WITSA Announces 2020 Global ICT Excellence Award Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2020

Contact: Anders Halvorsen           ahalvorsen@witsa.org     +1 571 265-5964

Penang, Malaysia: On the second day of the 2020 TECHFEST Live! x ROAD-TO-WCIT Malaysia hybrid event, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) announced that twelve private and public sector organizations from four different continents were selected to receive the 2020 WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards, including the special WITSA Chairman’s Awards. WITSA is the leading recognized voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90% of the world’s ICT market. The WITSA Awards recognize the entities that made the most significant contributions to mankind in 2020

“Never before in WITSA’s 20 years of hosting the Global ICT Excellence Awards have we had the honor of reviewing as many well-qualified, unique and remarkable award submissions”, said WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu.

The nominations submitted to this year’s awards program spanned WITSA’s entire global membership, from Nigeria to Bangladesh, from Argentina to the United Kingdom and beyond.  “This year’s awards are happening at a very unique time in history.  In spite of going through a global pandemic we are delighted that we will be able to recognize some of the very best ICT solutions from governments, institutions, individuals and industry”, stated WITSA’s Secretary General, Dr. Jim Poisant.

The WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards is one of WITSA’s most popular programs. Started 20 years ago, at the 2000 World Congress on IT in Taipei, WITSA has – as the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry – utilized its unprecedented reach into the ICT industry in over 80 countries, from Australia and New Zealand, to Bangladesh and Malaysia, to South Africa and Nigeria, to Argentina and Canada, in order to select the most impactful and innovative candidates from every corner of the world.

Over the past 20 years, WITSA has recognized its award winners on the world stage, starting in Taipei, to Adelaide (Australia), Athens (Greece), Austin (Texas), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Montreal (Canada), Guadalajara (Mexico), Brasilia (Brazil), Hyderabad (India) and Yerevan (Armenia).

What makes the Global ICT Excellence Awards unique is that nominations are made by experts that know the industry best; the national and regional WITSA ICT industry associations. With unparalleled insight, the most innovative and impact solutions are brought before an independent panel of judges, consisting of select industry leaders and luminaries from key international organizations, corporations and government entities, who had to spend countless hours reviewing nearly 130 submissions.

The 2020 WITSA Awards was remarkable for its large number of highly qualified nominees, received from WITSA’s network of ICT industry associations in over 80 countries around the world. WITSA therefore decided to also recognize the most noteworthy Runner-up candidates and Merit winners. While not being selected as winners of one of the award categories, merit winners nevertheless displayed first-rate use of ICT.

The following are the winners of the 2020 WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards:

  1. 2020 Chairman’s Award (Two Awardees):
    -PEMANDU Associates Sdn Bhd (for their Global COVID-19 Index – GCI)
    – Intel (For their Intel Education AI for Youth Program)
  1. COVID-19 Tech Solutions for Cities and Localities:
    – Keelung City Government & Industrial Technology Research Institute: For AI-LiDAR Based People Flow Management System for Prevention of COVID-19
    – Taichung and III Regional Industry Service: For Sustainable Urban Business Solution
  2. COVID-19 Tech Solutions for Countries and Regions: Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare: For a pandemic preventive system from border to community: Taiwan model (Department of Information Management, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan)
  3. COVID-19 Best Industry Solutions:
    – Acer: AEB (Acer e-enabling Service Business Inc.) and the Taiwan healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (THAS): For iPLATO
  4. 2020 Public/Private Partnership Award: Chipside
  5. 2020 Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award:
    – Arbusta
    – Spark for Software Solutions: doContact Series
  6. 2020 Sustainable Growth Award: Telekom Research & Development Sdn Bhd: For Smart Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS)
  7. 2020 Innovative E-Health Solutions Award: Fujitsu
  8. 2020 Digital Innovation Award: Tookitaki Holding Pte Ltd
  9. 2020 E-Education & Learning Award: Intel

 

Finally, WITSA recognized 10 Runners-up and 21 Merit awards.

 

About WITSA

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.  WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.  WITSA hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.

For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org

 

The winners of the 2020 WITSA Awards are listed below:

 

THE CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

Intel: For their Intel Education AI for Youth Program

[Also, Winner of the 2020 E-Education & Learning Award – see below] Intel launched a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) readiness program, Intel® AI for Youth, in 2019. Driven in partnership with governments and academia worldwide, the program empowers youth to create their own social impact projects by enabling them to acquire technical skills in data science, computer vision, and coding, as well as teaching social skills focused on AI ethics and biases, and AI solutions-building. Participant projects have included a system to convert handwritten complaints by rural citizens to a digitized format that can be sent to government representatives, a project to predict depression among school children, a mini robot to remind elderly people to take their medications, and an AI drone to search for missing people. The Intel AI for Youth program is currently available in India, Germany, Poland, Singapore, and South Korea. We also launched a digital readiness program aimed at helping policy makers and government officials to connect, share, and learn a range of emerging technologies such as AI and 5G. This hands-on, immersive workshop focuses on using these technologies for improved governance and includes discussions around multiple use cases in areas such as smart cities, healthcare, and transportation.

Already, over 10,000 high school and vocational students have enrolled in this initiative in UK, USA, China, India, S Korea, Poland, Germany, Singapore, Israel, Russia, and Indonesia. Intel to train 30 million people in AI by 2030.

Contact person: Stuart Walker, Head of Education UK, Intel, stuart.walker@intel.com

For more information, see: https://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/it-managers/ai-youth-education.html

 

PEMANDU Associates Sdn Bhd: For the Global COVID-19 Index (GCI)

The Global COVID-19 Index (GCI) is the world’s first holistic and comprehensive index on COVID-19. It rates and ranks countries based on how well they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a fully data-driven and objective approach designed to assist decision-makers make critical decisions in the fight against COVID-19. The GCI is developed by PEMANDU Associates in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia, and is an initiative that will be kept live at least until the end of 2021.

The GCI is designed to assist countries in managing the COVID-19 pandemic – mitigating its severity and planning for their recovery from the crisis. It can help governments answer the key questions of when and how they should impose or relax their lockdowns with minimal guessing. It can also indicate when heavier measures may be needed to reinforce their healthcare system’s capacity. With its global rating system, it can also help answer the key question of what measures appear to be working or not working for countries around the world. From there, best practices can be derived and considered for countries with similar demographic, healthcare and socio-economic parameters. Businesses would benefit from knowing where their base country is on the severity-recovery scale. For countries who are on the road to recovery, knowing this can help business owners prepare to resume operations. For countries who are still far from recovery or may be struggling, the index can help businesses prepare their mitigation plan over an expected timeline.

More information: https://covid19.pemandu.org/

 

COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR CITIES & LOCALITIES

Keelung City Government & Industrial Technology Research Institute: For AI-LiDAR Based People Flow Management System for Prevention of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the growth of economy and block the interaction between people. The Taiwan government applied the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and border control at the beginning of the pandemic. The Keelung City Government, Industrial Technology Research Institute and AEMASS formed a technological epidemic prevention team to solve this issue. The team installed the advanced Artificial Intelligent Light Detection and Ranging (AILiDAR) based people flow management system in the Keelung MiaoKou Night Market for preventing COVID-19. The system solved the detection of social distancing, crowd control of people, counting people for occupancy rate. This system applied for dealing some prevention strategies for people gathering problem.

