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Minister congratulates World Summit Award finalists

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

31 July 2013

Minister congratulates World Summit Award finalists

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has congratulated eight New Zealand organisations which have been selected as finalists in the global World Summit Awards for creativity and innovation in ICT.

Covering categories ranging from entertainment and commerce to health and education, the awards are an opportunity to showcase New Zealand projects that are at the forefront of new media and e-content creation.

The eight finalists are DigitalNZ, Life Education Trust, Loomio, Māori Maps, Māori Television, Ponoko, Radio New Zealand and the Science Learning Hub.

Ms Adams says the finalists demonstrate the potential for information and communications technology to stimulate innovation, increase productivity, and grow New Zealand’s international profile.

“It is great to see New Zealand projects of this calibre being recognised on the world stage. It is particularly important that we celebrate and encourage the high level of innovation and creativity that we have in this country,” Ms Adams says.

The Government’s broadband initiatives will increasingly support new uses of ICT by New Zealand companies and organisations, which will in turn drive the future uptake of faster broadband, Ms Adams says.

New Zealand has participated in the World Summit Awards since 2003. This year’s winners will be announced after final judging takes place in Estonia in late October.

For more information on the Worlds Summit Awards go to: http://www.wsa-awards.org.nz/index.html

The New Zealand finalists are:
• DigitalNZ helps organisations aggregate and share a wealth of New Zealand digital material, whether in the form of text, images, audio, or video. DigitalNZ works with more than 130 organisations, reaching into their disconnected databases and websites to extract essential data about their digital material. The data is then transformed into a standard format, and delivered to users through a single source which also allows software developers to easily build new digital services on top of it.

• Life Education Trust’s project with Lumen Digital is an example of technology being used to create a richer learning experience in New Zealand schools. The project’s interactive software creates an engaging environment and can also be integrated into online learning tools for students and teachers in the classroom. It can be used for healthcare professionals, as well as the broader public and policy makers, to collaborate and manage health issues in the future.

• Loomio is a new online tool for collaborative decision-making, which was itself created through a collaborative process. Loomio offers a solution to global issues of inclusion in decision-making. It uses a user-friendly interface to provide an accessible, neutral space for any group, and guide online discussion to clear outcomes. Loomio is an open-source application.

• Māori Maps takes the preservation of Māori cultural sites into the digital era. It offers information, photographs and maps for almost 750 ancestral marae, using an interactive navigational and informational tool based on Google Maps, that lets users navigate by a range of filters to locate marae. In English and Māori versions, it enables visitors and descendants to find marae, learn their history and understand protocols around visiting these protected cultural centres.

• Māori Television provides a wide range of local and international content for television and online audiences. Its new website provides viewers with access to the most popular programmes as well as the latest in news and current affairs with a Māori perspective.

• Ponoko makes it easy for designers to make and sell their product ideas by providing direct online access to manufacturing and consumers. This process reduces the cost and time needed to turn ideas into real products that designers can sell. Designers upload their designs and select curated materials online, so they can instantly verify, price and order prototypes and custom products.

• Radio New Zealand’s upgraded website has a simple, clean and effective layout, which is focussed on accessibility and delivers real-time and on demand audio content.

• The Science Learning Hub showcases New Zealand’s science sector, providing teachers and their students with a contemporary and engaging view of our science research. The curriculum-based resources include classroom-ready materials, multimedia collections, teaching strategies, videos, interactive content and timelines. There are also interactive thinking tools that teachers can customise and use to support critical thinking and inquiry-driven learning.

ENDS

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