ITU Launches Third Green ICT Application Challenge

20 December 2012: The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) launched the Third Green Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Application Challenge, in collaboration with Telefónica, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Challenge aims to promote innovation and "out of the box" thinking on smart, sustainable cities and environmental sustainability in urban areas.

The Challenge invites submissions in the following areas: adaptation to climate change; management of energy, water, health services or waste; town planning, including smart buildings; smart sustainable societies, community participation and environmental education; and transport and mobility. It recognizes the environmental impacts of urbanization, noting that cities consume 60 to 80% of the world's energy and emit 71% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Challenge aims to promote sustainable growth and development through innovative use of ICTs. Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General, encouraged “participants to think creatively about how we can harness the power of ICTs to make our cities more sustainable, better places to live.”

The winning entrant will be selected based on the concept paper's business model, feasibility, impact, implementation plan, innovation and scalability. The winner will receive a prize of US$ 5,000 at an award ceremony during the ITU's Third Green Standards Week, which will be held in Madrid, Spain, in June 2013. Submission deadline is 30 April 2013. Previous Green ICT Application Challenge winners are: “SocialElectricity,” a Facebook application that aims to make people more aware of their electricity consumption by allowing users to compare their electricity footprint with their friends and neighbors in their towns; and “Smart Recycling,” which helps users find garbage and recycling bins in their area. [ITU Press Release] [Challenge Website]