On 15th July 2018, the Access to Information (a2i) program organized a workshop to raise awareness about "Women's Innovation Camp 2018". The workshop was hosted at the BCC Auditorium of ICT Tower in Agargaon. Additional Secretary (Planning and Development) of the ICT Division Mr. Mamun-Al-Rashid was present as the Chief Guest in the event. Special guests included Assistant Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh Ms. Shaila Khan; BUET’s Professor from the Electronic and Electronic Engineering Department Dr. Celia Shahnaz; Managing Director of Mohammadi Group Mrs. Rubana Huq; and Joint Secretary to the Bangladesh government and a2i’s Project Director Mr. Mustafizur Rahman, PAA. The event was chaired by Deputy Secretary to the Bangladesh government and a2i’s Innovation Specialist Ms. Shahida Sultana. University students and more than 100 female entrepreneurs from different organizations turned up in the workshop.

Back in 2016, Women’s Innovation Camp (WIC) was jointly initiated by a2i and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. The mandate is to encourage females of different age groups to apply their creativity and innovative mindset to address national problems using ICTs and come with innovative proposals. Any female or any team of females can then submit their ideas to this platform for funding up to BDT 25 lacs to implement pilot phase.

This is the third year of this competition and this event aimed to inform the audience about its process, requirements and the upcoming stages of the competition. Last year, the competition called for solutions to 4 specific challenges: cybercrimes against women, the hassle of working mothers, the untapped potential of women, and the various problems facing aged women. This year, interested teams can apply with as many proposals as they want to solve 10 challenges specified in the website http://challenge.gov.bd/wic or any other important challenge facing women. Deadline for submission is 31st July, 2018 midnight.

Grameenphone’s Head of Business Innovation Mr. Syed Ashikur Rahman, Telenor Group’s Global Commercial Head for Wowbox Ms. Farhana Islam, senior officials from a2i Program and various development agencies, and journalists were also present at the workshop.

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