The AI-LiDAR based system is counting the time of flight of a pulse of light between an object and a detector. The light is emitted from the LiDAR and is reflected by the object. For producing the point cloud data, the AI-LiDAR has a very high sampling rate for moving people and environment. Every second more than a million pulse-lights are emitted and detected by the AI-LiDAR. The multiple line of emitters and detectors were integrated in the compact system. The emitted-lines in a rotation dimension which is the field of view of detection area. The scanning of emitted-lines increases the measurement range and spatial resolution

Contact: chrischchen@itri.org.tw; lyc2020@mail.klcg.gov.tw

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CISA-Keelung-City-Government-_-Industrial-Technology-Research-Institute.pdf

 

Taichung and III Regional Industry Service: For Sustainable Urban Business Solution

As a transportation hub in central Taiwan, Taichung City is teeming with a rich array of cultural activities and unique industries. It attracts in average over 41.78 million visitations each year, which creates revenue of over NT$58 billion for the city. Meanwhile, statistic showed that in 2018 the average expense of Taichung citizens purchasing in shopping malls was 279,200 NT dollars, which was ranked second only to Taipei City. Nevertheless, since the beginning of 2020, COVID19 pandemic has plunged the world into deep recession, and companies have implemented remote work or diversion to maintain company operations. The lockdown of countries has brought severely damaged to many industries. Local stores were financially fragile and couldn’t maintain the business due to domestic and global travel restrictions. In view of this, Taichung City government has partnered with Institute of Information Industry(III) to develop Sustainable Urban Business Solution which connects Taichung’s key living areas and festivals using A/VR and AI solutions to offer diverse services for both residents and visitors. The goal is to create a smart application service ecosystem for the city through three modules: (1) digital content experience, (2) real and virtual data integration, and (3) business data analysis feedback. By introducing this solution, Taichung City has successfully combined local characteristics and consumption behaviors through technology interactions, encouraged the engagement of citizens and local enterprises, and pooled together open resources of the municipal government to gather huge amounts of data for analysis, thereby promoting the urban digitalization for better and improved urban and rural development to create local business opportunities.

Through the aggregation and analysis of online and offline data, Sustainable Urban Business Solution drives innovative business models which effectively revive the economy of the area for the post COVID-19 economy. With the boost of virtual economy and innovative business applications, the solution offers AR/VR and numerous digital content experiences to create the possibility of and achieve heterogeneous data standardization through data serialization modules to improve the quality of data. With the engagement of Taichung City throughout the past two 16 years, the service has successfully optimized the performance of the government data base through business data analysis to establish a sustainable urban business service solution for Taichung.

Contact: yuwenhuang@iii.org; lu23199760@gmail.com; garhung@iii.org.tw

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CISA-Taichung-and-III-Regional-Industry-Service.pdf

 

COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR COUNTRIES & REGIONS

Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare: A pandemic preventive system from border to community: Taiwan model (Department of Information Management, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan)

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to 17 million confirmed cases, half a million confirmed deaths, and the numbers just keep rising. When COVID-19 virus initially caused an outbreak in China, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, USA, had forecasted that due to the geographical relationship between China and Taiwan, Taiwan would be second most affected country by COVID-19 virus. However, Taiwan has defied those expectations. Up until July 31th, 2020, Taiwan had only 467 Covid-19 cases, 7 confirmed deaths and only 1.5% case fatality rate (CFR) (shown in Figure 1). The successful response to Covid-19 was not a matter of luck, but the result of careful planning and digital transformation. Taiwan has performed well in combating COVID-19 this time and this may be attributed to the lessons learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak and the actions took for deployment of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The SARS experience had prepared the Taiwan government and citizens to react to the COVID19 pandemic more promptly and stay cautious. Meanwhile, it has forced government to seek effective solutions to include ICTs to respond effectively. ICTs plays an essential role in the combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan, especially its roles as an information-driven provided tremendous help in containing the COVID-19 virus, which was not seen during the SARS pandemic.

The new Pandemic Preventive System from Border to Community activated an information-driven inter-organizational system and removed government department’s silos. Until now, the new Pandemic Preventive System from Border to Community is only used for entrants entering Taiwan. In the future expansion, it might be considered to connect with systems in other countries around the world.

Contact: ccparng@mohw.gov.tw

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CISA-Ministry-of-Health-and-Welfare.pdf

 

COVID-19 BEST INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Acer: AEB (Acer e-enabling Service Business Inc.) and the Taiwan healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (THAS)

Acer e-Enabling Service Business Inc. (hereinafter “AEB”) was incorporated in 2012 as a key strategic investment in the IT service sector of the global IT leader Acer Group. AEB provides cloud platform and digital solutions to enterprises looking to outperform competition in the era of digital transformation. The company aims to create and integrate value for stakeholders in the ecosystem of IT vendors and enterprise client, where AEB has over 2500 plus long-term corporate accounts and over 200 first tier partners of different domains around the world.

There are many factors contributing to Taiwan CDC’s success, a well architect IT platform that can provide real-time and critical data to medical personnel when it accounts most certainly is an indispensable one. The THAS developed by AEB helps officials and professionals to stay updated and ahead of the curve.

Contact: Olive C. Chang: Olive.C.Chang@aceraeb.com

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CISA-Acer.pdf

 

iPLATO

For providing free remote consultation and COVID-19 reporting tools to 3,000 GP practices. PLATO Healthcare is a London based innovation company dedicated to mobile health since 2006. iPLATO’s evidence based mobile health solutions have proven to improve patient access to healthcare, to enable powerful health promotion targeted at people at risk and to support people with long term conditions. Serving millions of patients and thousands of healthcare professionals every day iPLATO has emerged as the leader in mobile health. Across this network the company is running campaigns to promote smoking cessation, weight loss, childhood immunization and pandemic awareness as well as mobile disease management services for people with diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and HIV.

iPLATO Healthcare’s mission is to, in partnership with healthcare professionals and provider organizations, support patients in achieving longer, healthier lives. IPLATO, the developers of myGP, have created two new-to-market tools to help GP practices manage their patients during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Three thousand GP practices in the UK currently use one or several products on the myGP platform. In May 2020, video consultations on the myGP platform have increased by over 1,000% with practices switching their appointments to video or telephone consultations. To help practices to continue their work, without putting themselves or their patients at risk, iPLATO has developed a ‘lite’ version of its remote consultation offering.

Contact: Louise Kitchingham, Senior Communications Manager, iPLATO Healthcare

Louise.Kitchingham@iplato.com | Tel. +44 20 3915 3946 | www.mygp.com | www.iplato.com

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tecUK-3_iPlato.docx

 

Public/Private Partnership Award

Chipside

The UK Government have declared the end of carbon fuel vehicles by 2035. It has also announced that the UK should be greenhouse gas net neutral by 2050, the world’s first major economy to do so. To achieve these aims, the UK Government has published the national industrial plan. This is then passed down to local government (regional, city and town leaders) to implement with their local industry strategy. Sustainable developments goals include a section on smart cities and 11.6 on reducing adverse impact of cities.

Chipside has worked with 170 UK Local Authorities for many years on transforming local government and bringing it into the digital age. It has formed a unique public / private partnership with 170 Local Authorities (these range from regional government to smart city managers to town and village leaders) to ensure that sustainability is put at the heart of everything that the parking and traffic managers do. This working group, run entirely voluntarily, rather than for commercial gain, encompasses some 20 million people within the UK population of 65Million. Managing traffic and reducing emissions to zero is easy. You simply ban the car. However, personal cars are often a lifeline for the citizen to improve their financial status, to keep themselves fed and to provide a better future for their children. Whilst this is true of the UK, it is also true of all countries of the world. And a key part of delivering SDG 8. Chipside has developed systems that provide their smart city managers with the ability to manage driver behavior in real time. This is a mix of big open data, real time data analytics and control room display terminals. The tools developed allow managers to deploy a mix of pricing, regulation change and social considerations to persuade drivers to change their behavior. Two (2) citizens a minute are joining the service – every minutes, 24 hours a day. Some examples are attached as evidence, but of note is

Contact: Paul J Moorby OBE FRSA, Managing Director | Chipside Limited

paul.moorby@chipside.com Tel: 0345 470 9009

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tecUK-4_Chipside.docx

 

Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award

Arbusta

Arbusta is a seven (7) years company with operations in Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay, delivering quality assurance services, providing first job opportunities for underprivileged youth, serving global major brands. We are a company where ongoing learning and service delivery are part of the business model, where our team’s capabilities evolve by learning by doing while addressing our clients’ business problems. We are 303 people in Buenos Aires, Medellín, Montevideo and Rosario. Our team consists of 95% young millennials and centennials that come from fragile socio-economic backgrounds. Today, digital skills are inherent to young people, as well as universal, regardless of geography and education. In Arbusta we unleash millennial talent and prepare ourselves for the future.

