support I have already received made me realise what is possible when someone trusts and believes in your idea."

The mobile app competition was run by Research and Knowledge Transfer and supported by the Students’ Guild and Exeter IT.

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