WITSA awards – GovTech bags four prizes at Olympics of ICT
GovTech has always prided itself for making a difference in everyone’s lives through tech innovation that’s world class. World class? Yup. And how do we know? Well, we recently bagged four prizes at the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) Global ICT Excellence Awards, which is very much the Olympics of the information & communications technology industry.
Making the podium at the WITSA awards! Photo by Romain Chollet on Unsplash
What are the WITSA awards?
The Global ICT Excellence Awards is an event held annually over the last two decades ever since the 2000 World Congress on IT in Taipei.
WITSA, the leading international voice of the global ICT industry, taps on its ties with the ICT sectors in over 80 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Africa, Argentina, and Canada, just to name a few from different continents – to unearth the most impactful and innovative projects from every corner of the world.
What’s more, the award nominations are made by experts who know the industry best – the national and regional WITSA ICT industry associations. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges comprising industry leaders.
This year’s edition was held on 13th November in conjunction with the World Congress on IT in Dhaka.
What did GovTech win?
A diverse slate of projects – ranging from education to eldercare, waste management to document authentication – was honoured. Three were named runners-up in their categories while one was given the merit award.
- Personal Alert Button (PAB) from the Government Assisted Living Eco-system (GALE) – runner-up in Digital Opportunity/Inclusion
In 2030, 83,000 elderly persons (aged 65 and above) will be living alone. This is a steep climb from 47,000 in 2016. To ensure that elderly persons can live safely and independently, GALE has been deployed in the homes of 100,000 elderly persons and 35,000 rental flat tenants. many homes.
The system comprises a hardware IoT button (the PAB), a case management system, and support from 24-hr telecare operators and staff from Senior Activity Centres, (SACs) which are elderly social care support centres located in the vicinity of the user’s residence.
PABs are installed in the senior’s homes at places where the probability of falls is higher. To call for help, the elderly person presses the PAB which will alert the SAC or a telecare-operator. Within minutes, assistance is rendered. For emergency cases, an ambulance will arrive in less than 10 minutes.
To date, GALE has handled over 3,000 cases, of which almost 400 were urgent or life-threatening.
- Waste Resource Management System (WRMS) – runner-up in Sustainable Growth/Circular Economy Waste management is a multi-faceted undertaking, including running incinerator plants, tracking toxic industry waste, and recycling.
The WRMS provides the National Environment Agency (NEA) with end-to-end backend support on the management of waste disposal accounts and automation of operational processes through the addition of new features that aid in registration of disposal vehicles, online billing, data analysis, and even seamless retrieval of licence information. These capabilities have allowed NEA to improve overall operational efficiency in the waste disposal process.
Thanks to the system, Singapore is closer to the realisation of its national Zero-Waste 2025 blueprint.
- The Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) – runner-up in e-Education and Learning
SLS is an online learning portal that enables students to engage in different learning modes, including self-directed and collaborative learning. It also provides teachers with a range of Educational Technology (EdTech) tools that enhance their pedagogical practices to facilitate active learning and assessment, as well as to create meaningful learning experiences that cater to diverse learning needs. All school leaders, teachers and students in the national education system have access to the SLS.
SLS’s agile development approach ensures the system is continually improved and developed in line with suggestions and feedback from teachers and students. When schools were closed due to the COVID-19 situation, SLS became the Ministry of Education’s key digital platform that ensured continuity of student learning during Home-Based Learning in 2020 and 2021.
SLS is complemented by a range of other initiatives to ensure that it is effective in enhancing teaching and learning, and developing students as lifelong learners. As part of the National Digital Literacy Programme, every secondary student will own a Personal Learning Device (PLD) by end-2021. Complemented by enhanced internet connectivity that the Ministry of Education will provide to schools, the PLDs will enhance digital access for students.
- HealthCerts – merit in innovative eHealth Solutions
The resumption of international travel depends on travellers being able to prove their vaccination status.
HealthCerts is a globally inter-operable standard for Pre-Departure Tests (PDT) result and vaccination certificates to facilitate the safe resumption of travel. The digitally authenticated and endorsed certificates are designed to be easily shared and provide added assurance to the traveller as well as authorities.
HealthCerts is tamper-proof, secured against unauthorised access, and can be digitally stored/transmitted for greater convenience.
HealthCerts certificates are also designed to be displayed in mobile apps or e-wallets. The e-wallet reference implementation has been open-sourced, allowing third-party digital passport solutions to store, display and share digital certificates using the HealthCerts standard. For example, ICC’s AOKpass, Accredify’s Digital Health Passport, and IATA Travel Pass app can already do so, and the HealthCerts team is in discussion with other solution providers, such as the CommonPass, to do the same.
Why it matters for Singapore
As you probably already know, Singapore aims to be a Smart Nation where tech is brought to bear on everyday issues and used to improve the lives of everyone. It’s nice to get affirmation from industry experts that we are on the right track.
International recognition from credible organisations also puts us on the world map as a tech player. This paves the way for other international entities to explore collaboration with us, expanding the reach and impact of our tech solutions. For example, the usefulness of HealthCerts will be greatly elevated if they are accepted in even more jurisdictions.
Finally, the awards also serve as a benchmark against which we measure our tech readiness. We can learn from other winners about where we fall short and get ideas on where we can improve and further innovate.
Check out the full list of winners here, which include other agencies from Singapore besides GovTech!
Enjoyed this article? Check out this article to out about how tech is making travel in the time of covid less painful or this article where we show how bridging the digital divide starts with each of us!https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/witsa-awards