What we try to do at Arbusta is to develop talent to unlock the potential in this forgotten group of people. They are millennials, centennials, and most importantly: digital natives. They know how to work with mobiles, they are very familiar with technology. So our hypothesis is, if Arbusta can manage to train them, guide them in their weaknesses and strengths, we can develop their potential. Arbusta can then package those skills together as a team and provide that service to clients. We believe in identifying the potential talent that is not yet discovered by the industry. We trust in that talent, we can manage that talent and place them in a team. 

Contact: Noel Alvarez / Coordinadora de Comunicaciones
noel.alvarez@arbusta.net @arbusta.net / +5491124518001
Arbusta / Buenos Aires, Argentina

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Argentina_Reporte-Arbusta-ENG.pdf

 

Spark for Software Solutions: doContact Series

doContact series, is a series of mobile applications in Egypt for deaf and dumb (children and adults) to help them communicate more easily with normal people. It includes the following applications:

  1. doContact, for children to help them communicate with others
  2. iTalk, for adults to help them communicate with others
  3. iWrite, for both adults and children to enable them to express their needs by writing

These applications are designed with a very simple interface that is very easy to use. This series of applications is mainly based on visual images that will be used in expressing the need or feeling. The main objective of these applications is to make the disabled person express his needs & communicate with others in a very normal manner either by speaking images (like in doContact and iTalk) or by writing simple sentences (iWrite). All of the applications in this series have won prizes in Tamkeen contest which is organized by the Egyptian ministry of communication on yearly basis, as follows:

  • doContact, won a prize in Tamkeen 5, held in 2018.
  • iTalk and iWrite, won prizes in Tamkeen 6, held in 2019.

It is worth to mention that Tamkeen is not just a contest, but it is a partnership to encourage the ICT community in Egypt to contribute in enhancing the lives of the disabled people in Egypt and making their lives easier. Also, Tamkeen makes use of these applications by spreading them in the relevant communities like schools, education centers. etc.

Contact: Salema Ahmed,  Founder & COO

Tel: +202 2630 7031 | Email: salema.ahmed@spark-sol.com | Website:  www.spark-sol.com

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Egypt_Etisal-WITSA-Award-5-doContact-series-V2.0.pdf

 

Sustainable Growth Award

Telekom Research & Development Sdn Bhd: Smart Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS)

As the incumbent service provider in Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia (TM) via its innovation arm, TM R&D, is leading the market in the Internet of Water (IoW) solution, capitalizing its first-to-market advantages in end-to-end enterprise capabilities. Smart Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS) is a leading IoT case study developed for Air Selangor (AS) as part of its digital transformation journey to shape the next era of autonomous network in water supply management.

SWIMS offers tremendous business benefits, and this can best be viewed from operational efficiency perspective. Via initial installations in 3,300 sites in Sepang district of Selangor, SWIMS had transformed Air Selangor’s operation going from manual water meters and workforce-heavy meter reading activities, into fully digitalized operation in terms of control, maintenance, analytics and even workforce management. Usage visibility of each user has been improved by 3,000% which means usage figures are available daily instead of only monthly previously. The use of SWIMS coupled with automated meter reader shows an improvement in the accuracy of the meter reading by 10 to 15%, when compared to older water meters using manual reading, partly due to aging and mechanical issues. In terms of manpower, the cost for manual meter reading have been reduced close to none, requiring only supervisory monitoring of the daily water usage figures and the respective analytics.

Contact: Dr. Hizamel Bin Mohd Hizan, Senior Researcher Tel. +60 19-218 0890

More information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s31f6Hxn3zNpMTbXi7zkQREbHNEYDbtv/view?usp=sharing

 

Innovative E-Health Solutions Award

Fujitsu

 Fujitsu is one of the top information and communication technology providers in the world, with over fifty years of experience in delivering technology solutions and innovation to customers around the globe.

Fujitsu and their partner PolarisQB have developed a new solution combining Fujitsu’s Quantum-inspired Optimisation Services with AI/ML software to accelerate the early stages of the drug discovery process from 15 months to 7 weeks. Traditionally, the discovery of new therapeutic drugs is a slow and resource-intensive process, taking many years to develop new treatments and costing multi-millions of pounds. Underpinning the platform is the unique Digital Annealer technology from Fujitsu.  They are able to search a chemical space of over several billion new molecules, a significant increase on the tens of millions of molecules that current technology is able to search today.  Fujitsu’s quantum inspired technology is capable of screening this space 10,000 times faster than any other solution currently available on the market.  The output is a small number of high-quality new molecules that can then be tested further for drug like properties in a laboratory. 

Fujitsu’s Quantum-inspired Optimisation Services offers the ability to:

  • Deliver novel molecules in 7 weeks, reducing the timeline or drug discovery from 15 months, down to 7 weeks
  • Filter Molecules up to 10,000 times faster – allowing higher accuracy predictions from a virtual molecule library of over 1 billion
  • Release pressure on R&D budgets and accelerate the backlog of discovery targets – development that has been impacted by the ongoing global pandemic

The platform has been piloted in tests on the dengue fever polymerase, and work has now progressed with COVID-19.  The aim of these initial projects is to support scientists with finding a cure, where other efforts in research and drug development have been unsuccessful.

Contact: Jessica Shaw, Fujitsu, jessica.shaw@fujitsu.com

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/tecUK-7_Fujitsu.docx

 

Digital Innovation Award

Tookitaki Holding Pte Ltd

Tookitaki is a global regulatory technology company providing an ecosystem of AI-based smart solutions that create sustainable compliance programs for the financial services industry. We would like to nominate the company for its advanced, machine learning-powered, end-to-end AML/CFT analytics platform that detects, investigates and reports financial crime, leveraging a comprehensive library of money laundering patterns.

Tookitaki has developed the Anti-Money Laundering Suite (AMLS), which combines the efficiency gains and effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence, to address these challenges. It is the first AI-based AML compliance platform to be deployed in a production environment and can be adapted to suite the AML/CFT needs of various financial institutions. Our approach is novel as it does not depend on pre-defined rules or fixed thresholds. Instead, it learns from our proprietary engine, titled Typology Repository Management (TRM) and uses semi-supervised learning approach to identify complex money laundering techniques and detect suspicious cases faster and with high accuracy. TRM can be scaled to include any type of typologies across products, locations, techniques and predicate offence.

AMLS also features an Automated Model Management Framework that provides consistent model performance, scale and cost efficiency over time. While building AMLS, we broke the jinx that machine learning is a Blackbox and needs superior skill sets to understand. Our patent-pending explainability framework explains the model and every outcome for business users and regulators.

Contact: jerin.mathew@tookitaki.com; abhishek@tookitaki.com

More information: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SGTECH-Tookitaki-2020_Virtual_Awards_NominatingForm-1.docx

 

E-Education & Learning Award

Intel: For their Intel Education AI for Youth Program

Intel launched a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) readiness program, Intel® AI for Youth, in 2019. Driven in partnership with governments and academia worldwide, the program empowers youth to create their own social impact projects by enabling them to acquire technical skills in data science, computer vision, and coding, as well as teaching social skills focused on AI ethics and biases, and AI solutions-building. Participant projects have included a system to convert handwritten complaints by rural citizens to a digitized format that can be sent to government representatives, a project to predict depression among school children, a mini robot to remind elderly people to take their medications, and an AI drone to search for missing people. The Intel AI for Youth program is currently available in India, Germany, Poland, Singapore, and South Korea. We also launched a digital readiness program aimed at helping policy makers and government officials to connect, share, and learn a range of emerging technologies such as AI and 5G. This hands-on, immersive workshop focuses on using these technologies for improved governance and includes discussions around multiple use cases in areas such as smart cities, healthcare, and transportation.

