Manila, January 21, 2021 — On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines joined Team iNON for the launch of ISDApp, a one-of-a-kind community app that will communicate important safety and weather information to fisherfolk who do not have smartphones or mobile internet. The launch was co-sponsored by Globe Telecom, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region IV-A, the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), and the Sariaya Municipal Agriculture Office in Quezon.
“Congratulations, again, Team iNON for the successful launch of ISDApp and thank you for allowing me to celebrate with you. Today demonstrates that U.S.-Philippine collaboration in science and technology can transform lives,” U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Philip Roskamp said during the app’s launch.
ISDApp was developed by Team iNON (It’s Now or Never) during the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge, and was the Philippines’ the first-ever NASA Space Apps global champion entry, beating out 1,395 entries worldwide to win the Galactic Impact category. The NASA Space Apps Challenge encourages talented coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, and technologists to use NASA’s open data to create open source solutions to address key challenges on Earth and in space.
“The NASA Space Apps Challenge helped us in the ideation of ISDApp, where there’s a collaboration between idea, data, and technology,” ISDApp Solutions Designer JC Torreda explained. “The vision for Team iNON is to be known for connecting fishing communities to the government, NGOs, and to the rest of the country so that they will be given the information they need, and at the same time build a community.” The app pulls together scientific data on local weather forecasts and sea conditions to provide the fisherfolk community with important safety information sent as SMS messages through the local government.
Following iNON’s victory in 2018, the U.S. Embassy and other Space Apps organizing partners continued to support the team as it developed ISDApp, including facilitating a July 2019 visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to meet NASA officials. In the spirit of community mentorship prevalent in the Filipino tech innovation community, iNON similarly supported more Filipino teams joining the NASA Space Apps Challenge in 2020 by mentoring competing Space Apps teams in Pampanga, Soccsksargen, and the cities of Biñan, Cebu, Davao, Manila, and Mapandan.
The successful launch of ISDApp is a testament to what collaboration in science and technology can do to spark inspiration, share knowledge and skills, and transform lives through technology.
For more information about NASA Space Apps Challenge and Team iNON, visit https://www.spaceappschallenge.org/ and https://2018.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/what-world-needs-now/globe-observer/teams/inon-1/project