Penang’s WCIT Tech Fest Takes Place Online this November

loading Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state excos and representatives from The National Tech Association of Malaysia at the announcement of TECHFEST and WCIT 2020 livestreams.

ON NOVEMBER 18-20, Penang will reframe the highly-anticipated international festival TECHFEST Live ft. ROAD-TO-WCIT Malaysia into an online event that promises to be packed with immersive virtual reality experiences and interactive programmes, documentaries as well as talks by industry leaders. Inspiration stories will be shared while the latest technology and innovations will also be showcased.

The event is expected to draw an online crowd of 3,000 visionaries, captains of industry, government leaders and academics from more than 80 countries; and will be physically based at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre with a 20-hour live telecast programming.

Highlights include the 2020’s Featured Innovations where innovative products, services and start-ups will be exhibited through a home-shopping-talk-show format, TECH MARKETPLACE. Around 300 new and emerging technologies will be listed, with 40 to be promoted to consumers. There will also be an AI-enabled B2B matching and networking for sales and partnerships among start-ups, businesses and companies.

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A studio is specially set up at the venue, and the WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards 2020 will be aired in recognition of users and providers whose use of ICT applications have brought exceptional achievements. The awards will be in nine broad categories:

1. COVID-19 Tech Solutions for Cities & Localities;
2. COVID-19 Tech Solutions for Countries or Regions;
3. COVID-19 Best Industry Solutions;
4. Public/Private Partnership Award;
5. Innovative eHealth Solutions;
6. Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award;
7. Digital Innovation Award;
8. Sustainable Growth; and
9. E-Education & Learning Award.

Nominees are shortlisted from among the 80 participating countries under the WITSA global network. The winners will be chosen for the extent to which they have realised the potentials of ICT to grow the bottom line, provide better services, improve healthcare and raise trust and transparency in government.

In preparation for the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) Malaysia 2022, TECHFEST Live will feature exciting talks by more than 120 global tech expert speakers. These include Dr. Santitarn Sathirathai, the Group Chief Economist of Sea Group, who will speak on The Positive Impact of E-commerce on The Economy, while Strategic Futurist of Big Play Inc Nancy Giordano will discuss the Radical Vision for What's In Store for the Future; and Interac Associate Vice President Kashmera Self will expound on the benefits of e-payments in Innovations In Cashless Societies Driving Economic Growth.

Other big names include Douglas A. Comstock, the Deputy CFO of NASA Headquarters; Professor Soumitra Dutta, a Fellow from the World Economic Forum; Dr. William Magee, author of Global Innovation Index and the founder of Operation Smile; Mary-Jo de Leeuw of Europe’s Top 50 Influential Women in Cybersecurity; and Taiwan's Digital Minister Audrey Tang.

Get Access to TECHFEST Live

Anyone anywhere can access TECHFEST Live by simply visiting the virtual exhibits. Viewers can livestream videos, and even engage with the exhibitors through a live chatbot.

Paid delegates will have access to six On Demand Sessions, and enjoy programmes and sessions available on the TECHFEST Live Online Platform. The On Demand Sessions will feature live telecast programmes, podcast profiling of successful entrepreneurial personalities, panel sessions and presentations, including Shift+Conversations to discuss smart cities, business revolutions, Islamic Fintech in Southeast Asia (SEA) and Industry 4.0; Southeast Asia Startups Conversations that explores the prospects of the digital economy in SEA; Fireside Chats with speakers; as well as workshops and masterclasses.

There will also be a festival app created to allow access to interactive promotions, VR site visits, O2O engagements for promotions, AR experience of the TECHFEST Live studio and Penang, and Book Club for free reads.

Showcasing Best Practices

Four best practices will be spotlighted during the festival. The first comprises a working group to push for a shift to 5G infrastructure, and to champion the need for fast and urgent execution for the new standard for wireless telecommunications in driving new levels of innovation and productivity.

The second focuses on introducing a Cashless Society and concentrates on bridging the gap between the use and access to financial tools. This working group aims to make cashless payment technology accessible to small merchants, entrepreneurs, farmers and primary providers, and to explore the adoption rates by different segments.

Talent development forms the third showcase. This working committee will look into positioning Penang as a desired city for digital nomads, and as the Capital of Innovation of SEA.

And lastly, the fourth working group Cross Border eCommerce will push for local businesses to go into eCommerce and to break the boundaries by going global.

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