ABB Cup Innovation Contest 2019 comes to a successful end

The ABB Cup Innovation Contest 2019 was successfully concluded on October 23. Three teams from Zhejiang University, Architectural Design and Research Institute of Guangdong Province, and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China stood out from the final competition in Shanghai and Beijing to win the First Prize. Some other teams were honored with the Second and Third Prizes and the Most Popular Team Award.  

  • Group photo of Smart Manufacturing Topic award ceremony
  • Group photo of Smart Energy and Smart Building Topics award ceremony

As all industries have entered the crucial stage of digital transformation and upgrade, the demand for inter-disciplinary talents is booming. As such, the Ministry of Education has put forward the concept of “New Engineering” to improve the capability of students to address complex engineering challenges. The 2019 ABB Cup contest meets the need of this trend by focusing on evaluating contestants’ capability in solving practical engineering problems. The focus of Smart Manufacturing group is about the coordination of machine vision, servo control and robots, while the Smart Energy and Smart Building groups put a focus on the optimization of renewable energy strategy, building automation and the application of smart technologies.  

The Contest has attracted nearly 300 teams from universities, research institutes and enterprises located in more than 60 cities since its inauguration in May 2019. After a fierce competition, 20 contestant teams were shortlisted for the final, whose topics cover such fields as machine vision, intelligent sorting, smart healthcare and building automation, contributing new ideas for the development of intelligent technologies in different sectors.  

Compared with the previous contests, the 2019 contest has gained a new breakthrough both in quality and sources of the submitted designs. They reflect a high level of professionalism and innovation of contestants, from their overall design to specific simulation and optimization. For example, the intelligent picking solution for manufacturing scenarios leverages a vision system to identify parts, and designs a sound path for the robotic and motion control system, which improves the engineering efficiency; an integrated system of green energy operation and trading management is successfully designed for the intelligent industrial park by combining solar power generation, energy storage and power distribution systems; and the intelligent control system for university campus can effectively reduce energy consumption in buildings, prevent electrical fires and improve the comfort level.  

  • Professor Shaoyuan Li, Deputy Director of the National Advisory Committee on Higher Education Majors in Automation, Ministry of Education of China, Vice Chairman of China Association of Automation
  • Professor Qingguang Yu, Tsinghua University

One of the panelists for the Contest, Professor Li Shaoyuan, Vice Director of MOE Higher Education Teaching Steering Committee for Automation Programs and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association of Automation, spoke highly of the Contest in promoting technical exchange and talent cultivation. He said: “Innovation is fundamental for solving practical problems. We are happy to see pioneering technology companies like ABB are partnering closely with local universities to expand cross-boundary cooperation.” Professor Yu Qingguang from Tsinghua University was also invited to attend the award ceremony and delivered a speech.  

  • Thomas Staehli, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Swizerland in China
  • Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Swizerland in Shanghai, China

During the Contest, ABB has invited industry experts to answer questions from the contestants, helping them better understand leading technologies and solve practical problems. Several online Q&A sessions were organized to help contestants overcome the obstacles during their preparation. At the final, the panelists further provided in-depth analyses and suggestions for future application.   Switzerland is the first country that has established innovative strategic partnership with China. Thomas Staehli, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in China, and Olivier Zehnder, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai attended the award ceremonies in Beijing and Shanghai respectively. Mr. Staehli remarked, the bilateral relationship between China and Switzerland is at the golden stage in innovation cooperation.

Switzerland is the world’s most innovative economy, and China also delivers remarkable performance in innovation. As an international company headquartered in Switzerland and operating in China, ABB provided the best practice in promoting technical exchange between the two countries and supporting the development of local talents.  

ZZ Zhang, Senior Vice President of ABB Group, President of ABB China Ltd.
ZZ Zhang, Senior Vice President of ABB Group, President of ABB China Ltd.

“As a global technology leader with an innovation history of more than 130 years, ABB is keen on inspiring young people’s passion for innovation with a long track record of supporting the cultivation of local talents. Through this contest, we hope that more young talents with innovative thinking and research capability can stand out, to support the development of smart industry in China.” Said ZZ Zhang, Senior Vice President of ABB Group, President of ABB China Ltd. at the ceremony.  

The ABB Cup Innovation Contest 2019, sponsored by ABB China and co-sponsored by the Chinese Association of Automation (CAA), provides a platform for experts, scholars, students and engineers in the automation industry to exchange ideas and share experience. It combines the previous two annual contests - ABB Cup National Automatic System Engineer Thesis Contest, which was co-organized by CAA and ABB in 2005 and has attracted more than 10,000 contestants and received over 4,000 theses, and the ABB University Innovation Contest, which was initiated by ABB in 2012 with more than 8,200 participants to date.  

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with near 20,000 employees located in more than 130 cities, 44 local companies, and online and offline channels across around 700 cities.


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