Already, over 10,000 high school and vocational students have enrolled in this initiative in UK, USA, China, India, S Korea, Poland, Germany, Singapore, Israel, Russia, and Indonesia. Intel to train 30 million people in AI by 2030.

Contact person: Stuart Walker, Head of Education UK, Intel, stuart.walker@intel.com

For more information, see: https://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/it-managers/ai-youth-education.html

Runners-Up

 

COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR CITIES & LOCALITIES NOMINATED BY
Synesis IT Ltd. & a2i, ICT Division [Nomination form, Presentation PPTPDF] BCS, Bangladesh
COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR COUNTRIES & REGIONS NOMINATED BY
Ministry of Health Malaysia: Malaysia’ Pandemic Response Systems [NominationSupporting documentWebsite, PIKOM Nominee details] PIKOM, Malaysia
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AWARD NOMINATED BY
Chiao Tung University and Quanta Computer: Quanta-NCTU Joint AI Research Center (sponsored by National Chiao Tung University and Quanta Computer Inc.) [Nomination] CISA, Taiwan
Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) Project
[Nomination form, Supporting document MS Word/PDF]
BCS, Bangladesh
DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY/INCLUSION AWARD NOMINATED BY
eCare – Electronic Residential Care Management System (Caritas I.T. Advancement Centre, Caritas Hong Kong) [NominationLeaflet] HKITF, Hong Kong
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AWARD NOMINATED BY
Equinix [NominationMedia coverage] techUK, United Kingdom
INNOVATIVE E-HEALTH SOLUTIONS AWARD NOMINATED BY
Belun™ Ring [Nomination; Obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA) Brochure; Diabetic and Cardiovascular Brochure; Sleep Interpretation GuideArticle-distribution in the U.S.Collaboration with NGO to manage chronic diseases (Chinese only), New Product in response to COVID-19 (Chinese only), Interview by ChinaDailyInterview by HK Economic JournalWinning of Hong Kong ICT Awards 2018]
HKITF, Hong Kong
MyHealthBD, Virtual Hospital of Bangladesh
[Nomination form, Supporting document MS Word/PDF]
BCS, Bangladesh
DIGITAL INNOVATION AWARD NOMINATED BY
CyCarrier: CyCraft Technology Corporation [Nomination] CISA, Taiwan
E-EDUCATION & LEARNING AWARD NOMINATED BY
Bijoy Digital [Nomination form, Supporting document MS Word/PDF] BCS, Bangladesh

 

Merit winners

 

COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR CITIES & LOCALITIES NOMINATED BY
Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI): PGCare Penang Contact Tracer [NominationSupporting documentWebsite, PIKOM Nominee details] PIKOM, Malaysia
Local Government Division, Penang State Secretary: Initiative to reduce contact via Cashless Transaction [NominationSupporting document, Website, PIKOM Nominee details] PIKOM, Malaysia
54gene [Nomination] ITAN, Nigeria
COVID-19 TECH SOLUTIONS FOR COUNTRIES & REGIONS NOMINATED BY
TraceTogether national contact tracing programme [Nomination] SGTECH, Singapore
Saw Saw Shar: Covid19 Contact Tracing project [NominationMCIA Letter] MCIA, Myanmar
COVID-19 BEST INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS NOMINATED BY
Nextsense: For the Nextsense Contact Tracing Technology/mobile app [NominationSupporting DocumentationPresentationClarification] MASIT, Republic of North Macedonia
SafeEntry [Nomination] SGTECH, Singapore
XVision [NominationWebsite & product informationArticles] ATIC, Romania
Imark Private Limited. [NominationBrochureClarification from CAN] CAN Federation, Nepal
DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY/INCLUSION AWARD NOMINATED BY
Nagad, The Digital Financial Service of Bangladesh Post Office
[Nomination form, Supporting document MS Word/PDF]
BCS, Bangladesh
WorldLink Communications Limited. [Nomination] CAN Federation, Nepal
Coding with patience (Programare cu rabdare) – an EduSoft initiative [NominationSupporting Document] ATIC, Romania
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AWARD NOMINATED BY
PrismERP, Divine IT Limited
[Nomination formSupporting document, Environmental Impact: MS Word PDF]
BCS, Bangladesh
MAIN ONE [Nomination] ITAN, Nigeria
INNOVATIVE E-HEALTH SOLUTIONS AWARD NOMINATED BY
Lemon Healthcare [NominationSupporting DocumentClarification] FKII, Republic of Korea
OnDoctor Company Limited [NominationMCIA Letter] MCIA, Myanmar
DIGITAL INNOVATION AWARD NOMINATED BY
“Bird Monitoring System”, by Digisec [NominationPresentation] SEPE, Greece
Elevate-global LLC Skopje: For the Solution “BAT” [NominationBAT info-deckBAT AI energy care presentationBrochure (Macedonian) Google translation (English); BAT Introduction (English/Macedonian); Reference Letter ITS ISKRATELReference Letter-EVN-Stefen-PeterReference Letter-TokWiseAdditional links] MASIT, Republic of North Macedonia
ITRI CITC: Next-Generation AI-Powered Robo-Advisor technology, NeGAP [Nomination] CISA, Taiwan
E-EDUCATION & LEARNING AWARD NOMINATED BY
Find Solution AI Limited – 4 Little Trees [NominationHong Kong team bag 16 awards at 19th APICTA Awards (with photos); HKCS Outstanding ICT Women Awards 2020 Results Announcement; 4 Little Trees website; Find Solution AI Limited websiteLeafletUser Guide] HKITF, Hong Kong
Aprender en Casa – Learning at home [NominationPresentationPress ReleasePre-K Video Presentation (multi-lingual); K-12 Video Presentation (multi-lingual); Additional Supporting documentation (Spanish/English), Web Site] CESSI, Argentina

 

2020 Award Judges

Name Title & Company/

Organization

Bio
Ms. Yvonne Chiu WITSA  Chairman
Dr. Jim Poisant, Secretariat Judge WITSA Secretary General

Jim Poisant was appointed the Secretary General of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) in June, 2006. In that capacity, he directs the day-to-day operations of the alliance. The WITSA alliance consists of over 80 leading ICT Associations from around the globe.

Mr. Nick Ashton-Hart, Awards Judge Geneva Representative

Digital Trade Network (DTN)

Nick Ashton-Hart is the Geneva Representative of the Digital Trade Network. following on from his work over than a decade as the only Geneva-based representative from the technology sector to the UN, its specialized agencies, and member-state delegations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Ashton-Hart

Mr. Gary J Beach, Awards Judge Publisher Emeritus

CIO Magazine

Gary J. Beach is Publisher Emeritus of CIO Magazine. He also is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and founder of Tech Corps, an education technology non-profit.

https://e.givesmart.com/events/i9R/page/GaryBeach/

Mr. Oleg Petrov, Awards Judge Senior Digital Development Specialist, World Bank

Oleg Petrov has been with the World Bank since 1996 driving knowledge sharing, digital transformation and data-driven economy development working with over 40 countries. More recently he coordinated World Bank’s Digital CASA investment projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Smart City and AI project in Kazakhstan; Digital Economy advisory engagements in Russia and global knowledge sharing activities of the Bank’s Digital Development team, including the High-level Experts, Leaders, and Practitioners (HELP) for Transformation, Smart Nations, Digital Economy and Open Data Communities. Oleg holds a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) and Diplomas from the Plekhanov Russian Economics University and Moscow International University.

