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ITU Telecom Young Innovators competition seeks solutions in tackling climate change

by david.nunes

ITU Telecom Young Innovators competition seeks solutions in
tackling climate change

3rd Challenge in 2014 series focuses on smart cities and climate change

Geneva, 28 August 2014 – ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Competition has launched a Challenge on Smart Cities and Climate Change in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), seeking innovative ideas on how information and communication technologies (ICT) can help smart cities mitigate or slow down the effects of climate change, in particular in the area of global health. Two winning entries will be showcased at ITU Telecom World 2014, the leading platform for debate, knowledge-sharing and networking for the global ICT community, in Doha, Qatar, 7-10 December 2014.

The Challenge calls for young people around the world to work together on concepts for new and innovative social start-ups within the field of smart cities to help future communities adapt to or reduce climate change. This might include, for example, new technologies, novel combinations of existing technologies, services and systems, physical devices such as smart grids, software such as big data processing, or services such as community building programmes.

Following the close of the competition on 7 October, two finalists will be selected to join ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha this December, where they will pitch their ideas before industry leaders and national governments, participate in workshops, benefit from a year of ongoing mentorship, and win up to USD 5000 in seed funding.

“Extreme weather conditions, epidemics, outbreaks of infectious diseases and air pollution exacerbating non-communicable diseases are examples of how climate change is affecting the health of people around the world,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “ICTs can provide solutions to deal with these situations. This Challenge can entice socially conscious young innovators to find solutions to tackle climate change by developing smart cities that will help reduce emissions, improve economic sustainability and promote innovative use of green technologies.”

Dr Touré noted that it is vital to give young people an opportunity to engage with these key issues and  work together as a community, as they will be the ones living with the negative effects of climate on health for generations to come. “Developing the next generation of businesses and technologies to deal with climate change is something we need to do today, rather than tomorrow,” Dr Touré said.

This Challenge is the third in the Young Innovators Competition 2014, open to young people aged between 18 and 30 the world over. Compared to former Challenges, which targeted existing start-ups, Challenge-3 is the first co-creation challenge in the 2014 series, where applicants from around the world submit seed ideas and work together to discuss, exchange ideas and elaborate their contributions to a concept. These are honed and developed further under the guidance of expert facilitators over the dedicated crowdsourcing platform at ideas.itu.int.  The ideas with the greatest potential will be identified and further refined into concepts, before the final two winners are selected to join ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha. The deadline for submission is 7 October 2014 at 23:59 CEST (21:59 UTC).

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. www.itu.int

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