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IEEE Humanitarian Technology conference in Trivandrum>> August 20, 2013:  Technopark will be the venue for the first ever IEEE South Asia Satellite conference in Humanitarian technologies. Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) is a flagship conference of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), normally organized in USA. This conference aims at promoting science, engineering and technology as key to development of solutions for disadvantaged communities and also to foster exchange of information, networking and cooperation in the field of humanitarian technologies.

South Asia is home to one-sixth of the world population and some of the humanitarian challenges in South Asia are different from the other parts of the world. So, IEEE decided to organize a Satellite conference of GHTC in South Asia and Kerala was selected as venue for the conference. Thus came the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference – South Asia Satellite 2013 (GHTC SAS 2013), being organized at Technopark, Trivandrum on 23rd and 24th August 2013.

This conference will touch the downtrodden and the common man in terms of application of technology to find solutions to their problems. The conference is being held in five tracks – Distributed renewable energy generation and microgrids; municipal solid waste management; inclusive technologies for the differently abled; agriculture, water, disaster management, health and education; emerging technologies for humanitarian applications. Conference received more than 300 research papers in these areas from all over South Asia. Out of these, 81 papers have been selected for oral presentations at the conference.

A Community engagement workshop is organized on the sidelines of the conference. The workshop is intended mainly for development professionals, community workers and environmental activists, where experts in these areas will talk about their experiences, viewpoints and suggestions. Some of the IEEE initiatives in this area will also be explained.

Unconvention|L is another event being held along with the main conference. Unconvention|L is a Social entrepreneurship meet organized by Villgro and Innovation experience, which will present inspiring stories of successful social entrepreneurs. Tools which support creativity and innovation, which will help entrepreneurship development will be explained. The event is expected to connect to a local eco-system of support and network of opportunities in social entrepreneurship.

South Asia contests for engineering students were held in photography, video and posters around the theme of the conference, which received overwhelming response.

The Conference is supported by Government of Kerala, Technopark, KSEB, KSCSTE, ICFOSS, EMC and others. Some of the sponsors from the private sector include Cisco, Juniper, UTL, 6D technologies, Indiavideo and Suntec.

IEEE is a global organization of engineers with a membership of more than 4 lakh, from 160 countries. IEEE account for a substantial chunk of the technical publications in the areas of electrical, electronics, computer science and other engineering domains. IEEE is also a Standards body, responsible for many of the highly popular product standards like IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) and IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX).

Kerala Section of IEEE has a long history of promoting humanitarian technologies. Kerala Section had set up a wireless network along the 120 km long coastal areas of Nagapattinam in India in 2005, immediately after the devastation caused by Tsumani. Kerala section also supported many humanitarian projects, both technically and financially. IEEE Kerala Section organized a Humanitarian Technology conference in 2010, with the support of IEEE Foundation, which resulted in “Trivandrum declaration” on Humanitarian technologies for the 21st Century. This conference is a sequel to the 1020 conference.


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