- 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, theExecutive 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.
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
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
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
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
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
Public/Private Partnership Award
- Scooter2Infra Safety System – a Scooter to Infrastructure Communication Application for Road Safety
Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award
- “Genius Pocket” (by Affin Bank Berhad, Malaysia)
- Dr. 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 LTD for GCRS – Group Consolidated Report System
- CXA Group Pte. Limited
- SMART Maintenance platform (by Serba Dinamik IT Solutions)
E-Education & Learning Award
- StartEvo KIDIBOT (by Kuantero Srl)