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You can See Summit videos until January 1st, 2022

Meet the 2021 Winners

Following are the 2021 winners – Thank you to all participants and we wait for you in 2022

Best Overall Proof of Concept
Sponsored by:
Facebook_Connectivity_symbol_lockup_fc_gradient_l_rgb

The Nimble – An Open Source, Portable, and Offline-first Wireless Mesh Network for and by Underserved Communities

Eric Nitschke (USA)

Award: USD 10000

Best Overall Concept
Sponsored by:
Microsoft-logo

Ba11y, Crowdsource a11y reporting platform

Rahma Utami and Muhammad Noor (Indonesia)

Award: USD 8000

Technical Proof of Concept 1st Place
Sponsored by:
intelsat_logo

InterGram: Advanced Digital Development Centers for Delivering Essential Community Services over High-speed Broadband in Rural India

Sarat Pradhan, Niladri Pradhan, and Soumyaprakash Das (India)

Award: USD 7000

Technical Concept 1st Place

Bamboo Towers for Low Cost, Affordable Internet Connectivity to Remote Rural Areas

Sarbani Banerjee Belur, Siddhartha Ghosh and Subhrajit Dutta (India)

Awad: USD 5000

 

Technical Proof of Concept 2nd Place

OVERCOME21: CBRS Deployment in the Fruit Belt Neighborhood in Buffalo, NY

Filippo Malandra, Nicholas Mastronarde, Sunha Kim, Zhangyu Guan, and Houman Saberi (USA)

Award: USD 3000

Technical Concept 2nd Place

Intelligent and Cost-effective Multipath TCP (MPTCP)-based   Framework for the Satellite Internet

Shiva Raj Pokhrel and Anwar Walid (Australia)

Award: USD 2000

Business Model Proof of Concept 1st Place

Platforms to Increase Sustainability and Impact of  Communications Services

Ignacio Prieto-Egido, Cesar Cordova Bernuy, Leopoldo Liñan Benitez and Juan Antonio Paco Fernandez (Spain)

Award: USD 7000

Community Enablement Proof of Concept 1st Place

Empowering Digital Participation and Affordable Access  Through the iNethi Platform

David Johnson and Melissa Densmore (South Africa)

Award: USD 7000

Business Model Proof of Concept 2nd Place

Aggregating Energy & Connectivity in Rural Africa – ICT Hub Model –  Case Study Nakivale, Uganda

Conrad Ekisa, Patricia Oviedo, Joaquin Aviles Lopez         and Benson Olobo (USA and Uganda)

Award: USD 3000

Community Enablement Proof of Concept 2nd Place

TV White Space & Community Networks Cooperative Societies: Feasible Alternatives to Connect the Unconnected Rural Population

Jabhera Matogoro, Nerey Mvungi,    Anatory Justinian, and Luzango Mfupe (Tanzania)

Award: USD 3000

Community Enablement Concept 1st Place

Internet Access in Ecuador’s Amazon

Joel Pliskin, Bruno Taborga, Soledad Mills, and Robert Marsh

(USA and Ecuador)

Award: USD 5000

Business Model Concept (Honorable Mention)

Deliverance: Portable Sonography for Pregnancy and Childbirth in Remote Areas

Joann Canning and Roxanne Giannikos (USA)

Important dates for the Challenge

PHASE 1 (Abstracts)

Closed

Phase 1 Notifications: CLOSED

PHASE 2 (Current Phase)

Phase 2 deadline: CLOSED
Phase 2 notifications: CLOSED ​

Imagine your life without the internet

Internet access is critical to education, industry, and healthy living. Unconnected populations lack access to sell goods and services online, and students lack access to schooling. Working or studying from home is unrealistic for those lacking internet access, forcing a decision between learning or earning a living—with offline students often receiving no education at all. Unconnected global economies leave such workers and students with few options, while governments and nonprofits are more challenged 9to support them than ever before.

Semifinalist judging event (reserve date): Thursday, Sept 30th and Friday 1st October, 2021

The winners will be announced at our Summit in November

Award numbers and amounts are subject to the discretion of the selection committee and available funding. Additional information can be found in the Request for Participation and Contest Rules documents

Imagine your life without the internet

Internet access is critical to education, industry, and healthy living. Unconnected populations lack access to sell goods and services online, and students lack access to schooling. Working or studying from home is unrealistic for those lacking internet access, forcing a decision between learning or earning a living—with offline students often receiving no education at all. Unconnected global economies leave such workers and students with few options, while governments and nonprofits are more challenged 9to support them than ever before.

