ITU Telecom Young Innovators Competition: New challenge
on Internet of Things for social good

4th challenge in 2014 series launched in partnership with IEEE Internet of
Things Initiative

Geneva, 25 September 2014 – ITU Telecom Young Innovators Competition has launched its fourth challenge in the 2014 edition. It calls for young people aged between 18 and 30 from around the world to submit ideas for concepts of start-ups aimed at using the Internet of Things (IoT) for social good in order to significantly improve the lives of people globally. Run in partnership with the IEEE Internet of Things (IoT) Initiative Working Group, the challenge opens the way for two winning concepts for start-ups to attend ITU Telecom World 2014, the leading platform for debate, networking and showcasing for the global ICT community, that will be held in Doha, Qatar, 7 – 10 December 2014.

Challenge-4 seeks ideas on how benefits from the ‘Internet of Things’ can be used for social good and spread to countries around the world, especially to emerging economies where development is currently slower due to the cost of the technology, lack of underlying infrastructure and the need for strong, widespread connectivity. Ideas may focus on methods to expand access to existing technology, such as near-field communication, RFID or QR codes, or might involve applying IoT technology to specific fields, such as agriculture, water management, transportation or other areas of particular relevance to developing communities. Ideas on developing an “Intranet of Things” – local networks of IoT devices functioning on a smaller scale to serve a concrete social purpose – are particularly welcome.

The IoT refers to the ability to connect and interact digitally with physical objects around the world, bringing together sensing, communications and information infrastructures with unprecedented potential to initiate a paradigm shift in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and customer services. According to speakers at ITU Telecom World 2013, its market value is estimated at over USD 14 trillion, representing between 15 and 25 billion devices by 2015.

“The Internet of Things is one of the most exciting areas of technology today,” said Blaise Judja-Sato, ITU Telecom Executive Manager. “It is vital that its implementation and the benefits arising from it are not limited to developed, wealthy economies. The potential impact of IoT technologies, solutions and applications in emerging markets is tremendous – from reducing the risk of famine to amplifying currently scarce resources in healthcare or increasing efficient, sustainable energy production.”

“The Internet of Things offers tremendous business opportunities, but it also presents challenges for engineers, who must build ever more complex systems, deal with interoperability, privacy, regulatory and energy efficiency issues, and determine ways to analyse the deluge of data,” said Roberto Minerva, chairman of the IEEE IoT Initiative to drive the evolution and deployment of successful IoT solutions in academic and industrial environments, and speaker at ITU Telecom World 2014. “IEEE is excited to be involved in the ITU Young Innovators Competition, as the need to identify the next generation of engineering talent to develop IoT technologies for the benefit of humanity is extremely important.”

Challenge-4 is a co-creation challenge calling for applicants to submit ideas and to discuss, exchange views and contribute collaboratively. The ideas with the greatest potential will be developed into concepts under the guidance of expert facilitators over the dedicated crowdsourcing platform at  Experts from the IEEE IoT Initiative, ITU and other prominent partners currently working on IoT will conduct online facilitation. Two winners of the Challenge will attend ITU Telecom World 2014 to pitch ideas before industry and government leaders, participate in workshops, benefit from a year of ongoing mentorship, and win up to USD 5000 in seed funding.

The deadline for submission is 3 November at 23:59 CET (22:59 UTC).

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU

telephone +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
email san[email protected]
Vivian Kelly
IEEE IoT Initiative

telephone +1 703 860 0577
mobile +1 703 509 5412
email [email protected]

About ITU

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For nearly 150 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.

About IEEE

IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE Web site. To learn more about the IEEE Internet of Things Initiative and the IoT Technical Community, visit the IEEE IoT web portal at: