Innovation Awards

Emerging Technology: Three New Innovations To Be On The Lookout For in 2013

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 @ 12:15 PM

Akihito Tsukioka, founder of Digitized Information, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, is Chair of the committee for final judging of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories of The 2012 International Business Awards.  (Sign up here to receive information on how to enter The 2013 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, opening in January.) We recently caught up with him in his busy DigInfo TV office in Tokyo.

Akihito Tsukioka, founder of Digitized Information, Inc.What do you think are most exciting ideas/innovations that have been posted on DigInfo TV in the past year?
In my opinion, the three most exciting new ideas I have seen recently, and which may well be available soon, are:

  1. The Ubi-Camera, which takes photos composed by framing them with your hands. A research group at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences in Japan is developing this prototype miniature camera. When you draw a picture or take a photo, you sometimes form a rectangle with your hands to decide the composition. With this camera, you can take a photo using the exact same motion. The camera contains a range sensor, and the framing is determined by the distance between the camera and the photographers face. With the current system, which is still in development, the lens has a fixed focal length, and zooming is done digitally on a PC.
  2. The True 3D display technology, developed by Burton, which uses a laser to create luminous points of light at desired locations in air or underwater. This system is an evolved version of technology co-developed by AIST and Keio University, first announced in 2006. It works by focusing laser light to produce plasma excitation from the oxygen and nitrogen in the air. The researchers state that this is the world's first technology to show pictures without the constraint of a screen. Most current 3D devices project pictures onto a 2D screen, and make the pictures appear 3D through an optical illusion. But this device actually shows images in mid-air, so a feature of this system is that it enables 3D objects to be viewed naturally.
  3. A research group at the Tokyo University of Science, led by Associate Professor Shinichi Komaba, has confirmed that hard carbon obtained by pyrolyzing sucrose, the main constituent of sugar, is an effective anode material for sodium ion batteries. Currently, most rechargeable batteries are lithium ion batteries. Japan imports its entire supply of lithium, a rare metal, so lithium ion batteries are expensive. Sodium ion batteries are intended to overcome lithium's disadvantages of high price and scarcity.  The supply of sodium is unlimited. Also, sodium ion batteries can be made using iron, aluminum, and sodium, rather than cobalt or copper as before. What's more, results show that using carbon made from sugar as the anode can increase battery capacity. So high-performance batteries may be achievable using cheaper, more abundant materials. The Komaba Group has achieved a storage capacity that is 20% higher than that of conventional hard carbon. It's expected that many researchers will work on making sodium ion batteries commercially viable. The Komaba Group anticipates it may take about five years to achieve a practical version.

What is your favorite app?
Dropbox
, a free service that stores info across computers, mobile phones, tablets, whatever.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
An actor.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The awareness that I will discover something new with each new day.

About Akihito Tsukioka:
Akihito Tsukioka has been in the translation business for over 25 years.  He also has experience in public relations and communications.  Akihito founded Digitized Information, Inc. in 1986.  The company provides its customers with tailor-made video production and translation services. Its website, http://www.diginfo.tv/, receives 70,000 views per day on YouTube. 

Mr. Tsukioka received a master's degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and is based in Tokyo, Japan.

About Digitized Information, Inc:
Digitized Information is a Tokyo-based video production/translation company providing videos of the latest cutting-edge technology and products from Japan in both English and Japanese. Established in 1986, the company employs a small team of video production staff in Japan, and works with a number of translators in various time zones.

Tags: business awards, app awards, live event awards, video awards, website awards, International business awards, innovative technology, Digitized Information, Akihito Tsukioka, Inc., emerging technology, annual report awards

4 Tips for Winning Innovation Awards in The 2012 IBAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 11:14 AM

The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, feature a wide selection of categories to recognize the achievements of innovative professionals and we thought it would be helpful to provide you with several tips for submitting winning entries. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs is 27 June, request your entry kit today.)

To make the most out of your business award entries, we suggest the following tips:

1. Review the awards categories.
There are several awards categories to help you highlight your innovative technology in the 2012 IBAs including:

  1. App Awards CategoriesThe International Business Awards
    These categories recognize excellence in apps for handheld and tablet devices, and for PCs, issued or updated since 1 January 2011.
  2. IT Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in all information technology, software, web development, etc. functions. 
  3. New Product Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in all product management, product development, product engineering, manufacturing, etc. functions.
  4. Website Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in web sites and blogs. There is no eligibility timeframe for these categories - it doesn't matter when the site or blog was first published.

