EgyptInnovate, Egypt’s online innovation hub, has taken the top prize in the “Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge” category at the ITU Innovation Challenges 2020.
The platform is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s innovation support strategy, managed by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) through the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC).
The platform’s success reflects the effective tools it provides for promoting innovation, learning, and availing networking opportunities to innovators and entrepreneurs, through a digital platform supported in both Arabic and English. It also provides an interactive map that embraces the key players in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt.
Projects from 26 countries, including Egypt, applied to the competition, where entrepreneurs, innovators, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, policymakers, and ecosystem builders competed.
The ITU Innovation Challenges 2020 is a global open competition platform for innovators and ecosystem builders to present their ideas and projects. The competition aims to empower the participants to transform their communities into thriving digital societies.
The competition is comprised of three categories, namely: the Digital Change-maker Challenge, for innovators with ideas that create a digital impact in their communities; the Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge, for ecosystem builders with good practices that nurture an enabling environment for innovators in their communities; and the Women in Technology Challenge, for individual women tech innovators and eligible startups with digital projects that create impact for women in their communities.
The overall theme of this year’s challenges was “Rethinking the digital economy’s value chains during the Covid-19 pandemic”. The theme reflects the increasing need for digital transformation, to help global decision-makers and innovators build a digital economy and maintain economic stability for their societies.
It also provides an opportunity for innovators and ecosystem builders to present their ideas and projects, enabling them to transform their societies into thriving digital communities.
The challenge winners have now qualified to join the virtual ITU Global Innovation Forum, which will take in October. At the forum, they will will participate in capacity building workshops, pitch their proposals to a global audience of experts, and network with decision-makers.
According to the 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) , Cairo provides a perfect testbed for innovation, as well as an attractive market for scalability.
Egypt has seen a surge in programmes supporting innovations in technology, as well as movements by the public and private entities that have triggered an entrepreneurship boom. This has had a significant and positive impact on the country’s startup sector, leading it to thrive.
The EgyptInnovate platform was built on open-source software, enabling free access to all its data. The number of registered users on the digital platform this year exceeded 50,000, and the number of registered entities on the Egypt Innovation Map reached over 1,000 organisations, agencies, and startups.