Dr. Michael R. Nelson, Awards Judge Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and International Affairs

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

https://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1779

Mr. Patrice Chazerand,Awards Judge Director for Digital Trade and Taxation – DIGITALEUROPE

https://www.digitaleurope.org/staffs/patrice-chazerand/

 

 

WITSA Elects New Leadership for the 2020-22 Term: Selects Mr. Yannis Sirros as its First Chairman from Europe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2020

Contact:    Anders Halvorsen        ahalvorsen@witsa.org      +1 571 265-5964

Fairfax, Virginia: At its November 17, 2020 General Assembly meeting, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) elected a diverse slate of leaders for the 2020-22 term, including 22 Directors from four continents.

Mr. Yannis Sirros, WITSA Chairman
Mr. Yannis Sirros, WITSA Chairman

WITSA elected Federation of Hellenic Information Technology and Communications Enterprises (SEPE) Executive Director Mr. Yannis Sirros as Chairman for the 2020-2022 term. Mr. Sirros is well-known throughout the WITSA community, having served in various capacities in support of WITSA for 20 years, including most recently as WITSA’s Deputy Chairman. Mr. Sirros also successfully hosted WITSA’s flagship event, the World Congress on IT, in Athens, Greece in 2004. Mr. Sirros is a member of the Task Force of the European IT Observatory (EITO) and an Executive Board member of DIGITALEUROPE, the European digital industry technology organization.

During the General Assembly meeting, Mr. Yannis Sirros presented his vision for the global industry alliance to become the leading industry voice and a global digital ambassador for a new digital future. Mr. Sirros laid out a four-pillar strategy to achieve these goals, including: (1) building the WITSA brand, (2) enhancing WITSA’s public policy leadership, (3) increasing value for WITSA’s members, and (4) ensuring long-term financial stability by developing new revenue streams. Going forward, Mr. Sirros will work to strengthen WITSA’s ties with globally recognized institutions, develop a strong common industry digital agenda, and enhance WITSA’s public policy role by driving awareness and promoting greater international economic cooperation. Mr. Sirros’ top public policy priorities include improving the quality of digital skills and leadership in the workforce, driving innovation throughout the industry, such as in AI, robotics, privacy, security, and smart cities, and promoting and enhancing women’s role in the digital technology industry and digital economy.

“We all must work closely together to increase WITSA’s reach and capabilities”, stated Mr. Sirros. “Everyone’s ideas and proposals are crucial and vital if we are to succeed and strengthen our role. I am committed to dedicating my time, experience, efforts, business and personal relations to realize WITSA’s true potential, bringing added value to each and everyone’s local organization and market”, continued Mr. Sirros. “Our industry’s dream is not something we will never achieve. Our Dream is what we have not achieved yet! Let us “build a new digital world” all together.”

Mr. Sirros noted that, during these unpreceded times that we are all experiencing, the pandemic of COVID-19 has affected global and local economies, and societies all over the world. It has challenged and changed drastically the way we work, move, socialize, think, and live. “There is no doubt that the current crisis of the pandemic has brought in the global forefront the necessity of digitization in every sector of the economy, in every aspect of our life, stated Mr. Sirros. “I believe we can do so much more. For our future, for our homelands, for the technology’s role in the global economy, for each and every one of us. This can only be achieved if we join our forces and synthesize our views and strategies.”

“On behalf of the entire global WITSA community, I am delighted to welcome Yannis Sirros as our new Chairman”, expressed WITSA’s Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “With so many challenges facing our industry in these troubled times, I am confident that with Mr. Sirros’ trusted leadership and support, as well as friendship, we will continue to build on WITSA’s many accomplishments to ensure that WITSA will continue to grow and reach new levels of success”, continued Dr. Poisant.

A complete list of the newly elected WITSA leadership is provided below:

 

WITSA Chairman

Mr. Yannis Sirros, Director General of the Federation of Hellenic Information Technology & Communications Enterprises (SEPE) Email: ysirros@sepe.gr

 

Board of Directors (2020-2022)

# Name & Title Association & Country
1 Mr. Yannis Sirros Federation of Hellenic Information Technology and Communications Enterprises (SEPE)

Greece

2 Mr.  Sean Seah The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM)

Malaysia

3 Mr. Francis Fong Hong Kong Information Technology Federation (HKITF)

Hong Kong

4 Mr. Brian Shen Information Service Industry Association of Taiwan (CISA)

Taiwan

5 Mr. John Kyle Business Technology Division of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce

Bermuda

6 Dr. Boris Komrakov Belarus Association of Software Development Companies (InfoPark)

Belarus

7 Mr. Robert Franz Janssen Association of ICT Companies in Brazil (ASSESPRO)

Brazil

8. Dr. Vasile Baltac Association for Information Technology and Communications of Romania (ATIC)

Romania

9. Mr. Antonio Cimorra The Association of Electronics, IT, Communications and Digital Contents (AMETIC)

Spain

10. Mr. Zoran Lazarevski ICT Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of North Macedonia(MASIT)
11 Mr. Toshio Iwamoto Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA)

Japan

12 Mr. Julian David techUK

United Kingdom

13 Mr. Hemant Kumar Chaursaia CAN Federation

Nepal

14 Ms. Choi Min Hee Federation of Korean Information Industries (FKII)

Republic of Korea

15 Mr. Md. Shahid-Ul-Munir Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS)

Bangladesh

16 Mr. Alexandr Yesayan Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises of Armenia (UATE)

Armenia

17 Mr. Alberto Patron Cámara de Empresas de Software y Servicios Informáticos de la República Argentina (CESSI)

Argentina

18 Mr. Matthias Ifesieh Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria (ITAN)

Nigeria

19 Eng. Tarek Abd-elmonem Taha Egyptian Information Telecommunications, Electronics and Software Alliance (EITESAL)

Egypt

20 Mr. Santiago Gutierrez CANIETI

Mexico

21 Ms. Angela Mondou TECHNATION

Canada

22 Mr. Alexander Mora-Delgado Costa Rican Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (CAMTIC)

 

About WITSA

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.  WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.

For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org

WITSA Mourns the Passing of Marilyn Cade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 6, 2020

Contact: Anders Halvorsen           ahalvorsen@witsa.org     +1 571 265-5964

WITSA mourns the passing of Marilyn Cade, one of the foremost experts on Internet governance and a dedicated and trusted ally of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance. Ms. Cade worked with and advised WITSA and its member associations around the world for more than twenty years, helping raise awareness to important issues, especially with respect to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the U.N. Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Moreover, Marilyn was enthusiastically working with many of our developing country members, helping them engaging in international fora and establishing several regional IGFs around the world.

Marilyn Cade

Marilyn’s staunch support of the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance and her advocacy for inclusion of all stakeholders and regions left an indelible impact. Her relationships with the WITSA community went beyond the professional. Her warmth, dedication and enthusiasm resulted in many friendships and she will be greatly missed.

About WITSA

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.  WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.  WITSA hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.

For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org

 

 

New Network Readiness Index Report Reveals Most Future-Ready Societies

December 18, 2019

 

Contact:  Dr Jim Poisant M: +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

 

Fairfax, VA:  The World Information Technology and Services applauds today’s publication of the 2019 Network Readiness Index (NRI) report, ranking the network readiness of 121 economies based on their performance across 62 variables. Initially launched in 2002 by the World Economic Forum, the NRI has been redesigned in 2019 to reflect how technology and people need to be integrated within an effective governance structure in order to have the right impact on our economy, society and the environment.

Recognizing the pervasiveness of digital technologies in today’s networked world, the Index is grounded in four fundamental dimensions: Technology, People, Governance and Impact. This holistic approach means that the NRI covers issues ranging from future technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) to the role of the digital economy in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2019 NRI is being released by the Portulans Institute, a Washington D.C. based technology and innovation think tank, in collaboration with WITSA.  “WITSA sincerely appreciates being selected as a 2019 NRI, Knowledge Partner.  We consider this report to be critical for Global ICT development,” said WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu.  