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Make sure your entries include all required submission information.

3. Review past winners' entries.
Get inspiration and guidance from past winners. The 8th Annual International Business Awards were presented in October 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.  Honorees included American Express, Bombardier, Inc., Etisalat, Everything Everywhere, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Siemens AG, TATA Motors, Tesco Poland, Toyota Motor Corporation, Turk Telekom, and Unilever N.V., among others.  2011 results are summarized at http://www.stevieawards.com/pubs/iba/awards/408_2219_21081.cfm

4. Submit your entries.
Select your categories, write your submissions according to the instructions, and submit your entries.

Winners of the competition will be celebrated at the ninth annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.

Need helping choosing the best category to highlight your emerging technology? Contact us at [email protected] and we'll help direct you to categories that are right for your organization.

Tags: business awards, app awards, website awards, International business awards, innovative technology, business award, it awards, new product awards, emerging technology

4 Ways to Win Innovation Awards in The 2012 International Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, May 24, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, feature a wide selection of categories to recognize the achievements of innovative professionals. (All organizations and individuals worldwide may submit nominations to the IBAs. The final entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs is 27 June, request your entry kit today.)

Here are four ways to win awards for your innovative technology in the 2012 IBAs:

  1. App Awards CategoriesThe International Business Awards
    These categories recognize excellence in apps for handheld and tablet devices, and for PCs, issued or updated since 1 January 2011.
  2. IT Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in all information technology, software, web development, etc. functions. 
  3. New Product Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in all product management, product development, product engineering, manufacturing, etc. functions.
  4. Website Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in web sites and blogs. There is no eligibility timeframe for these categories - it doesn't matter when the site or blog was first published.

Want more ways to highlight your organization's innovations­? Submit an entry for Most Innovative Company of the Year.

Tags: business awards, app awards, website awards, International business awards, innovative technology, most innovative company of the year, it awards, new product awards

How Innovation Awards Winner Used Emerging Technology to Secure 140 Million Customers

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 02:36 PM

Etisalat of Abu Dhabi, UAE won a Stevie® Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year, Middle East and Africa, in the company awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards program. (The 2012 IBAs are now open for entries. Download your entry kit here and submit your entries by the 16 May entry deadline.) Here we look at how Etisalat used technology innovation to advance their organization.

Etisalat LogoEtisalat is a leading telecom company which serves over 140 million customers in 18 countries around the world. In 2010 the innovation awards winner committed $1.5 billion into infrastructure and other CAPEX brining new services and advanced functionality to its customers across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Using emerging technology, Etisalat secured several key developments and launches including:

  • The completion of a nationwide fiber-optic network and introduction of ‘triple-play’ services (eLife) –telephone, Internet and television. What makes this more impressive, is that with Etisalat’s network the UAE today offers the fastest broadband (30Mbps) connectivity to the home in the Middle East region.
  • The launch of 3DTV services in time for the World Cup placed the UAE amongst the first five nations in the world to deploy this technology. Etisalat now offers a variety of sports channels in 3D and is supporting the boom in advanced TV technologies such as IPTV.
  • For businesses, Etisalat’s fiber network allows connection speeds of up to 100Mbps – which is a key landmark for the region. It is also supporting the overall economic development of the nation.
  • The future broadband access technology will be wireless, and Etisalat has made ground deploying the latest standard – LTE – in the UAE. Commercial trials started and progress has been made for deploying the largest network in the Middle East.
  • In Africa, Etisalat introduced BlackBerry services to six countries including Benin, Gabon, Togo, Central African Republic, Niger and Ivory Coast. This popular business and social tool is bringing a new world of services to these markets.
  • In Sudan Etisalat’s fiber optic network has been enhanced with a new Internet gateway. This is supporting corporate customers in oil, banking and education and is geared up to enable Wi-Max and Wi-Fi in the future.
  • Also in Sudan, the company has introduced EVDO for broadband, enabling wireless broadband access of up to 3.1 Mbps.
  • In Egypt Etisalat deployed the latest GSM wireless broadband technology HSPA, bringing speeds of up to 42Mbps to smart phones and mobile devices across 88% of the country. Etisalat Misr is now preparing to introduce advanced ICT services such as m-commerce, m-advertising, mobile applications and payment services.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Etisalat’s HSPA+ subscriber base crossed 2,000,000 making it the largest active HSPA+ base in the world. This wireless technology and network is now consuming 90 Terabytes of data a day.
  • Etisalat’s associate in Pakistan introduced EVDO technology for wireless broadband and has set itself up to be the first 3G wireless service provider in Pakistan using CDMA –based technologies. Ufone, the mobile operator, has also introduced various Value Added Services, bringing new innovations to the hands of Pakistani youth.

