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The hunt is on for Europe’s local digital champions: e-inclusion awards 2012 now open for entries

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Everyone’s online right? Wrong, almost a quarter of Europeans aged 16 and over have never used the internet! If you’ve supported other people to get online through a project, service or product, we want to hear about it and the benefits it has provided.

Established by the European Commission, the e-Inclusion Awards is on a mission to discover and celebrate the most innovative ways of plugging the digital gap and helping people to enjoy the benefits of the internet.

Aimed at inspiring individuals, businesses, entrepreneurs, NGOs and governments the Awards reward those championing the way forward and exploiting the potential of technology in dealing with today’s challenges.
With almost a quarter of Europeans remaining offline, growth of the digital economy will be stunted as will access to the benefits achieved from access to online facilities.

Europe’s Digital Agenda includes a vision of 'Every European Digital' in which all people truly benefit from technology innovations, improving their well-being throughout their lifetime and contributing to economic recovery. For individuals, the sense of achievement, empowerment and connection can be priceless!

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, comments: “Investment in ICT capital pays off. In fact, it pays off better than most other forms of capital investment: the "ICT dividend" amounts to an extra return of around 7%, but only when accompanied by investment in intangible capital – that is, investment in people, in skills, in digital literacy.

We - companies, governments and civil society - must make that investment for the future, and skill up to face new challenges. And we must include everyone, we must get "Every European Digital" so that we can all benefit from "smart", innovation-based economic growth.

The e-Inclusion Awards are open to individuals as well as organisations big and small in the public, business and civil society sectors. There are two categories in the competition, both of which will require entrants to submit written and audiovisual material as part of their entry:

  • “I am Part of IT” award: For individuals who have felt significant benefit and empowerment by becoming e-included. Of particular (although not exclusive) interest are stories around employability, re-skilling, and improvement in life situations.
  • “Be Part of IT Champions” award: For organisations (or individuals outside of organisations) who champion e-inclusion by undertaking and supporting relevant projects.

You have until 4 May 2012 to submit your entries

Twelve finalists in each category will be invited to present their project at the Digital Agenda Assembly Conference in Brussels, Belgium to take place on 21st and 22nd June 2012 as part of the “e-Inclusion: Be Part of IT 2.0” campaign. The overall winners will be announced at the conference.

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