NTT DATA, a global IT service provider, announced today that it selected Barcelona-based Social Coin as the winner of the Open Innovation Business Contest 5.0 during the contest’s Grand Finale at NTT DATA headquarters in Toyosu, Tokyo on March 15. The winning proposal is for a Civic Engagement Platform based on deep learning that helps citizens solve civic issues through a blockchain system. Social Coin will receive a three-month in-kind contribution from NTT DATA to support development of a concrete plan for its proposed venture business.
The global Open Innovation Business Contest competition organized by NTT DATA invited high-tech companies worldwide to submit information-technology (IT) proposals for promising solutions to issues in global society. The judging panel included NTT DATA personnel and outside experts.
Social Coin offers a platform for leveraging open data and machine learning tools to promote civic participation. The platform uses artificial intelligence to identify problems that citizens and governments can solve through collaboration to promote local economies. The solution, selected for best matching the contest’s theme of collaborative innovation for previously unimagined solutions, enables value-creation by public institutions, private-sector companies and individual citizens, all potential customers of NTT DATA. It is highly expected the solution will become new public infrastructure for the betterment of society.
NTT DATA received more than 200 applications from some 20 countries between October and December last year. Regional contests were held in 10 cities of nine countries spread across four continents — Tokyo, San Francisco, Toronto, Sao Paulo, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Singapore and Beijing — between February 2 and March 2. The entrants presented venture proposals covering fields including fintech, IoT, energy, insurance tech, big data, digital marketing, blockchain, API, personal data, AI, cyber security, virtual/augmented reality and robotics. Ten entrants were selected as the winners of the regional contests to present their proposals during the just-completed Grand Finale in Tokyo.
In addition to the winning prize, an Audience Award was presented to Soundpays Inc. (Toronto) and Judges Awards were presented to PayKey (Tel Aviv) and Everledger (London) by NTT DATA representatives on the judging panel.
Mr. Ivan Caballero, CEO of Social Coin, said, “I look forward to collaborating with NTT DATA on product and business development and deploying our citizen engagement platform internationally. I believe that Social Coin offers innovative technologies to enable citizen rewarding and boost personal, corporate and government impact on society.”
Kotaro Zamma, Head of NTT DATA’s Open Innovation and Business Incubation, said, “This year’s contest was especially successful in creating opportunities for NTT DATA to come into contact with more than 200 innovative startup companies, as well as form deeper relationships with accelerators operating as regional partners in innovation hubs worldwide. Today’s Grand Finale is the real starting point, so we now look forward to collaborating with Social Coin to co-create an innovative new business.”
Each regional contest was organized in collaboration with a regional partner — NTT DATA UK Innovate Finance (UK), everis (Spain/Brazil), MaRS Discovery District (Canada), Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) , NTT DATA Inc./ Pilot 44 Labs (U.S.), Deloitte Israel (Israel) and Startupbootcamp/Asian Payment Network (Singapore).
Going forward, NTT DATA plans to hold two Open Innovation Business Contests each year, one of which will solicit applications worldwide to help accelerate global innovation. NTT DATA is confident that its Open Innovation Business Contests are winning propositions for startup companies, NTT DATA and client companies of NTT DATA, as well as global society.
By 2020, NTT DATA aims to achieve cumulative revenue in excess of 10 billion yen (about 100 million USD) from its Open Innovation and Business Incubation Business Strategy Department, including venture businesses launched as a result of Open Innovation Business Contests. The department has been organizing annual contests since 2013, in addition to collaborating with internal accelerator working groups in pursuit of new business creation.
To view the Open Innovation Business Contest’s details, please visit http://oi.nttdata.com/en/contest/result.