According to 2019 NRI, the three countries most likely to reap the benefits of the digital future are Sweden, Singapore, and the Netherlands. The study also reveals that the United States and other Northern and Western European countries are among the world’s most future-ready societies because of their success in combining technological opportunities and human wellbeing. “Technology today is not regarded as it was twenty years ago. Its social, environmental and organizational impacts should be perceived to be at least as important as its economic potential”, notes Bruno Lanvin, the 2019 NRI Co-Editor and Co-Founder of the Portulans Institute.

However, other regions do not fare as well. One concern that arises from the continued investment by high-income countries in their technology infrastructure is the persistence of a technological divide at the global level.

The report also warns that the positive impact of technologies will not be achieved unless we are able to set up effective governance mechanisms to integrate technology with the three key stakeholder groups – individuals, businesses, and governments. The report also found clear evidence that technological innovation can be a powerful tool to achieve the SDGs.

Given the strong performance and growth of the ICT sector, WITSA believes that it is imperative that nations do all they can to help ensure the ICT sector is thriving in their respective countries. To do this, there must be a comprehensive ICT infrastructure in place, governments must embrace the power of ICT to transform the delivery of public services, entrepreneurship should be encouraged and supported, and there has to be a strong focus on equipping the next generation with the necessary ICT skills. It is clear those industries harnessing ICT effectively tend to achieve much higher growth rates than those which do not.

ICT matters not just because of its economic impact, but also because of the way it enables positive social and cultural change. ICT can help to break down social barriers between nations and significantly within nations. It is clear that ICT is not only central to tackling the challenges of today; it should also be seen as a critical instrument to help tackle the challenges of tomorrow. For the future prosperity of all economies across the world, it is therefore essential that the digital opportunity is seized.

“As the evolution of the Digital Age unfolds, it is imperative that the requirements to derive maximum benefit from ICT be clearly understood and benchmarked for nations to measure progress”, stated WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant.  “The NRI report serves as a beacon that illuminates the path to success in this new Age.”

“Digital Technology is reshaping the global economy and producing an improved growth model”, said WITSA Deputy Chairman Mr. Yannis Sirros. “It is critical that all nations fully engage and adapt to the evolving Digital Age in order to take advantage of all of its benefits. In order for this new age to create maximum global benefit it must be applied everywhere”, continued Mr. Sirros. “The Networked Readiness Index report provides an excellent, comprehensive view of what is required by nations to fully realize the benefit of ICT for their societies. As WITSA’s longest standing director, I am very proud of WITSA for being selected as a Knowledge Partner of this impactful report.”

Starting on December 18th, the 2019 NRI complete report can be downloaded here, the Executive Summary here, or you can choose to navigate it at networkreadinessindex.org.  The NRI December 18th global launch is hosted by Portulans Institute and WITSA at the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute Geneva.

 Press contact:

For WITSA: Dr Jim Poisant M: +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

For the NRI 2019: nri2019@portulansinstitute.org

 About WITSA:

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA’s vision is “Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age.” When everyone on earth has access and is benefiting from ICT, WITSA’s vision will be realized. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org.  

 

WITSA Calls for New Digital Trade Rules

October 25, 2019

Contact:  Dr Jim Poisant M: +1 703 728-4547 E: jpoisant@witsa.org

Fairfax, VA:  The World Information Technology and Services today published a statement of policy entitled “Supporting Digital Trade Rules for Innovation and Sustainable Economic Development: A Case for a Trade Agreement”. The paper welcomes the ongoing efforts at the World Trade Organization to negotiate a new comprehensive e-commerce agreement, making the case that the Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce (JSI) presents a critical opportunity for the global trade body to prove its relevance in the current political environment and could lead to broader WTO reforms as well.

“WITSA is concerned about the very real risk that the significant achievements in multilateral trade liberalization since 1948 might begin to erode, as nations become introspective and protective in the face of global financial and economic challenges”, stated WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “This is a serious and complex issue for the global business community, affecting not just the future of multilateral negotiations, but – equally important – the future of global trade rule making and dispute settlement.” “A successful conclusion of the WTO e-commerce negotiations resulting in an agreement by the 2020 WTO Ministerial would invigorate global digital trade at a critical time and enhance the stature and relevance of the global trade body,” continued Dr. Poisant.

The statement makes key recommendations regarding a new WTO E-Commerce Agreement, including:

  • Compliance with WTO non-discrimination principles, such as Most-Favored Nation (MFN) and National Treatment (NT);
  • A New WTO ecommerce trade agreement should enable the secure movement of data across borders;
  • , a new WTO trade framework should prohibit the forced localization of data or computing facilities for all sectors;
  • A WTO agreement should permanently prohibit customs duties and other discriminatory measures from being applied to electronic transmissions;
  • A new WTO digital trade agreement should include further commitments on trade facilitation that help enable cross-border e-commerce for businesses of all sizes, especially micro-, small- and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs);
  • A WTO agreement on digital trade should include protections against requirements that companies provide source code or proprietary algorithms as a condition of market access, which severely limits open trade and investment and violates the principle of non-discrimination so fundamental to the entire trade system;
  • An agreement should prohibit governments from imposing measures requiring companies to purchase or use a particular technology and governments from according a preference to a particular technology in their markets and should retain the obligation to support international standards which are integral to interoperable software, hardware and services which underpin the open Internet;
  • A WTO agreement should strengthen existing cybersecurity collaboration mechanisms;
  • An agreement should recognize that personal information must be protected regardless of where it is located, but also acknowledge that different approaches can achieve comparable levels of privacy protection and provide a mechanism to guarantee international transfers of protected data;
  • A WTO agreement should recognize the importance of open government data by promoting access in machine-readable and open formats leveraging international standards.

The full statement can be found on the WITSA web site at the following link: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/DigitalTrade_final.pdf

 About WITSA:

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org

 

 

WITSA Presents 2019 World ICT Award Winners!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2019

Contact: Anders Halvorsen           ahalvorsen@witsa.org     +1 571 265-5964

 

  • WITSA is the most comprehensive and influential entity representing the Information and Communications technology (ICT) and services industry in the world
  • Awards recognize the entities that made the most significant contributions to mankind in 2019.
  • Six “Global ICT Excellence” awards, one “Chairman” award and one “Eminent Persons Award” were recognized at the October 8, 2019 World Congress on IT Gala Dinner in Yerevan, Armenia.

 

Yerevan, Armenia: On the second day of the 2019 World Congress on Information Technology, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) announced that seven private and public sector organizations from five different countries were selected to receive the 2019 WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards, including the special WITSA Chairman’s Awards:

 

  • 2019 Chairman’s Award: Bangladesh Vision 2021
  • 2019 Public/Private Partnership Award: IoT Augmented Airfield Service System(by Airport Authority of Hong Kong / Center of Cyber Logistics, Asian Institute of Supply Chains & Logistics, Chinese University of Hong Kong / ubiZense Ltd.)
  • 2019 Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award: Lifelong Learning for Persons with Disabilities(by MCIT – Egyptian Ministry of Communication & Information Technology)
  • 2019 Sustainable Growth Award: Give 543
  • 2019 Innovative E-Health Solutions Award: ACE VR Limited– “Evaluation of Visual Disability in a Virtual Reality Environment”
  • 2019 Digital Innovation Award: “A.I. powered vessel monitoring”, by DeepSea Technologies
  • 2019 E-Education & Learning Award: Sunnet Co.for V2U Interactive Videotelephony Teaching Platform

                                      

WITSA bestowed the Eminent Persons Award to Mr. Karen Vardanyan, the Executive Director of the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises of Armenia (UATE), to acknowledge his life-long service to the development of the Armenian ICT/high tech sector.

 

Finally, WITSA issued eleven merit awards. While not being selected as winners of one of the award categories, these merit winners nevertheless displayed first-rate use of ICT.

 

About WITSA

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.  WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.  WITSA hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.

 

For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org

 

 BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

At every World Congress on IT, the WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards recognize select organizations whose use of IT has exhibited exceptional achievement within six broad categories: Public/Private Partnership Award; Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award; Sustainable Growth; Innovative eHealth Solutions; Digital Innovation Award; E-Education & Learning Award. In addition, a special WITSA Chairman’s Award is presented to a nominee from the entire pool of candidates from all categories.

