?The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE) has launched its annual Innovation Week 2013 at the Centre’s premises on Tuesday May 7, 2013.

The theme for this year?s Innovation Week (i-Week 2013) is ‘Driving Innovation: New Communities, New Opportunities, New Markets’, (Driving Innovation.COM).

The i-Week, an event organised by the AITI-KACE and partners, is the Centre’s flagship event of the year and the biggest on Ghana’s ICT calendar. The event aims at promoting ICT innovation in Ghana and the ECOWAS sub-region through a combination of seminars, interactive presentations/case studies, hands-on training, as well as the exhibition of innovative products. The main event scheduled for June 25-29 this year is expected to attract over 2000 participants nationwide and many more globally via web-streaming, twitter and other social media platforms with a line-up of internationally recognised speakers. Innovation Week 2013 will feature the popular AITI-KACE Innovation Challenge (i-Challenge) which recognizes the talent of Ghana’s mobile application developers.

This year’s i-Week will also hold the official launch of the AITI hacker space, a sub-project of the AITI Innovation hub. The Hacker space code-named AITI iSpace is an online community space where people with common interests in computers, technology, science, among others, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. The AITI iSpace provides an online peering and development platform for developers, start-ups and other interest groups to interact, pitch, share and develop innovative ideas to help solve social challenges.

Members of the Innovation hub will have access to the Online Knowledge Centre, Code hosting facilities for collaborative development, Online test tools, Online Simulators, Test Web services or API hosting and access to the vast resources of scientific and business information located within the AITI Knowledge Management system. The AITI Hacker space will also host periodic events including seminars, hackerthons and hackerfests.

The launch ceremony formally outdoored the central theme and focus of i-Week 2013, and outlined activities planned for the main event which begins June 25- 29, 2013. As part of the launch, details of the Innovation challenge 2013, an innovation competition for social enterprise solutions, was also communicated.

The i-Challenge is a key component of the i-Week where developers compete for the top prize given to the most innovative solution for an identified social challenge. This year there will be cash prizes up for grabs. Categories include the most innovative solution for health and environment, business, government, education, entertainment, culture, media, and social inclusion.

The launch also afforded key stakeholders and the media the opportunity to interact, and discuss issues of common concern.

Speaking on the impact of i-Week on Ghana’s development, the Director-General of the Centre, Dorothy K. Gordon stated, ?…i-Week really allows businesses, institutions, and people to get thinking around innovation…?

At this year’s i-Week 25 promising start-ups will have the opportunity to exhibit their innovative products, services or solutions. These start-ups will be the companies to watch in the near future as their solutions and or business models are innovative and have a lot of potential.

Registration for the i-week is open and organisations, institutions, and groups as well as individuals have been encouraged to register early in order to take advantage of available group and early-bird discounts. There are special packages for past i-Week participants and tickets qualify participants to stand the chance of winning prizes each day of the event.

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