Stuff Correspondent : The birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is being celebrated across the country in 2020-21. Under the ICT Division of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, different initiatives have been taken by the Bangladesh Computer Council’s iDEA project to organize the Mujib Year, most notably the “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020 (BIG)” event.
To build a startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging new entrepreneurial startups through “Big” and establishing the event as a flagship program at the international level, 3 events will be organized in 2020-21, namely University and Stakeholder Activation Campaign, TV Reality Show and the International Roadshow.
There is a plan to include different countries including USA, Cambodia, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy in the “International Road Show”. The best 36 startups selected from these events will be given a grant of 1 lac US Dollars and will be nominated for the “Big” final round. Later, from this final round, the final results of the grand event of Mujib Barsho will be selected through a selection panel consisting of experienced judges from home and abroad. One of the best startups will be given a special honor as a prize of “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020 (BIG)” and a grant of 1,00,000 $.
The inaugural ceremony and press conference of BIG was held on Wednesday, 25th November 2020 at the BCC Auditorium, ICT Tower, Agargaon, Dhaka, maintaining proper social distance & adhering to hygiene rules. Hon’ble State Minister of ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP inaugurated the “BIG” at the press conference. Among others the senior secretary of ICT Division N M Zeaul Alam PAA, the executive director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Parthapratim Deb and the project director (Additional Secretary) of the iDEA Project Syed Mojibul Huq also attended at the program. Besides, many more from the ICT industry are connected online due to the Corona situation.
State Minister of ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, as the chief guest said that Bangabandhu, with his foresight, thought ahead of time, took big steps to solve problems and take many big initiatives. He added that The work was started on the idea of ”Bangabandhu Innovation Grant” to commemorate the Mujib Barsho. Bangabandhu’s lifestyle, Bangabandhu’s struggling life and Bangabandhu’s political philosophy which is an example to be emulated and inspired for our present and future generations. If we want to encourage and inspire our youth, if we can present Bangabandhu’s lifestyle and his political philosophy and history of his struggles to our present and future generations, but they will never be defeated in the struggle for life. That is why we are organizing this competition to inspire our entrepreneurs and innovators. ”
The senior secretary of ICT Division Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA, as the special guest said, “We all know the greatness of Bangabandhu. We expect that we will be able to do great things through this “Big”. He encouraged the youth to use their innovations to build big organizations and be “BIG” if they wanted to.
The executive director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Parthapratim Deb, presided over the event. He also said that efforts will be made to introduce startups in Bangladesh. He also hoped that the “Big” event would play a huge role in developing the startup culture in Bangladesh.
The project director (Additional Secretary) of the iDEA Project Syed Mojibul Huq described the different activities and successes of the iDEA project. He emphasized the importance of organizing the “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020” to encourage local inventors and entrepreneurs to solve different real-life problems through various innovations combining their talents and creativity. He also thanked all the partners for joining “BIG”.
Initially, interested ICT-based startups will be able to register at www.big.gov.bd on the website of “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020” from November 25, 2020. Any IT-based entrepreneur can submit their ideas in this competition between 25th December 2020 at the national level and 25th January 2021 at the international level.
This initiative is being organized by the Information and Communication Technology Division of Bangladesh along with the Department of Information & Communication Technology (DoICT), Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority, Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), A2I, Startup Bangladesh Limited who have been added as an event partner. As private partners, we will also have different Trades Associations including BASIS, BACCO, BCS, ECAB, ISPAB and BIJF. Last but not least, through this event Bangladesh will be represented as a prosperous and aspiring country on the world stage of ICT.