ITU Innovation Challenges
The COVID-19 outbreak continues to wreak havoc across the globe, threatening lives, putting increasingly more stress on global value chains and testing countries’ resilience and readiness for digital transformation.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) believes that communities with access to technological innovation are more prepared during crisis. According to ITU, COVID-19 demonstrates the positive impact of innovation but also reveals the uneven distribution of technology’s benefits.
Contact tracing mobile apps can help healthcare systems track and stem the spread of COVID-19. Autonomous vehicles are being deployed to support vital logistic chains in areas that are locked down. And for the 1.5 billion school children impacted by school closures around the world, digital learning solutions provide a means to continue their education. But what about the thousands of children who do not have regular and affordable access to the Internet?
Now more than ever we need innovators, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, leaders, and change makers to bridge the innovation divide. One of the five goals of the ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technology, is for all countries to have policies and strategies for ICT-centric innovation.
For the 2nd time, ITU launches the ITU Innovation Challenges. It aims to bring together all stakeholders needed to nurture an inclusive digital world.
“We call on innovators, entrepreneurs, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), policy-makers, ecosystem builders and resource partners around the world to put forward their innovation, or idea for innovation,” ITU said while launching its challenges.
There are three challenges to choose from:
• The Digital Change-maker Challenge covers a wide range of topics from cybersecurity and regulation, to digital inclusion and climate change, and calls for participants to provide innovative solutions to real-life problems faced by stakeholders in their communities, especially considering value chain competitiveness and global disruption due to COVID-19.
• The Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge looks for ecosystem builders to identify best practices that allow innovators to develop sustainable and resilient solutions to navigate technological change and bridge the digital divide.
• The Women in Tech Challenge, in cooperation with the EQUALS Global Partnership, invites tech innovators to help and empower women in various sectors, including agriculture, fashion, and health.
Applicants can submit their ideas and innovations via the Co-Create Portal by 31 July 2020.
The winners will be invited to an ITU event to pitch their proposals, connect with mentors and expert to scale-up their project and become member of a network of past winners.