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NZ software finalist in Stockholm Challenge


New Zealand software finalist in Stockholm Challenge

Greenstone digital library software, developed by the New Zealand Digital Library group at Waikato University, has been announced as a finalist in the 2006 Stockholm Challenge.

Selected from 1,100 entries from around the world, Greenstone is one of 142 finalists from 53 countries competing for one of the prestigious Stockholm Challenge trophies. The Challenge is open to excellent ICT projects from all over the world, searching for the best initiatives that accelerate the use of information technology for the social and economic benefit of citizens and communities.

There are six categories in the Challenge, including Culture, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health, and Public Administration. Greenstone is one of 32 finalists in the Education category.

Greenstone is produced in cooperation with UNESCO and the Human Info NGO in Belgium. It is an open-source, multilingual software, issued under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence, widely used by these and other world aid organisations to distribute humanitarian information in developing countries.
Greenstone enables UNESCO to compile virtual libraries on user-friendly CD-Roms that are distributed widely in developing countries, in areas that lack information resources and have slow and unstable communication networks. The software is also used around the world by organisations like the BBC and the New York Botanical Gardens to organise information.

The Stockholm Challenge announcement is yet another international accolade for the Greenstone team to add to their already impressive reputation. In 2004 they received the IFIP Namur award, an international honour which recognises recipients for raising awareness internationally of the social implications of information and communication technologies.

More recently, the head of the New Zealand Digital Library group, Professor Ian Witten, was awarded the 2005 Hector medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The Hector Medal recognises an investigator who, working within New Zealand, has undertaken work of great scientific or technological merit and has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of their particular branch of science.

Representatives from the New Zealand Digital Library group have been invited to Stockholm to participate in the final event from 8-11 May 2006. The winners of each category will be announced during the prize celebrations in Stockholm on the final day.


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