Social impact initiatives take spotlight at annual ITU Telecom World Awards 2017

lnnovative digital solutions with social impact came under the spotlight at the ITU Telecom World Awards 2017 prize ceremony on the closing day of leading tech event ITU Telecom World 2017 in Busan, Republic of Korea.

From micro-lending to a location-based shopping platform, an artificial intelligence-powered concierge robot, a digital data analytics solution and a voice recognition-based diagnostic system for babies, the third edition of the ITU Telecom World Awards celebrated creativity and innovation in digital solutions meeting real-world social needs.

Winners and finalists in several categories were presented with trophies and certificates by ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in a high-profile ceremony in the presence of ministers, industry leaders, representatives of media, academia and international organizations from across the globe.

“Winning an ITU Telecom World Award and having innovative solutions recognized by a global panel of experts at our event will help these talented enterprise owners to grow and scale up their business, taking it to the next stage. Previous award winners have enjoyed great success, coming back to later events as exhibitors and sponsors – I look forward to following the developments of this year’s awards alumni,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

The Global SME Awards recognized the best innovative information and communication technology (ICT) based solutions with social impact from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) present at the event in five classes – Best Business Model, Most Scalable, Most Innovative Use of ICT, Greatest Social Impact and the Global SME Excellence Award, for the SME with the highest all-around score.

Thematic Awards were presented for the most promising innovative solutions with social impact in the areas of eHealth, eEducation and smart emerging technologies.

In addition, the government with the most innovative SMEs included in their National Pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2017 was recognized with the ITU Telecom World Government Award; and the Host Country Awards recognized the most promising SME solutions at the event from the Republic of Korea, the event host.

All SMEs in these categories underwent a rigorous application and selection process, with an external jury of social entrepreneurship and tech experts assessing each entrant on the basis of business model, scalability, innovation and social impact. Those shortlisted for the Global SME Award were invited to take part in a quick-fire pitching session on the event showfloor during the event.

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