Etisalat is an innovative organization which has helped the UAE to become one of the top 10 nations in the world in terms of the availability of new technologies, through the company's support and strategic vision on a number of government initiatives. Through the launch of innovative new technologies and its regional growth strategy, Etisalat aims to become one of the top 10 telecom operators in the world.

About Etisalat
Etisalat is a leading telecommunications corporation committed to consumers, businesses, international telecommunication companies, ISPs, content providers and mobile operators. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Etisalat is the largest operator in the Middle East and Africa regions with a market value in excess of AED 80 billion (US$20 billion) and annual revenues of approximately AED 30 billion (US$8 billion). Etisalat operates in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, a coverage area which reaches more than two billion people. To date, the group’s global subscriber base exceeds over 140 million subscribers through mobile and Landline voice and data services. To learn more, visit www.etisalat.ae.

Tags: business awards, International business awards, innovation awards, Etisalat, most innovative company of the year, company awards, technology innovation, emerging technology

Case Study: How Corporate Award Helped Distinguished Honoree Double Profits

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:06 PM

TECNET of Tokyo, Japan, was honored as a Distinguished Honoree in the company awards category for Most Innovative Company in Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) in The 2010 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards program. (The 2012 IBAs are now accepting entries. Request your entry kit here and submit entries by the April 11 early-bird deadline for discounted entry fees.)  As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we will be talking to a number of organizations around the world on how being honored in one of our corporate awards competitions has helped their business. Here we speak to the innovation awards winning CEO, Kiichiro Suda, about the role their Stevie® Award title has had in increasing profits.

How has being a Distinguished Honoree in The 2010 International Business Awards helped TECNET to promote its brand? Kiichiro Suda
First, we found that the actual process of entering the IBAs—preparing and filling out the application—was extremely useful for us, because it made us focus on our business plan and strategy.

When we received the IBA results, we announced the award on our corporate website, in handouts, and in our recruiting media. We also shared the news with colleagues, posting the news on 30 different social media sites in Tokyo.

Although TECNET had actually been in deficit in the five years prior to when we submitted our IBA entry in 2009, we began to see a turnaround after we were named a Distinguished Honoree in 2010. By 2011, our profits had doubled, and we expect to double those profits again (400% over fiscal year 2010) by the end of this year.

What event has had the most impact on your business over the past ten years?
We started TECNET from nothing in 2005. The biggest event for us was the Lehman Brothers financial crisis in 2008, after which we had to completely restructure our business. TECNET had its first monthly surplus in December 2008, but right after that went into deficit again. We struggled for another 18 months but eventually got back into profit by overhauling the organization and improving the quality of our service.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
Our company currently has a staff of 60 and we want to increase that to 200 by 2017 in order to be able to provide effective services to more small and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally we want to spread the concept of a good way of working that in Japan we call "rental-employees."

What are your top IT tips for small businesses?
Because every company has a different structure—from the market it serves and its business model to the maturity of its organization—I only have one suggestion:  I would recommend that smaller businesses consider the "rental-employee” model as an IT solution. This way, companies with smaller budgets can organize their IT to best suit their individual business style and structure.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
I think both customer satisfaction and employee development are the most significant goals to achieve in business.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The positive feedback I get from TECNET’s clients or “rental-employees” always gives me a tremendous rush.

