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Winners of IEC-IEEE Global Challenge Competition Announced


The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and IEEE today honored the winners of the global IEC-IEEE Challenge at an award ceremony held during the IEC General Meeting (GM) in Oslo, Norway. The theme, "How does electrotechnology impact economic, social, and environmental development?" attracted high-level submissions from a number of universities around the world.

The Challenge was launched by the chief executives of both organizations in October 2011 at the IEC GM in Melbourne, Australia, with the goal of stimulating global discussion on the role technology plays in social, environmental, and political development, and how universal standards influence this process. The submissions were judged by a distinguished panel: IEC immediate past president Jacques Régis, former CEO of Hydro Quebec, Montréal; Dr. Moshe Kam, 2011 IEEE president, and department head, electrical and computer engineering, Drexel University; and Paul Markillie, innovation editor at The Economist.

Ken Krechmer of the University of Colorado was chosen as the winner of the Challenge's first prize for his paper, "Cloud computing standardization," which addressed how cloud computing promises to dramatically simplify the development and deployment of new economic, social, and environmental applications. Mr. Krechmer received a cash prize of $20,000.

The $15,000 second prize was awarded to Axel Mangelsdorf of the BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing in Berlin; Knut Blind, chair of innovation economics, Technical University Berlin was a co-author of the paper. The submission, titled "The benefits of standards and standardization in the German electrical and electronic industry," explored how active participation in the standard-setting process changes the perception of the strategic value of standards and the real benefits for companies.

Joyce van de Vegte of Canada's Camosun College received the $10,000 third prize for her paper, which was titled "Bridging the divide with a three-way handshake." The paper discussed how historical differences in the access to personal computers triggered a "digital divide" between those who benefit from the Internet and those who do not.

The Challenge demonstrates how innovation and technological advancement have shaped and continue to shape the economic and political landscape of countries all around the world. They remain important in providing new growth and job opportunities.

"Our collective vision for the IEC-IEEE Challenge is to empower the technologists of today and tomorrow in pursuit of engineering excellence, and encourage the next generation to stand at the forefront of technological change to create a better future for society," said IEEE executive director James Prendergast.

"Our two organizations have come together with the IEC-IEEE Challenge to stimulate academic debate on how electrotechnology innovation can help solve some of our global challenges," IEC CEO and general secretary Ronnie Amit said.

For more information about the IEC-IEEE Challenge, please contact Gabriela Ehrlich ([email protected]) or Vivian Kelly ([email protected]).

About the IEC
The IEC is a global organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies - collectively known as "electrotechnology." It brings together 164 countries and over 10,000 experts on the global level. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) serves as the U.S. representative to the IEC via the U.S. National Committee (USNC).

About IEEE
ANSI member and accredited standards developer IEEE is a technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity around the world. IEEE serves as the voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.


Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

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