Doha – Qatar
Qatar has won the World Summit Award 2020 (WSA2020) in category “Inclusion & Empowerment” with the platform “Bonocle” – a Qatari startup.
Bonocle innovated the first ever Braille entertainment platform. The power of Bonocle is taken advantage of when used alongside an iOS or Android smart device to gain access to applications for work, education, or gaming. With such uses, Bonocle adds value to its users at home, school, and in the office. Bonocle envisions an unsegregated world where the blind and sighted share classrooms and workplaces. The story started at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), which played a key role in the company’s success. Since established, its goal has been to further integrate blind people in classrooms, universities and workplaces while having equal access to technology.
Bonocle was selected and nominated among 40 winners (5 in each of the 8 categories of WSA Awards) announced by the Awards officials out of 380 nominations in total from over 100 participating countries.
With this win, Qatar has become the only GCC country to have won an award in one of the categories for this year. Additionally, Qatar and Lebanon are the only two Arab countries to have ever won one of the Awards categories.
“We are proud Qatar has won the WSA2020 award in Inclusion & Empowerment; something which reflects Qatar’s advancement in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and the attention it pays to empowering and including the disabled through powerful technology. We are especially pleased this announcement coincides with the Qatar National Day celebrations,” said the Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development, MOTC, Ms. Reem Mohammed Al-Mansoori.
The eight award categories are Government & Citizen Engagement, Health & Wellbeing, Environment & Green Energy, Business & Commerce, Learning & Education, Culture & Tourism, Smart Settlements & Urbanization, and Inclusion & Empowerment.
The winning products will be invited to the WSA Global Congress, which this year will be virtual on March 22-24, 2021, where they will have the opportunity to pitch and promote their projects at a global level.
A local jury, formed by the official national expert for WSA in Qatar, Ms. Al-Mansoori, had screened and assessed all the submissions that represent Qatar and selected one qualified product for each category to further represent Qatar at the international level.