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Taiwan wins award at Austria's ARS Electronica

2010/09/04 13:53:04

Paris, Sept. 4 (CNA) A Taiwan non-governmental organization wonan award at this year's Prix ARS Electronica in Austria Friday forbringing information technology to rural areas in Taiwan.

The judges in Prix ARS Electronica, which is dubbed as theAcademy Award of the digital and electronic field, commended theproject for helping to narrow the information gap between rural andurban areas.

Since May 2008, the Association of Digital Culture Taiwan (ADCT)has been using vehicles equipped with Internet facilities to carryvolunteers to remote villages in Taiwan, where they teach people howto use Internet applications.

The ADCT teams involved in the Puncar project, as it is called,have traveled to nine cities and counties, mostly in southern Taiwan,and given 220 lectures and workshops on computer use and Internetapplications such as Twitter, blogs and Google Maps.

More than 2,000 people have benefited from this project, said HsuTing-yao, director-general of ADCT. "It is the first time that Taiwanhas won in the Prix category of Digital Communities."

Although the project is not a new one, it impressed the judgesbecause of the locations that were chosen, Hsu said.

"After Typhoon Morakot struck southern Taiwan, we went to thedevastated areas to give some assistance," he said.

The Prix judges said that the project is inspirational as it goesto special areas. This model should be expanded, especially as it isnot funded by the government, they added.

"We will keep on with this project. Our next step is to narrowthe information gap between rural and urban areas in China andIndonesia"

The Prix "Digital Communities" category focuses on the social andartistic impact of the Internet and on the latest developments insocial software, user generated content, mobile communications,mash-ups and location based services, according to the officialwebsite of ARS Electronica.

There are six other categories in the awards, which has drawn theentry of more than 3,000 projects or products each year since it waslaunched in 1987.

(By Lo Yuan-shao and James Lee)