MilcoTech Receiving the A' Design Award for Meta, Strategic and Service Design
MilcoTech has won the A’ Design Award under the category "Meta, Strategic and Service Design" for 2023, which is a well-deserved award for the inspiring youth who were able to win it and start this journey with a mission to bring impactful innovations to society. This project was developed by the Innovation and Design Tech team in partnership with the Value Chain team and ILO.
The A' Design Award and Competition is one of the world’s largest, most prestigious and influential design accolades, one of the highest achievements in design. As for the A' Design Award for Meta, Strategic and Service Design Competition, it is a freestyle design competition open to both concept stage and realized projects designed by professional designers, design companies, design consultants and other businesses in the design industry worldwide.
For those who don't know about MilcoTech, it is an integrated hardware and software solution that addresses the needs of micro-scale milk suppliers - mostly women and underserved communities - for the digitalization of the milk collection process and the profiling of farmers and their financial inclusion. This product has the potential to prepare data needed to credit score the farmers in the dairy supply chain and introduce value chain financing over wallets to the farmers. They have also been listed in the world design rankings among the list of best designers in Egypt.
The inspiration for the project they worked on came when it was noticed that milk collection in Egypt is highly fragmented, where 85% of milk production comes from small farmers with less than 3 cows. Some of the challenges they faced were milk collection, maintaining milk quality, providing extension services to farmers, and availing finance to small farmers. The product is designed to become a hub for financial inclusion and milk traceability in a modular design that takes into consideration the existing workflow, the capabilities at the milk collection center, and stakeholder needs.
Who are the heroes of this project?
The root of all good comes from the Project Champion Dr. Heba Labib, who is a constant innovator and an avid tech-savvy, and Product Manager Dr. Ahmed Saleh, whose dedication and passion are unparalleled. As a matter of fact, all team members are hardcore players and to specifically break it down, there are the Product Designers, Amira Yassin and Gehad Ashraf, who took it over their shoulders to design several concepts and champion the whole product development till delivery; UI/UX Designer, Mohammed Medha who did an outstanding effort in designing UI/UX, being always supportive; Mechanical Engineers, Ahmed Shahin, Kamal El-Sayed and Ahmed Saeed, or namely, the 3 musketeers, who we cannot say enough about their dedication, patience and effort in bringing dreams to reality; Manufacturing Engineer, Mahmoud Hamed, or the “supportive Hamed”, who works quietly, has all the answers and just delivers; Software Engineer, Assem Younis, an outstanding person taking responsibility and delivering wonderful quality with an amazing team spirit; Project Manager Nour Sameh, who was ever positive during the whole process, managed the project till delivery and even went on ardous trips for the project - along with Gehad - which is something that everyone was very grateful for; Systems Engineers, Mahmoud Saleh, the wizard for bootstrapping the device in an unbelievably fast way and Asmaa Dalaash, who extended full support in designing the system architecture and concept to develop; and finally Embedded Engineers, Mazen Taha and Mohammed Esam, who took the full initiative and ownership in leading the testing of the software and discovering bugs.
In addition, it's vital to mention other key players who were always supportive before and during award submission: the Value Chain Team, Ahmed Farouk and Mohamed Katany, Heads of the Value Chain Program, and their wonderful team members, Omar and Sagda; Media Photographer, Karim Gordon; Embedded Engineer, Merna Saleh; Design Awards Researcher, Fatimah Younis; and lastly the Marketing team for their support in the marketing copy, designs and presentation on all the different channels.
The innovative point-of-sale system includes milk quality analysis, in addition to having an end-to-end value chain traceability from the small farmer to the food processor. The solution also enables data collection and analysis for farmer relationship management, targeted extension services, de-risking financing, and hence financial inclusion for small farmers.
Project's Operation, Flow and Interaction
The farmer delivers the milk to the milk collection center and hands over his RFID card. The next step lies in the milk collection center weighing the milk, testing its quality, logging needed data to MilcoTech, and accordingly accepting or rejecting the milk. The collector comes to receive the milk in bulk and hands over his RFID card; the milk collection center enters the milk quantity and the milk processor's name and processes the delivery of milk. Lastly, the system stores the transactions, financial, quantity, and milk quality in and out.
It is such a pleasure to express pride and heartfelt congratulations to all team members and thank them for their eagerness to create brilliance in a place that needs these innovative ideas in a fast-growing world.