United Nations Seeks Innovation in Contest

ITU, the United Nations information and communication agency, has launched a competition that seeks to reward new thinking in ICT. 

Two competitions will run – the first for Young Innovators (aged between 18 and 25), and the second for Digital Innovators. The second contest will reward enterprises that partner with an NGO or non-profit organisation to present ideas for how ICTs could help further their causes in areas such as environmental sustainability, improved access to health and education, digital accessibility or the alleviation of poverty.

Shortlisted candidates will win a trip to the ITU Telecom World 2011 event in Geneva, and the chance to go through a two-day training programme to prepare a pitch, followed by a slot to pitch their idea to industry figures. The event takes place October 24-27. 

“The Young Innovators and Digital Innovators competition draws on our long-standing expertise in facilitating youth events and harnessing the power of fresh, digital thinking,” says ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré. “Applications, services and products driven by next-generation networks can truly transform the everyday life of millions. This competition offers a unique and exciting opportunity for young talent and digital innovators to receive the support, recognition and seed funding needed to turn promising digital ideas into valuable, working contributions to a better world.”

Entries will be judged on “innovation, feasibility (technical implementation/cost) and applicant experience (ability to deliver)”, says ITU. 

Overall winners will be judged by an online vote of delegates at the event, and winners in each category will receive a share of a CHF50,000 (around £38,800) prize fund. 

The deadline for submissions is 15 September. For more details on the young innovators competition, and to enter, click here

For the digital innovators category, click here.