In order for innovation to take center stage in Bangladesh – BIC (Bangladesh Innovation Conclave) has put together the 1st Bangladesh Innovation Award where 19 best innovations were awarded in a grand award gala on the 20th of October, 2018. The event took place at the Grand Ballroom, Le Méridien Dhaka. The grand event was powered by MasterCard and organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum.
The award was designed to recognize the vibrant community of innovators – from startups to established companies – and its breakthrough creations and ideas. In celebrating successful innovations from startups and veterans alike, the award program aimed to build Bangladesh’s economy by acknowledging the creative minds, fueling innovation within it.
The main categories of the award were designed for sectorial innovation which took place in financial sector, apparel sector, healthcare, SDG inclusion, process, product development, start-up, social and technology. However, there was also one special category, namely Master of Reinvention, to inspire the core of innovation.
Bangladesh Innovation Award 2018 received 168 entries and the awards were given under nine categories and another special category. Awards were given in two ranks – Winner & Honorable Mention. Two jury sessions were held to select the winners, where the entries were rigorously evaluated by renowned innovation experts of the country. Pioneering innovations – whether products, services or processes – were judged on their novelty, market need, economic impact and disruption of the status quo.
Sheba.xyz was declared winner in the Best Start-Up Innovation category. bKash Customer App won in the Best Innovation- Financial Sector category. Probaho, the water purifying project by British American Tobacco won in the SDG Inclusion category. The winner in the Best Innovation- Technology category was the app Truck Lagbe from Brilliant Ideas Limited.
The occasion also marked the launch of four Innovation Centres in four divisions of Bangladesh to help promote innovation across the country and people. This launch was conducted by Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Director, Bangladesh Brand Forum. The website of Bangladesh Innovation Blog has also been launched.
The award ceremony was preceded by Bangladesh Innovation Dialogue where speakers from home and abroad were present. This session comprised of 2 keynote sessions and 2 panel discussions where country’s leading innovation specialists and corporate icons put together their opinions. The dialogue started with the opening speech of Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, MasterCard. Speaking on the occasion, Shariful Islam, Founder, Bangladesh Innovation Conclave also commented, “Vision for Bangladesh Innovation Conclave is establishing that innovation must be at the center of our discourse for Bangladesh’s future progress, within all key stakeholders – policy makers, business leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, youth, academia and parents. And then working collaboratively to charter our future.”
The keynote speakers of the dialogue were Varun Sakhuja, Director, Innovation Management- Mastercard Labs, Asia Pacific and Manoj Kulkarni, Executive Director, Nielsen South Asia.
Topics for the two panel discussions were – Innovation the Bangladesh Model and How Companies should drive Innovation, respectively. The eminent panel discussants were – Prof. Syed Ferhat Anwar, Director, IBA, University of Dhaka; KAM Morshed, Director, Advocacy for Social Change Information and Communication Technology Partnership Strengthening Unit, BRAC; Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator, SDG Affairs, PMO; Shehzad Munim, President FCCI, Managing Director, BATB; Farzana Chowdhury ACII (UK), Chartered Insurer, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Green Delta Insurance Company Limited; Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer, bKash Limited; Syed Farhad Ahmed, Managing Director, Aamra Technologies Limited; Syed Almas Kabir, President, BASIS; Hossain Khaled, Managing Director, Real Estate, Jute & Automobile Division, Anwar Group of Industries; Michael Patrick Foley, Chief Executive Officer, Grameenphone Limited; Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director & CEO, Robi Axiata Limited; Mahboob Zaman, Managing Director, DataSoft System Bangladesh Limited; Sabbir Hasan Nasir, Executive Director, ACI Logistics LTD; Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director, Dhaka Bank Limited; & Munawar Misbah Moin, Group Director, Rahimafrooz.
There was also a special dialogue session between BIC Founder Shariful Islam & Ayman Sadiq, Founder of Ten Minute School. In this session they have talked about why every youth should know and be ready for the innovation era.
The event was held in partnership with ICT Division, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, USAID and UNDP; Strategic Partners- Bangladesh Creative Forum and BASIS; Event Partner- Le Meridien Dhaka; Technology Partner- WE; Digital Marketing Partner- Geeky Social; Media Partner- Dhaka Tribune; PR Partner- Masthead PR; Live Broadcast Partner – Digital Express; and Radio Partner- Radio Today.