KU Affairs

BASF Honors 10 Winners of Khalifa University’s YFEL Case Study Competition on ‘AI for Sustainable Farming’ Organized by EBTIC

September 30, 2021

Reward Workshop ‘CliftonStrengths Assessment’ Helps Winning YFEL Members to Dive Deep into Their Own Talents and Strengths


Khalifa University of Science and Technology today announced 10 members of Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) outreach program were honored at a special reward workshop for winning the 2021 YFEL Case Study Competition on ‘AI for Sustainable Farming’, conducted by the Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC). 


The 10 winning YFEL members included three UAE national students, one international student from Khalifa University, one young professional from Dubai Municipality, and five international members from Mexico, Colombia, the US, China, and Hong Kong. 


Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Our outreach programs and sustainability initiatives are designed to encourage wider participation by youth and professionals. We are grateful to BASF, partner of YFEL, for organizing CliftonStrengths, the reward workshop, and helping the YFEL winners to explore and augment their personal skills and talents. Also, EBTIC, one of our research centers, has played a commendable role in conducting this case study competition on machine intelligence in farming. We thank the partners and hope the 2021 YFEL members will continue with their progress in obtaining sustainable innovations as laid down by the UAE leadership.” 


The winners of YFEL Case Study Competition were evaluated by an elite panel of judges including Dr. Nawaf I. Almoosa, Director of EBTIC and Head of Smart Infrastructure Research; and Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Khalifa University; Dr. Dymitr Ruta and Dr. Kin Danny Poon, Chief Researchers, EBTIC-Research. 


Dr. Ruta and Dr. Poon introduced the case study topic to the YFEL members, and engaged them in group discussions. The YFEL members were given six days after the initial introduction to find solutions and create innovative ideas. The winners were assessed by the judges for novelty, strength and robustness of the design, feasibility of the implementation plan and the analysis-backed efficiencies delivered to the farming industry. All indoor and outdoor solutions were accepted for evaluation, especially those energy-efficient sustainable solutions suitable for the arid climate in the Middle East. 


Industry studies indicate AI can provide farmers with real-time insights from their fields, allowing them to identify areas that need irrigation, fertilization, or pesticide treatment. Also, innovative farming practices like vertical agriculture may help increase food production while minimizing the use of resources. 


The 2021 YFEL Case Study Competition aimed to design a novel solution, system or process within a broad-minded smart farming domain that leverages technologies in artificial intelligence/machine learning/internet of things to provide significant measurable benefits compared to the equivalent currently used farming practices. 


BASF, world’s largest chemical company and YFEL program partner for over four years, organized the reward workshop ‘CliftonStrengths assessment’. CliftonStrengths, a web-based assessment of normal personality from the perspective of Positive Psychology, helps individuals to dive deep into their own talents and strengths. Developed expressly for the Internet, this tool helps explore what makes a person unique and the value this person can bring to a team or the workplace. 


EBTIC is a research and innovation center founded by Khalifa University, Etisalat and BT (British Telecom), and supported by the Telecommunication and UAE Digital Government Authority’s (TDRA) ICT Fund. 


Clarence Michael
English Editor Specialist
30 August 2021