Samsung Innovation Challenge's Final Competition featured seven creative ideas from six  selected secondary schools.

June 14, 2024

The first winner of the SFT competition, IT School, ETI Fomento, Dili, during the award ceremony with H.E. Mr. Shin Man-taek, the Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste

Maria Silvia DOs Reis Lopes/UNDP Timor-Leste



Dili, 14/06/2024 – UNDP Timor-Leste in collaboration with Samsung New Zealand and the Secretary of State for Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools hosted the final competition Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow (SFT)” in Dili. 

UNDP Timor-Leste in collaboration with Samsung New Zealand and the Secretary of State for Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools held the innovation challenge for secondary schools students in Timor-Leste Samsung“Solve for Tomorrow (SFT)”. It is a new initiative that was officially launched on November 24th, 2023.   The aim of the innovation competition is to develop students’ capabilities in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity (4Cs) so that as youth they can be better equipped to solve current social and environmental challenges in their community in Timor-Leste, as well as promoting student’s abilities to master skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

About 7 out of 11 groups from different Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools in Dili and in Baucau municipality were selected from the semi-final sessions and competed in the final competition Samsung SFT on 14 June 2024 at Hotel Novo Turismo Conference Room. This program was financially supported by Samsung New Zealand. The teams going into the final are: 1. The GPS to detect lost items from Secondary Technical and Vocational School Dom Bosco Fatumaca; 2. A website to help students learn better at school from catholic secondary school Santa Madalena de Canossa 3. Waste management from secondary public school Baucau No.1; 4. automatic vegetable watering machine from secondary IT school ETI Fomento 5. Lixeiru haksolok from catholic secondary school Santo Inacio de Loyola 6. Recycling paper from catholic secondary school Santo Inacio de Loyola 7. Support students with Disability from secondary public school Finantil. 


The award ceremony was participated by H.E. Mr. Shin Man-taek, the Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Mr. Pedro da Silva, the Secretary of State for Technical and Vocational Schools representative, Mr. Artemy Izmestyev, UNDP Senior Country Economist, and Mr. Jorge Martins, Vice Prime Minister's Advisor. 

His Excellency the Korean ambassador through his discourse congratulated all students participating in the final Samsung SFT competition and shared important messages as takeaways for all participants:  

"Congratulations to the high school participants of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program!

This outstanding event is a testament to your creativity and dedication, fostering the skills necessary to become transformative leaders in Timor-Leste. True leadership requires a commitment to learning and personal growth, and your efforts today are paving the way for a brighter future. I am confident that with the passion and hard work you exhibit, Timor-Leste will see the rise of visionary leaders who will drive development and bring prosperity to our nation and its people.

I also have faith that this invaluable program will continue to inspire and empower future generations", said Mr. Shin Man-Taek. 


Approximately more than 300 students were reached during the preliminary period of dissemination in 13 schools in Dili and in Baucau.  These schools were then invited to participate in two design thinking workshops respective in Dili and in Baucau which were delivered by the UNDP Timor-Leste Accelerator Lab team in March 2024. The design thinking workshops are intended to provide students with innovative ways of presenting project issues and solutions. The schools in Dili include public secondary Schools 4 de Setembro, public secondary school Finantil, catholic secondary schools Santa Madalena de Canosa, catholic secondary Schools Santo Inacio de Loyola Casait, catholic secondary school São Pedro Comoro, catholic technical and vocational school São Miguel Arcanjo, and secondary IT School ETI Fomento. The schools in Baucau include public secondary school no.1 Baucau, public secondary school no.2 Vila Nova Baucau, catholic secondary School Sagrado Coração de Jesus (Sacrojes), and catholic technical and vocational school Dom Bosco Fatumaca. 


The representative from the Secretary of State for Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools believes that this program will need to continue since it has provided a positive impact to most secondary school students participated in the competition. This program allows students to discover their potential and creativity and create solutions that benefit them and their community.


The schools who participated in the design thinking workshops were encouraged to submit their projects. Upon submission of the projects for the semi-final, 27 submissions in total from 15 groups from 11 schools and there were only about 11 groups were shortlisted. The semi-final was conducted on 10th May 2024. The panel jury for the semi-final was composed of one representative from the government ITC office Mr. Tiago Fernandes, from NGO SIMILI Mr. Billy Maly, and from the office of the Secretary of State for Secondary School and Technical Vocational School Mr. Pedro da Silva. 


UNDP is delighted to be a part of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program. Samsung was an essential partner in resolving the critical issues of business and human rights, expressed the UNDP Country Economist, Mr. Artemiy Izmestyev.

The Samsung SFT Innovation Challenge in Timor-Leste is an opportunity for Timorese youth to excel in their digital skills and to empower them to use innovative methods such as design thinking. 



Media Contacts:

Grazela Maria Albino

Julio Fernandes Pinto - 

Maria Lopes-

For more information about Samsung SFT Timor-Leste 2024 please check our link here.

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