 

WITSA had also established its highest award called WITSA’s Eminent Persons Award in 2010.  The award recognizes those individuals who have made a significant and profound positive difference in the lives of others.  Since establishing the award in 2010, its recipients have included Dr Nelson Mandela, Dr Mike Lazaratis, Dr Vint Cerf, Dr. Robert Khan, Dr John O’Sullivan & Dr Percival, as well as Dr. Miguel Ângelo Laporta Nicolelis, a scientist best known for his pioneering work in “reading monkey thought”, and Dr. William Magee, Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Operation Smile, who has dedicated the past 32 years to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults around the world.  The intent of the Award is to recognize individuals who have made or continue to make significant contributions to mankind.  These contributions are not necessarily ICT related.

 

The 2019 WITSA Awards was remarkable for its large number of highly qualified nominees, received from WITSA’s network of ICT industry associations in over 80 countries around the world. WITSA therefore elected to also recognize the most noteworthy runner-up candidates by announcing several WITSA merit award certificates. While not being selected as winners of one of the award categories, these merit winners nevertheless displayed first-rate use of ICT.

 

The winners of the 2019 WITSA Awards are listed below:

WITSA Eminent Persons Award

Mr. Karen Vardanyan, Executive Director of the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises of Armenia (UATE)

Mr. Karen Vardanyan was given the Eminent Persons Award to acknowledge his life-long service to the development of the Armenian ICT/high tech sector, absolute dedication and commitment to championing the design, introduction and scaling up of “Armath” engineering laboratories in Armenia, as well as his personal pledge to replicate this successful model in other countries facing developmental challenges and aspiring to achieve better livelihoods via the utilization of breakthrough educational technologies. Mr. Karen Vardanyan is an ICT/high-tech policy and strategy sector influencer with more than 30 years of professional experience of working in the different key capacities (including Government and the biggest sectorial business association) at the forefront of design and consultations with stakeholders of national policies aimed at advancement of innovation policies and strategies in the Republic of Armenia.

 

One of the most important and successful initiatives promoting the technological advancement of Armenia was initiated by Mr. Vardanyan: The establishment of “Armath” engineering club-laboratories within the public-school system of Armenia. This initiative helped about 7000 children improve the quality of their education, social status, socio-economic situation and lives of their families especially in rural areas. Strengthening technical education, this program will enhance Armenia’s reputation internationally as being a knowledge-based country. At Armath Engineering Laboratories, kids aged 10-18 are introduced to science, technology, engineering, and math education through interactive after-school classes, exciting competitions, innovative camps and more. To-be engineers are given the opportunity to design, build, test, and improve their own creations in a safe and fun environment, while making new friends and creating startups. With significant support of the Government of Armenia, the number of schools hosting “Armath” Engineering Laboratories will be doubled by the end of the year, thus servicing approximately 20,000 adolescents and achieving half-way benchmark to have such laboratory in each and every school of Armenia (by the end of 2020). 

For further information, see the detailed UATE nomination at: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/2019_WITSA_Eminent_Persons_Award_Nomination_Karen_Vardanyan.pdf

 

The Chairman’s Award

Bangladesh Vision 2021

Transforming into a Knowledge-based Digital Bangladesh: In order to take Bangladesh further up the value chain and become a true knowledge economy, The Digital Bangladesh program was launched in 2009. It aims to be at the forefront of achieving Honorable Prime Minister’s vision of transforming Bangladesh to a digital economy by 2021 and a developed economy by 2041. The four pillars – Human Resource Development, connecting citizens, Digital government and Promotion of IT/ITeS Industry are playing a central role in aiding this fantastic growth story of the knowledge-based economy.

 

As a result of this continuous commitment to continue supporting the IT/ITES industry, the country is now experiencing a massive internet-based service revolution having over 93million of internet users in the country and this number is growing gradually. The fact that Bangladesh is the second highest provider of online labor is also the testament of the increased capacity of the country’s internet penetration. Bangladesh have also been able to secure a steady business growth in the IT/ITES sector by 21% for past decade, growing the market in an exponential rate. Today in Bangladesh there are over 4500 companies operating and more than 120 Bangladeshi companies are exporting ICT products worth nearly ~$1bn to 35 countries

 

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/WITSA_Revised_File.pdf

Public/Private Partnership Award

 

IoT Augmented Airfield Service System (by Airport Authority of Hong Kong / Center of Cyber Logistics, Asian Institute of Supply Chains & Logistics, Chinese University of Hong Kong / ubiZense Ltd.)

 

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AAHK), a statutory body wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR government, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and ubiZense Ltd. collaboratively developed a solution, named IoT Augmented Airfield Service System (AS2), to improve the on-time performance of the Hong Kong International Airport. The collaboration is unique in a sense that the AAHK provided a real-life problem, the CUHK provided cutting edge research, and ubiZense Ltd. leveraged their innovation to realize the solution.

 

AAHK has been using AS2 since October 2018 and has seen the arrival baggage efficiency improve by 20%. Although, the improvement is contributed to various project, including AS2. Next, AS2 will focus on other turnaround processes, e.g. cargo, fueling, catering, etc., to further improve the on-time performance of aircrafts. Moreover, other aviation stakeholders are starting to use AS2, including airlines and ground handling operators, which can help to further improve the overall airport operations.

 

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/HKAA_by_HKITF.pdf

Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award

Lifelong Learning for Persons with Disabilities (by MCIT – Egyptian Ministry of Communication & Information Technology)

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), launched the “Lifelong Learning for Persons with Disabilities” (LLL4PwDs). The project is a tool to contribute to building the capacities of PwDs in relation to Information Technology (IT), in order to equip them with the skills required for the job market, enhance their independence, inclusion and therefore empowerment. The project aims at employing PwDs based on their abilities, skills and productivity, regardless of the 5% target set by the government. The project is conducted as a collaborative effort between the government, the public sector and the private sector.

The importance of the project, which is a Public Private Partnership (PPP), stems from its ability to mobilize the community to work together to support the capacity building and employment of PwDs. The project analyzes the IT job market needs from the perspective of relevance to PwDs and the willingness of job owners to employ them, which were never conducted in Egypt.

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/Lifelong_Learning_Project_for_PwDs.pdf

 

Sustainable Growth Award

 Give 543 

Give543.com was founded in February 2009. It’s a business focused on promoting the resue and donation of products/services in an effort to promote community “recycling” and prolonged use of all products/services. Individuals and organizations can both donate and make requests for donations on Give543’s platform. Different from other solutions which have mostly tried to innovate materials or improve waste processing technology, Give543 adopted a different approach to contribute to the environment protection and sustainable development of the planet. As is known to all that a very large percentage of pollution in the World is actually caused by the waste constituted with items that are usable but no longer used. These are called “idling items”. Give543 is committed to fully circulate commodities that have already been made to ensure every item can last to the last minute of its life cycle and reduce the idling items as much as possible so that resources put into manufacturing process are not wasted and environment is not burdened by excessive shopping and production. In short, Give543 acts as a utility to maximize efficiency and properly allocate resources to prevent unnecessary waste.

Currently, Give543 has over 50,000 member accounts and has redistributed more than 3 million items on its platform since its foundation. Over 460 charities and NPOs are registered on Give543 and receive on average of 650 items per month. Over 40 corporations are registered with Give543 and use its services as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative averaging 16,000 item donations. Besides, Give543.com receives an average of 6.3 million page views per month and has been featured widely in the local press and media.

