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. 


Global SME Awards Winners and Finalists


​Global SME Excellence Award​ ​

  • Winner – Modalku, Indonesia  

Best Business Model

  • Winner – Simplus Innnovation, South Africa
  • Finalist – Nile Center for Technology Research, Sudan 
  • Finalist – Tukang Sayur, Indonesia 

Most Innovative Use of ICTs 

  • ​Winner – Shanghai Terjin Radio Technology Company, China
  • Finalist – Ubenwa, Nigeria
  • Finalist – KonoLabs, United States of America 

Most scalable 

  • Winner – Security Platform Incorporation, Republic of Korea
  • Finalist – InvestED, United States of America
  • Finalist – Roborus, Republic of Korea 

Greatest social impact 

  • Winner – MEDSAF, Nigeria
  • Finalist – Kampung UKM Digital Belimbing, Indonesia
  • Finalist – Healthy Living Support, Azerbaijan  

ITU Telecom World Thematic Awards 

  • ​eHealth winner – Telkom Indonesia AdMedika, Indonesia
  • eEducation winner – SK Telecom, Korea
  • Smart emerging technologies winner – KT Corporation, Korea 

ITU Telecom World Government Award 


Winner - Nigeria 


ITU Telecom World Host Country Awards 

  • ​​Winner – CIOT Inc.
  • Finalist – Idealink Inc.
  • Finalist – S-WINNUS Co. 


In addition, Recognition of Excellence Certificates were granted to the best and most innovative individual exhibitor within each National Pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2017, as selected by each pavilion organizer. These were: High Tech Park, Azerbaijan; Go incubator, Benin; SOFTEX, Brazil; CAMTEL, Cameroon; China Mobile Communications Corporation, China; ethio telecom, Ethiopia; Wireless Applications Services Providers Association of Ghana, Ghana; Key Message on Digitally empowered MSMEs and digital connectivity as world's solution to wealth distribution disparity, Indonesia; Telecommunications Company of Iran, Iran; Melody International Ltd., Japan; IMoSyS Innovations, Malawi; Mavis Computel, Nigeria; digitalPH, Philippines; Minds Lab, Republic of Korea; VugaPay, Rwanda; Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications et des Postes (ARTP), Senegal; National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Sierra Leone; Northern Cape Provincial Government, South Africa;  Nile Center for Technology Research (NCTR), Sudan; and Shift Organics, Zimbabwe. 


Certificates of appreciation were awarded to ITU Telecom World 2017 National Pavilions and Thematic Pavilions, as well as loyal participants and supporters of the annual event over a number of years. In order of presentation, these were:  LS telcom; Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Ministère de l'Economie Numérique et de la Communications (MENC), Benin; Ministère des Postes et Télécommunications, Cameroon; China International Postal and Telecommunications Exhibition and Advertisement Co., Ltd; Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Ethiopia; Ministère de l'Economie numérique, de la Communication, de la Culture et des Arts, Gabon; Ministry of Communications, Ghana; Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Indonesia; CITNA, Islamic Republic of Iran; Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan; Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea; Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA); Instituto Nacional das Comunicaçoes Moçambique (INCM), Mozambique; Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Philippines; Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA); Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications et des Postes (ARTP), Senegal; National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Sierra Leone; Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, South Africa; Nile Center for Technology Research; Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ); China Satellite Application Industry Association (CSAIA); Telematics Industry Application Alliance; ATDI; GEW Technologies; Huawei; KT; Microwave Vision Group; Rohde & Schwarz; SK telecom; Subah; TDIA; and SOFTEX, Brazil. 


ITU Telecom World 2017 took place 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea. It combined an international tech exhibition, a forum for sharing knowledge, a networking hub for corporates, governments and SMEs and the influential ITU Telecom World Awards programme. 


The annual ITU Telecom World event provides an international platform bringing together developed and emerging markets, public and private sector leaders, and industry representatives from across the entire ICT ecosystem.