Tech Festival Showcases Technologies Made in Cambodia

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The Inno-Tech Festival was run by many groups in the technology and innovation communities and strengthened cooperation between government, civil society, private sector, and Cambodian tech users.

A student participant tests a game using a virtual reality device at the Inno-Tech Festival in March 2016. [Photo Credit: Development Innovations]
“I am interested in the exhibition, which showcases many new technologies such as modern electronic devices. Technology is really important since it can help make our life better, save our time, and money,” said Ms. Tuy Soksonita, a first year student majoring in Architecture at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

A collaborative team of six co-organizers, including Development Innovations, eight implementing partners and 20 volunteers, designed and ran the 1st annual Inno-Tech Festival Cambodia in March 2016. This two-day event received funds from 13 sponsors and attracted more than 3,000 people to share their experiences using technology for social good.

Over the two days of the festival, participants visited 48 booths from 50 companies and NGOs, listened to keynote speeches, attended more than 20 open workshops on topics such as the benefits of open source software, running innovation labs, starting tech-based startups and exploring new innovations from sectors like education, health and programming for people with disabilities. Inno-Tech introduced a networking space called the Connection Café to help people connect to funders, donors, and other actors working on innovative technology projects. The event ended with the pitch session for a competitive hackathon—a two-day activity that brings together coders and mentors to create tech solutions to solve problems faced by Cambodians.

“We not only learned a lot from young people, students and speakers [at the festival], but we also contributed by sharing and showcasing our technology. Participants were interested in our app, as we can see the increased number of downloads since this event,” remarked Vorn Samphors, Country Program Director of NGO Aide et Action, who ran a booth to showcase his mobile educational application.

The Inno-Tech Festival gathered tech experts and users to share information and knowledge related to information and communication technology (ICT). It also strengthened cooperation among government institutions, civil society, and private sector to work together to use technology to foster the country’s development, in line with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s ICT development policy. “Innovations and technology can provide a powerful engine for Cambodia to further advance its economic growth,” said Julie Chung, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Cambodia, who spoke at the opening session.

Innovative technology initiatives have the potential to help Cambodia progress across sectors, and ministries and technical programs are increasingly dependent on technology tools, especially mobile apps, social media, and videography. Young Cambodians are some of the most enthusiastic tech users, and often use these events to network and find out about the skills tech companies are looking for so they can connect to jobs in the future.

For more information, follow the Inno-Tech Festival on their website or on Facebook for more info on next year’s program.

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