Roundup: Bangladesh thriving on innovation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-13 19:43:32|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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DHAKA, May 13 (Xinhua) --- Access to Information (A2I) is a special program of Bangladeshi prime minister's office that catalyzes citizen-friendly public service innovations simplifying governance and bringing it close to people.

Recently the assisted rural e-commerce platform of a2i, "EkShop," won gold award in the International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2019.

Furthermore, this ground-breaking innovation from Bangladesh achieved the best international innovation trophy among 21 countries.

EkShop is a platform developed by a2i Bangladesh to facilitate rural entrepreneurs and also dissolve the gap of communication between industry stakeholders.

Also, four innovations of a2i's innovation Lab (iLab) received silver awards in ITEX which is Malaysia's longest-running invention, innovation and technology exhibition.

On Sunday a2i organized a panel discussion on occasion of winning the ITEX award and showcased its innovation products in capital Dhaka.

The notable innovations showcased in this event were Digital Financial Service Nagad by Bangladesh Postal Division, IMEI Database & NOC Automation and Central Biometric Verification Monitoring Platform by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) Dialer by BTCL and Online Admission System and Verification of Result and IVR messaging for disaster notification by state-run cellphone operator Teletalk.

The discussion followed by an iftar party, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast in the holy month of Ramadan, was held at National Museum of Science and Technology in Dhaka on Sunday.

Organizers said the goal of the event is to have fruitful discussions with the attendees on how to popularize the achievements of digital Bangladesh related activities by sharing each party's knowledge and experiences.

iLab incubates and accelerates innovations to tackle large scale problems of the society by leveraging technology, particularly electro-mechanical devices, Internet of Things and renewable energy.

It also provides 360-degree support to individual innovators, students, and start-ups including seed funding, access to a Maker Lab, and mentorship by experts from the industry and academia.

The incubation process comes with guidance to the young innovators to turn a prototype into a practical and viable solution. Innovators are further supported through copyright and patent filing to protect intellectual property of the innovation.

Minister of Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman stressed the importance of piloting innovative projects.

He called a2i's innovation Lab (iLab) a new Eye Opener Lab.

Minister of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Mustafa Jabbar said the nation will not get the benefit of the discovery if it does not preserve the intellectual property.

This is a requirement for innovation, he said. Intellectual preservation must be ensured for all inventions in a2i's innovation Lab (iLab), he added.

The minister said the education system of the country should be consistent with the concept of Digital Bangladesh.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that by encouraging the youth, they will have to solve the problem, innovate and create the mindset of the entrepreneur.

He also said to achieve the desired benefits of Digital Bangladesh, "we should make a coordination between the entrepreneurs and the University level innovation." With this combination, creativity and joint investment should be arranged. And through this, Bangladesh will become an innovative nation within the next 20 years.