Qatar has won the World Summit Award 2020 (WSA2020) in category 'Inclusion and Empowerment' with the platform 'Bonocle' – a Qatari startup, the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) said on Thursday.
With this win, Qatar has become the only GCC country to have won an award in one of the categories for this year. Additionally, Qatar and Lebanon are the only two Arab countries to have ever won one of the Awards categories.
Bonocle innovated the first ever Braille entertainment platform. The power of Bonocle is taken advantage of when used alongside an iOS or Android smart device to gain access to applications for work, education and gaming. With such uses, Bonocle adds value to its users at home, school and office.
Bonocle envisions an unsegregated world where the visually impaired and sighted share classrooms and workplaces. The story started at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, which played a key role in the company’s success. Since it was established, its goal has been to further integrate the visually impaired in classrooms, universities and workplaces while having equal access to technology.
Bonocle was selected and nominated among 40 winners (five in each of the eight categories of WSA Awards) announced by the Awards officials out of 380 nominations in total from over 100 participating countries.
“We are proud that Qatar has won the WSA2020 award in Inclusion and Empowerment. This reflects Qatar’s advancement in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and the attention it pays to empowering and including the physicallt-challenged through powerful technology. We are especially pleased this announcement coincides with the Qatar National Day celebrations,” said the Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development Reem Mohammed al-Mansoori.
The eight award categories are Government and Citizen Engagement, Health and Wellbeing, Environment and Green Energy, Business and Commerce, Learning and Education, Culture and Tourism, Smart Settlements and Urbanisation and Inclusion and Empowerment.
The winning products will be invited to the WSA Global Congress, which will be virtual on March 22-24, 2021, where they will have the opportunity to pitch and promote their projects at a global level.
A local jury, formed by the official national expert for WSA in Qatar, al-Mansoori, had screened and assessed all the submissions that represent Qatar and selected one qualified product for each category to further represent Qatar at the international level.
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