About Kiichiro Suda:
TECNET’s President & CEO Kiichiro Suda is an entrepreneur.  After studying at Waseda University in Tokyo, Suda acquired hands-on experience of marketing and business development through employment at various companies. In 1997, he founded the Q&A Corporation and was its CEO/COO until 2004.  At the end of Suda’s 8-year tenure, Q&A Corporation’s annual sales were 4 billion yen (approx. $50 million). Q&A Corporation is now a leading Japanese provider of technical support services (Phone/Email/On-Site) for individuals, and in 2010 the company recorded sales of 10 billion yen (approx. $126 million).  Suda founded TECNET, Inc. in 2005. 

About TECNET
TECNET is an IT administration outsourcing company for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Tokyo.  It helps SMBs’ IT operation, management, and strategy. TECNET doesn’t sell computer products: it provides a human service for its corporate clients by providing an overview of their IT organizations. TECNET currently has 220 clients, 60 employees, and a web community with more than 1,700 members.

Tags: business awards, corporate awards, International business awards, innovation awards, TECNET, corporate award, Kiichiro Suda, company awards

How Business Award-winner Touch Bionics Transforms Lives

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:00 PM

Touch Bionics of Livingston, Scotland and Hillard, Ohio USA won the Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe in The 2010 International Business Awards. Here we review the amazing accomplishments of this company’s bionic solutions.

Touch Bionics is the developer of the groundbreaking i-LIMB Hand, the
world’s first commercially available, fully articulating, bionic hand. This
product was launched to worldwide acclaim in 2007, but the company has
continued to expand its innovative product lines since then.

ProDigitsProDigits

In December 2009, Touch Bionics introduced ProDigits, the world’s first bionic finger solution. Extending the technology innovation behind the i-LIMB Hand, the ProDigits solution brings the life-changing technology to partial-hand patients, whose finger absence is due either to congenital anomalies or to amputation from a traumatic incident or medical condition. The amputee population that can benefit from ProDigits is considerable, estimated at around
40,000 in the U.S. and 1.2 million worldwide and, before ProDigits, such people had no commercially available powered prosthetic solution open to them.

i-LIMB Pulse

In May 2010, Touch Bionics introduced the new i-LIMB Pulse. This product is the latest evolution of the i-LIMB product line and a host of innovations have gone into the new product, including:
- Bluetooth-enabled software to allow the customization of the device for the
user;
- Automated grip patterns, allowing users to select the grips that are most
useful to them on a daily basis;
- Pulsing grip strength, allowing incremental additional grip force to be
applied when required;
- Low-profile design, achieved by miniaturizing many of the components of the
device and changing the design to cater almost all male and female users; and

- A new aluminum mechanical structure, for increased overall robustness.

ProDigits and the i-LIMB Pulse were the two most significant innovations from Touch Bionics in 2009-2010, but the company continues to be an innovator.

New Leadership

In June 2011, Touch Bionics appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Ian Stevens.   With his background at medical devices companies Mpathy Medical and Optos, he will be leading the company through its next phase of growth.

 “I am very pleased to be joining Touch Bionics at such an important point in the company’s evolution and I am looking forward to working with the team at Touch Bionics to ensure that the company enjoys continued success,” said Stewart.

About Ian Stevens
Ian Stevens joined Touch Bionics from medical devices company, Mpathy Medical, where he had served as CEO since November 2007. Prior to that, Stevens worked for Optos, a medical technology company specializing in devices that image the retina, from 1999-2007. At Optos, he served as General Manager for North America, where he had responsibility for all operations in the United States and Canada. Stevens also served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations during his time at Optos.

About Touch Bionics
Touch Bionics is a developer of advanced upper limb prosthetics designed to bring a greater return to form and function for amputees and people with congenitally missing limbs. Touch Bionics created the i-LIMB Hand, the world's first powered prosthetic hand with five articulating fingers, and was the first company to offer a powered prosthetic solution for patients with missing fingers, ProDigits. In addition to its powered prosthetic hand and partial-hand products, Touch Bionics offers a range of custom aesthetic restoration solutions through its LIVINGSKIN business, which are passive prosthetic devices designed to match exactly to a person's natural skin tone. For more information, visit www.touchbionics.com.

Tags: International business awards, innovation award, Touch Bionics, most innovative company, IBAs