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The Digital Arabic Content Competitions Open the Doors for Digital Products in Arabic

 

ESCWA launched the digital Arabic content (DAC) competitions in each of Palestine, Yemen and Lebanon under the slogan “Thinking digital? Let’s innovate in Arabic”. The competitions aimed at selecting the best and most innovative ideas in the field of DAC. They were launched in cooperation with the Palestine Information and Communication Technology Incubator (PICTI) in Palestine, the Science and Technology Centre at the University of Aden in Yemen, Berytech in Lebanon, and the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC) in Egypt which is part of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The competitions essentially targeted university graduates and young entrepreneurs aspiring to work in the field of DAC development and consequently establish start-ups that are specialized in this industry. Launching the competitions was coupled with an awareness raising workshop in each country including presentations and discussion on the importance of the DAC industry, its opportunities, market projections, and new business models as well as the most promising areas for the industry.

Participating project proposals in Palestine, Yemen, and Lebanon were evaluated by a national committee including representatives of ESCWA, the partner incubator, and the academic sector, in addition to experts from the business field selected from the participating country. A two-phased evaluation process was implemented where the first phase was an assessment of the submitted participation forms. The second phase was a personal interview with the participating teams to choose the winners. The winners from Palestine were “The Hope System for the Deaf” and “Palestinian Panorama” for historic and heritage locations in Palestine. From Yemen, the winners were “Prowl in Yemen”, “Augmented Application” and the “ACR System for Printed Multi-Font and Multi-Size Arabic Characters”. Two winners were also selected for the competition in Lebanon - “Menaversity” and “Rawy”.

Applicants to the competition in Egypt will be evaluated during the month of April. Winners in the competitions receive an incubation period of 6 to 12 months offered by the partner incubator in the form of office facilities, training and mentoring, marketing support, and guidance for establishing a start-up company that is an active player in the market. During this period, the winning teams will develop their ideas into marketable products. ESCWA will also provide part of the counseling process and practical/technical advice in collaboration with the partner incubators.

Worthy of mention that a similar competition will be launched during April in the United Arab Emirates. For further details and access to ESCWA’s previous studies on DAC, please visit the following URL: http://isper.escwa.un.org/FocusAreas/DigitalArabicContent/tabid/260/language/en-US/Default.aspx

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