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Forming partnerships to strengthen digital transformation initiatives

Winning teams from a hackathon hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) will be receiving a partnership from the Bank.

According to a recent press release, the competition was held as part of Digital Week 2019 where more than 700 youth and start-ups from around the world presented innovative solutions to three challenges.

About the Hackathon

The three challenges were based on current organisation and development needs.

For the “Building the Digital Skills of Employees” category, a team from the Philippines and a team from Singapore won.

Meanwhile, a team from Singapore won the “Developing Digital Payment Solutions” category, while a team from India won the “Future Proofing for the Water Crisis” category.

The solutions that the teams used leveraged emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and digital payments.

Partnerships for emerging tech

Moreover, the bank has entered into non-exclusive cooperation arrangements with two tech companies in order to collaborate on the adoption and use of emerging technologies in the bank’s work.

Under the cooperation arrangements, they will exchange information on emerging technologies, train people to apply these technologies, and organise joint events and meetings.

Both companies will also provide advisory and knowledge support for the bank’s digital transformation.

The development bank recognises that partnerships with top IT companies as well as small-start-ups will help support its digital innovation program through knowledge exchange, capacity building, and co-creation of digital solutions designed for the bank’s business needs.

High-level Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development

In line with the bank’s digital strategies on its operational priorities, which are defined in its Strategy 2030, the Bank reportedly established a High-level Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development.

The eight-person experts’ group will advise on the use of digital technologies and their implications for the bank’s development work.

ADB President Mr Takehiko Nakao explained that the establishment of this Advisory Group will allow them to gain insights and strategic advice from digital technology industry leaders as well as academia on how they can provide high-quality support for the development agenda of their developing member countries.

Digital Technology

As a key enabler of innovation, digital technology has opened new avenues for growth and inclusive development.

The Bank established a Digital Technology for Development Unit in 2018.

This unit, together with the seven sector groups and the eight thematic groups, have been expanding the use of more advanced technologies, especially digital technologies, in every area of the bank operations.

The seven sector groups include:

  1. Education
  2. Energy
  3. Finance
  4. Health
  5. Transport
  6. Urban
  7. Water

While the eight thematic groups are:

  1. Climate and disaster
  2. Gender
  3. Governance
  4. Social development
  5. Environment
  6. Food security
  7. Regional cooperation
  8. Public-private partnership

Applying digital technologies in projects

The Bank has already incorporated digital technology in operations across sectors and regions. From 2010 to 2018, it supported 315 projects that included digital components.

Examples include digital tools to teach students, telemedicine and remote health, inclusive finance using smartphones, digital identity incorporating biometrics, smart grid systems for renewable energy, smart sensors for nonrevenue water reductions, and real-time traffic control using intelligent transportation systems.

The bank is also applying earth observation technologies and geographic information systems in its projects, supported by partnerships with the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

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