February 24, 20180

Imagine a world where farmers use artificial intelligence to grow healthier food at lower cost. Where visual recognition technology detects pests on individual plants across thousands of acres, and agronomists micro-target treatment, with surgical precision, by remote control.

A world where real-time digital capture of events at crime scenes, police stations or courtrooms improves the effectiveness of law enforcement and supports greater fairness in the justice system.

Where cognitive technology enable smartphones to deliver greater independence to the visually impaired by providing vivid, verbal pictures of the user’s geolocation, in real time.

These innovative solutions are among the eight geography winners of IBM’s global Watson Build challenge, who competed for the title of Global Watson Build Challenge champion.

Nine months ago, IBM launched Watson Build Challenge, a bold new project to jump-start the partner journey to cognitive. Based on its wildly successful internal Cognitive Build, the Watson Build Challenge hosted more than 1,300 Business Partners in 36 Watson Build workshops around the globe. Designed to stimulate creativity, learning and transformation, these gatherings introduced our Business Partners to IBM Design Thinking and Agile development methods.

Watson Build participants embraced the challenge with enthusiasm, submitting more than 400 business plans, of which more than 100 progressed to the build phase. Using the IBM Cloud Platform and Watson catalog of APIs, with the support of cognitive specialists and IBM Technology Academy mentors, participants created dozens of working prototypes across a wide array of solutions.

In the end, eight champions were selected from each of IBM’s seven global geographic divisions, with one wildcard victor. The eight champions moved on to the final competition in New York City on November 2, where they pitched their solutions before a panel of judges including 3 IBM Executives, 2 IBM client firm representatives and an Industry Analyst.

Taking the top prize for Europe, and later, the global championship, Italy-based Business Partner Blueit Group, under their banner b.digital, developed bioBOTGuard, a solution that uses drone technology and cognitive visual recognition through Watson APIs to help agronomists and farmer save time and money. The solution enables “precision farming” by improving monitoring activities and field operations.

The Geography Champions and Wildcard winner include:

    • BondEValue for its app that screens news text and provides relevant metrics and sentiment analysis around information that might impact bond prices. (Asia Pacific Champion)
    • HNA Technology Group Co., Ltd. Research Institute for its maritime shipping platform that helps simplify and speed the handling of shipping containers. (Greater China Champion)
    • T.D.I.CO., LTD for Smart Zoo, an application that enhances the zoo experience. (Japan Champion)
    • Busca.Legal-Systax for Legal Search Tax Classifier, a service that helps answer corporate tax questions, speed compliance processes around tax obligations and reduce costs. (Latin America Champion)
    • SenzIT Solutions for Evidencer, an integrated software solution that captures, archives and analyses live proceedings from police stations and courtrooms. (Middle East and Africa Champion)
    • Kilroy Blockchain for Riley (RealLife Adventure), an interactive mobile experience that supports the blind and visually impaired with real-time geolocation and audio descriptions. (North America Champion)
    • Elinar for GDPR AI Miner, a solution that makes GDPR data discovery easy, simple and accessible. (Wildcard winner, Europe)

Over 400 IBM Business Partners have found ways to extend capabilities using Watson and provide their clients with differentiated services all while launching a new way for them to compete. Becoming a cognitive business brings valuable differentiation, and the degree to which you can innovate becomes increasingly important, a hallmark of business success. Cognitive computing is delivering entirely new types of customer engagement, strategic innovation and business transformation.

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