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/2019_Awards_NominatingForm_Give543.pdf

https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/Attachment_1_of_the_supporting_information_Give543.pdf

https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/Attachment2_news_release_Give543.pdf

 

Innovative E-Health Solutions Award

ACE VR Limited – “Evaluation of Visual Disability in a Virtual Reality Environment”

 

Clinical assessment of visual disability experienced by visually impaired patients is obfuscated by the lack of instruments that can inform real-world visual performance. ACE VR Ltd has provided a cost-effective solution to address this unmet clinical need via virtual reality (VR) simulation of real-world activities. With VR simulation, clinicians can visualize from a patient’s perspective how visual impairment impacts the quality of life. The VR system has been adopted in Hong Kong Eye Hospital, the only eye hospital in Hong Kong with a daily attendance of more than 1000 patients, to identify patients with visual disability for visual rehabilitation and patient education. The company plans to deploy the technology in general out-patient clinics, optical shops, and community centers for screening of visual disability, as well as for home-monitoring in patients with chronic eye diseases who require regular assessment of visual performance.

Global potential and scalability Unlike the standard visual function tests which are clinic-based and reliant on trained eye care professionals, the VR simulations can be administered in portable headsets at home. Frequent, home-based monitoring is therefore feasible for early detection of visual impairment. With the implementation of cloud-computing technology, clinicians can be informed whenever disease deterioration is detected for arrangement of early follow-up. Home monitoring can decrease the frequency of clinic visits and thereby increase the cost-effectiveness of many already overloaded health care systems across the world. In addition to enhancement of clinical care of patients with visual impairment, VR evaluation of visual disability is also important to clinical testing of novel treatments for eye diseases.

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/ACE_VR_by_HKITF.pdf

 

Digital Innovation Award

“A.I. powered vessel monitoring”, by DeepSea Technologies

 

Deep Sea Technologies is a high-tech company that specializes in vessel monitoring through the use of Artificial Intelligence. Deepsea Technologies offers a holistic solution that starts with an installation of a proprietary data acquisition system and ends in a cloud-based platform, Cassandra, where users can assess the health status of their vessels.

Deep Sea Technologies, established in 2017, comes in the forefront of the shipping industry to provide answers to three of the major challenges faced in the maritime world. The first is the distance between the vessels and the shipping companies, the second is the complexity of analyzing a vessels’ machinery data, and the third is the lack of transparency in communication between the onboard crew and the shipping company’s headquarters. DeepSea attempts to solve these problems through three steps: by installing a data acquisition system that bridges the distance between the vessel and the offices, by applying Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning) algorithms, which reduce the complexity of monitoring a vessel’ s machinery, and by developing an intuitive platform that immediately, or even a priori, informs its users when something goes wrong.

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/DigitalInnovation_DeepSeaTechnologies.pdf

https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/DeepSeaTechnologies_Cassandra.pdf

E-Education & Learning Award

Sunnet Co. for V2U Interactive Videotelephony Teaching Platform

 

The “V2U Interactive Videotelephony Teaching Platform”, is a tailor-made system specially created for instructional purposes by a local Taiwanese company, Sun Net. This one-to-one, long-distance, interactive videotelephony system allows its users to conduct interactive teaching through video and voice, hence mutually benefit the teachers and students and advance towards victory. Not only can this system be localized, exclusive interactive instructional videotelephony system can be developed to better meet the users’ requirements.

The design concept of this product is “to rely mainly on teaching and user-friendly operation as a supplement.” It is hoped that the power of technology can be used to assist in teaching, enable more people to experience the convenience brought forth by digital technology, and allow for a zero-burden experience for people who are starting to operate the V2U Interactive Videotelephony Teaching Platform. Hence, allowing the relevant parties involved to be more focused on teaching, and this advantage can be used to enhance the overall teaching quality.

For more information, see: https://witsa.org/awards/2019/nominees/2019_Awards_NominatingForm-SunnetCo..pdf

Merit winners

 Public/Private Partnership Award

  • Scooter2Infra Safety System– a Scooter to Infrastructure Communication Application for Road Safety
  • Chipside

Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award

  • “Genius Pocket”(by Affin Bank Berhad, Malaysia)
  • Yi-Bing Lin – Smart Farming

Sustainable Growth Award

·         EverComm Uni-Tech Singapore 

Innovative E-Health Solutions Award

  • Blockcord(by Agmo Studio Sdn Bhd)
  • ICT Innovation for Self-Service Ophthalmoscope
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR)

Digital Innovation Award

  • M-POWER Information Corporation LTDfor GCRS – Group Consolidated Report System 
  • CXA Group Pte. Limited
  • SMART Maintenance platform(by Serba Dinamik IT Solutions)
  • Yoti

E-Education & Learning Award

  • StartEvo KIDIBOT(by Kuantero Srl)

WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu to Foster Interactions from Philippine to the World

Invited by Philippine’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu visited Philippine from Sept. 9 to 12, to discuss the possibility of cooperation across nations, especially for the ICT industry. In this trip, Chairman Yvonne Chiu met with Rowel Barba, Undersecretary of DTI, executives from Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and Angelica M. Cayas, International Investments Promotion Service Director of Board of Investments (BOI). They exchanged opinions on regional economies and urge for more effective collaborations through WITSA as a platform. In respect to such consensus, two initiatives were formed: Kaohsiung-GGLC (Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark) logistic center by sea or by land freights; and clinic services for Phil Chinese Charitable Association (Taiwan Weigong Hospital).

Chairman Yvonne Chiu also visited Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), and Electronic Industries Association of The Philippines, INC. (EIAPI). She shared in-depth know-how from her solid IT software industry background, aiming to lead the software integration in Asia and link the industry with the International, via cross-nation and cross-industry communications.

Going forward, Chairman Yvonne Chiu reiterated WITSA’s vision of fulfilling the promise of the digital age, and committed that with the power of international ICT industry, she will facilitate Philippine to further develop ICT industry and demonstrate Asian power to the world.

Rowel Barba, Undersecretary of Philippine’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Yvonne Chiu, WITSA Chairman.

(From left): Victor Gruet, Director of Electronics Industries Association of the Phils., Chen, representative of Taiwan Trade Center in Manila, Natalie Hunter, Executive Director of Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Winston Cruz, Vice President of PSIA, Yvonne Chiu, WITSA Chairman, Suzzan Tsai, WITSA CSO, Huang, board member of CISA, and Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, officer from Manila Economic and Cultural Office.

WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu Delivers Opening Remarks at ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018

WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu Delivers Opening Remarks at ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018

ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018 was held in Hanoi, Vietnam from Sept. 17 to 19, seizing the fast urbanization and booming smart city business opportunities among emerging countries in Asia. WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu was invited to deliver opening speech, and in her speech she reinforced the importance of regional cooperation in developing smart city solutions, and to breed local talents that can help accelerate Asia’s digital transformation. This year the event gathered 700 representatives from more than 10 member states, including Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, Bengal, S. Korea and Vietnam.

DigiTimes CEO Colley Hwang was also invited to give a speech. He shared Taiwan’s real practice in implementing Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system, and suggested that the Taiwan experience could be shared and replicated to other markets.

In the pre-meeting for ASOCIO Smart City Summit, Chairman Yvonne Chiu and Colley Hwang was received by General Nguyen Manh Hung, the Acting Minister of Information and Communications (MIC) Vietnam and Deputy Mayor of Hanoi. General Nguyen consulted Chairman Yvonne Chiu for strategies of transforming digital city into smart city. Chairman Yvonne Chiu suggested that through WITSA’s 83 member states in the world, WITSA is the best platform for Vietnam to obtain solid ICT technologies, solutions and application experience. Colley Hwang also noted that Taiwan’s concrete software and hardware integration experience could be shared and replicated to other countries in Asia. General Nguyen and Chairman Yvonne Chiu consented to work together on cultivating more talents by expertise exchange program.

WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu delivers opening remarks at ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018

From left: WITSA Chairman Yvonne Chiu, DigiTimes CEO Colley Huang, WITSA CSO Suzzan Tsai and General Nguyen Manh Hung, the Acting Minister of Information and Communications (MIC) Vietnam and Deputy Mayor of Hanoi

Pre-meeting for ASOCIO Smart City Summit