Double app challenge for green developers

Last year’s winning Green Application Challenge app, called Smart Recycling, helps mobile users locate nearby recycling bins and offers general recycling advice.

Last year’s winning Green Application Challenge app, called Smart Recycling, helps mobile users locate nearby recycling bins and offers general recycling advice.

The phrase ‘green fingers’ gets a new meaning as Telefónica and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduce two challenges for developers creating applications focused on sustainable energy. The contests are aimed at discovering and advancing innovative ICT apps that support the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

The first challenge is the Green ICT Hackathon, which takes place on 28 and 29 February, during the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain. During this two-day marathon, developers from across the globe will compete to create innovative apps with sustainable energy at their core. The winner and runner-up will receive cash prizes of $3 000 and $2 000, respectively, to help them further develop their apps. The awards will take place on 29 February, at the MWC.

The second contest is a Green ICT Application Challenge, which invites developers to submit concept papers for ICT applications that support universal sustainable energy. The concept paper should describe the design of a new application that would help combat climate change and reduce global energy intensity. It should also include an implementation plan for the development of the application, together with an explanation of how the idea provides an ICT solution to environmental or sustainability issues.

The deadline for submissions is 13 April, and the winning entry will receive a cash prize of $3 000 at an awards ceremony, to take place during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June.

ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun Touré said in a release that sustainable energy for all is vital to the future of modern civilisation. “ITU is committed to stimulating the creation of innovative ICT apps founded on new modes of thinking; ideas to effect the change needed to achieve a sustainable future.”

The ITU added that, as the global economy undergoes a shift towards sustainable energy production, ICT is playing a key role in transforming energy distribution through technologies such as smart grid, smart metering, smart billing and electro-mobility.

Tim James, director at SustainableIT, believes much of the innovation in the ICT space will come from these smart grid solutions. “As much as 25% of energy is lost through the transmission and distribution process, so enabling a smart grid can have tremendous impacts on using this scarce resource more effectively,” he says.

James adds that South African developers have significant opportunities for inspiration and experimentation. “The interesting thing with SA, which is quite unique, is that we are almost a greenfields location when it comes to energy. This is largely because Eskom’s infrastructure is ageing and has not been maintained very effectively.

“What this offers is tremendous potential for innovation around new ways of both producing and transmitting energy, and the government and Eskom are going to be open to this innovation as they have no choice. The opportunities in smart, clean and sustainable energy have never looked rosier.”

Visit the ITU for more information on the Green ICT Hackathon and second Green ICT Application Challenge.

Source: it Web.Co – 6 Feb 2012