ADB taps tech startups for operational support
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Developing Bank (ADB) said it would be folding the use of technologies developed by startup firms into its organizational and development needs in the Asia Pacific region.

The Manila-based multilateral bank said it is partnering with the three winning teams from a hackathon it hosted recently with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

More than 700 youth and startups from around the world presented innovative solutions to three challenges in the competition held from Sept. 2 up to Sept. 5.

ADB and AIM defined the three challenges based on current organizational and development needs.

The winning teams are “Eskwelabs” from the Philippines and “Gnowbe” from Singapore for the “Building the Digital Skills of Employees” category; “FlexM” from Singapore for the “Developing Digital Payment Solutions” category; and “Agua Wireless Systems” from India for the “Future Proofing for the Water Crisis” category.

The solutions leveraged emerging technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and digital payments.

ADB also entered into non-exclusive cooperation arrangements with Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd. and Oracle Corporation Singapore Pte Ltd. to collaborate on the adoption and use of emerging technologies in ADB’s work.

Under the cooperation arrangements, ADB and the companies would exchange information on emerging technologies, train people to apply these technologies and organize joint events and meetings.

These firms will also provide advisory and knowledge support for ADB’s digital transformation.

“ADB recognizes that partnerships with top IT companies as well as small startups will help support our digital innovation program through knowledge exchange, capacity building, and co-creation of digital solutions designed for ADB’s business needs,” said ADB vice-president for administration and corporate management Deborah Stokes.

ADB is actively pursuing digital transformation in the region through the pilot use of emerging technologies in key economic sector.

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