DUBAI, -- The UAE Cabinet launched an expanded World GovTechioneers Race, a three-category annual award designed to acknowledge government technology pioneers who provide global solutions to common global challenges.

The award was launched to motivate government entities to promote creative and smart government initiatives and partnerships that would aim to provide innovative, smart solutions to help resolve common global challenges.

Following the expansion of its current scope, the award will now include a global virtual hackathon called 'Blockchain Virtual GovHack', aimed at experimenting with new technologies to produce outstanding applications designed and developed by students and start-ups from across the world under the ethos of hacking for good.

The Race will also feature 'Best Emerging Technologies in Government', an award for governments that are experimenting with emerging technologies to provide government services more efficiently and effectively, and have proven results showing how they have created greater public value and transformed the lives of people.

The 'Best m-Government Service Award' will provide a challenge for governments around the world, in which they will compete in nine different categories that include health, education, social affairs, transport, infrastructure, environment, tourism, security and safety, economy, trade, and one-stop app.

The award's focus will be to honour best applications that contributed to changing people's lives and provide a boost to governmental work through the use of smart apps.

An awards ceremony will be held at the World Government Summit in February 2017 in Dubai to announce the winners of the competition, now in its fourth cycle, said Hessa Buhumaid, Executive Director of the Government Services Sector at the Prime Minister's Office.

"The Race reflects the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for encouraging innovation in the technology sector in the UAE as well as globally."

It also reflects efforts being exerted to develop government work and enhance services while benefiting from the rapid technological advancements in this sector, she added.

This category is for applications created by university students or companies from all around the world.

The first winner will be awarded a prize of $100,000, while the runner-up and the third place winner will be awarded $30,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Source: Emirates News Agency