Innovation – Speech assistance software wins first prize


At the 22nd Youth Science and Innovation Talent Search Competition Balázs Zsombori of Hungary has been awarded first prize for his speech assistance software PictoVerb, which facilitates the verbal communication of people with speech impairment. He developed the program in an effort to help a teacher who had undergone laryngotomy.

In addition to the prize the young talent may attend this year’s Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, where he may present his invention. Aron Ricardo Perez-Lopez and Donát Sándor Hegyesi have also received first prize, the former for his paper entitled “How can protein networks help the development of drugs with minimal side effects?”, while the latter for his poker playing robot. The three winners will represent Hungary at the 25th EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held in Prague between September 20 and 25. (Last year Gergely Papp was awarded a special prize at the same contest for his new coaxial loudspeaker. This year he has finished third at the 64th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair [Intel ISEF] with the same invention.) The teachers that the three first prize winners and the four runners-up named as their consultants were awarded a HUF 100,000 grant each. At the prize giving ceremony Pál Ormos, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and chairman of the jury emphasized that this year many of the 101 projects submitted by 124 contestants were of outstanding quality.