Imagine your life without the internet

Internet access is critical to education, industry, and healthy living. Unconnected populations lack access to sell goods and services online, and students lack access to schooling. Working or studying from home is unrealistic for those lacking internet access, forcing a decision between learning or earning a living—with offline students often receiving no education at all. Unconnected global economies leave such workers and students with few options, while governments and nonprofits are more challenged to support them than ever before.

This digital divide is particularly impactful on women. According to UNESCO, across 10 countries in Africa, Asia, and South America, women are 30-50% less likely than men to make use of the internet, and at a global level, women are 23% less likely than men to use mobile internet. Connecting those without access is often both an issue of cost as well as culture. In sub-Saharan Africa, one gigabit of data costs nearly 40% of the average monthly wage. But also, there are other barriers to use such as lack of literacy or acceptance of the change. All of these factors critically impair adoption and usage. Lack of use means that one cannot access telemedicine, take an online class, digitally transform a farm, or research a school project, ultimately hindering the development and social and economic well-being of both families and communities.

We are seeking innovative solutions to connect the unconnected

In light of this dire and increased need, IEEE’s Future Networks Initiative (FNI) has received funding to support research and competition to enable one or more innovative providers to enhance access and connectivity in less developed countries or in rural areas of developed nations along with services and applications that can better meet social needs such as agriculture or livelihoods as well as health and education.
FNI believes that there are local providers which may have identified mechanisms to lower costs and enhance service provision, allowing for more sustainable, commercially viable outcomes that also address cultural and technological impediments. By helping such organizations to build and expand their offering, IEEE can work to increase access, reduce the digital divide, and further its humanitarian and social mission for those most impacted.

We are seeking innovative solutions to connect the unconnected

In light of this dire and increased need, IEEE’s Future Networks Initiative (FNI) has received funding to support research and competition to enable one or more innovative providers to enhance access and connectivity in less developed countries or in rural areas of developed nations along with services and applications that can better meet social needs such as agriculture or livelihoods as well as health and education.
FNI believes that there are local providers which may have identified mechanisms to lower costs and enhance service provision, allowing for more sustainable, commercially viable outcomes that also address cultural and technological impediments. By helping such organizations to build and expand their offering, IEEE can work to increase access, reduce the digital divide, and further its humanitarian and social mission for those most impacted.

The Challenge

The IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge has two tracks, and within each track, competitors may submit their solution within one of three categories: innovative Technology Applications (TA) to increase broadband access or otherwise enable connectivity; innovative Business Models (BM) that result in increased affordability; or innovations that address Community Enablement (CE), or the likelihood that populations choose to adopt available broadband access when previously they did not. (In these cases supply and affordability are not problems, but people still don’t use the internet.)

Proof-of-Concept Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who have already demonstrated their innovation with a basic proof-of-concept implementation or a pilot program and can show preliminary results, or successful field deployment(s). The submission in this category should include a description of the general design and proposed functionality including implementation of specific features. In addition to implementation, it can include a (small-scale) deployment/exercise to verify the idea’s potential and/or to illustrate its feasibility. It should be noted that the competition is looking for early-stage projects/programs, not well-established programs with a multi-year history.

Concept-Only Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who are proposing novel ideas for Technology Applications, Business Models, or Community Enablement categories that have not yet been tested or demonstrated, but could result in significant innovative advances. Prizes in this track will be lower than the Proof-of-Concept  track.

Proof-of-Concept Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who have already demonstrated their innovation with a basic proof-of-concept implementation or a pilot program and can show preliminary results, or successful field deployment(s). The submission in this category should include a description of the general design and proposed functionality including implementation of specific features. In addition to implementation, it can include a (small-scale) deployment/exercise to verify the idea’s potential and/or to illustrate its feasibility. It should be noted that the competition is looking for early-stage projects/programs, not well-established programs with a multi-year history.

Concept-Only Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who are proposing novel ideas for Technology Applications, Business Models, or Community Enablement categories that have not yet been tested or demonstrated, but could result in significant innovative advances. Prizes in this track will be lower than the Proof-of-Concept  track.

Proof-of-Concept Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who have already demonstrated their innovation with a basic proof-of-concept implementation or a pilot program and can show preliminary results, or successful field deployment(s). The submission in this category should include a description of the general design and proposed functionality including implementation of specific features. In addition to implementation, it can include a (small-scale) deployment/exercise to verify the idea’s potential and/or to illustrate its feasibility. It should be noted that the competition is looking for early-stage projects/programs, not well-established programs with a multi-year history.
 

Concept-Only Track

This challenge invites submissions from individuals or groups who are proposing novel ideas for TA, BM, or UD categories that have not yet been tested or demonstrated, but could result in significant innovative advances. Prizes in this track will be lower than the POC track.

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Contact us

Do you have questions, or suggestions? You can reach us by mail at: ieee-ctu@ieee.org