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ITU Young Innovators’ competition calls for innovative ICT solutions to global challenges

Winning entries offered up to USD 10,000 in funding and showcase at ITU Telecom World 2013

Geneva, 5 April 2013 – ITU has launched the third edition of its annual Young Innovators’ Competition offering talented social technopreneurs the opportunity to present their ideas to industry leaders at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok this November – as well as winning funding, mentorship and ongoing support.

Open to 18-26 year-olds worldwide, the Young Innovators’ Competition is looking for concrete solutions using cutting-edge technology to one of six Global Challenges developed in partnership with specialized UN agencies and leading private sector players:

  • Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers
  • Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level
  • Facilitate access to public services for the elderly
  • Improve natural disaster prediction and response
  • Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians
  • Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

The Challenges reflect the most urgent spheres of life where ICTs could have a significant and wide-ranging impact. The competition seeks pragmatic, market-oriented, scalable solutions making use of connected technologies, such as augmented reality, mobile apps, 3D printing or geospatial tracking.

Submissions may be either in the form of a concept, well-researched or documented ideas which have not yet been implemented, or a start-up, which is already up and running but in need of funding to take it to the next stage.

Applications can be made by simply completing the application form available at http://world2013.itu.int/participate/innovate/ and sending it to young.innovators@itu.int with “2013 Young Innovators’ Competition” in the subject line.

Ten finalists selected by a committee of experts will win the chance to attend ITU Telecom World 2013, the platform for high-level debate, networking and knowledge-sharing, as well as an ICT showcase, which will be held 19-22 November in Bangkok, Thailand, on the theme "Embracing Change in a Digital World".

Finalists will work with our partners from both public and private sectors to develop their initiatives and refine their solutions within the global market in the run-up to ITU Telecom World 2013. At the event itself, they will enjoy mentoring and pitching sessions, workshop training on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and the chance to showcase their projects on a dedicated showfloor pavilion. Prize money in the form of seed funding will be awarded up to USD 10,000 to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups, and up to USD 5,000 to realize winning concepts.

"This competition for young ICT innovators represents a wonderful opportunity to uncover creativity, innovation and talent in solving serious challenges that impact upon us all," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. "We look forward to supporting and fostering new, creative thinking and fresh ideas and showcasing them on the world-class stage at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok."

The deadline for initial submissions is 30 June 2013, 24:00 GMT +2.

For further details and the application procedure, please see http://world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/. You can also visit the Young Innovators Facebook page or contact us directly at young.innovators@itu.int.

For more information, please see http://world2013.itu.int or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel pressinfo@itu.int
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