ADB’s Digital Transformation with Tech Giants and Start-ups  

Digital technologies are today’s most powerful drivers of change. The Asian Development Bank is leveraging digital opportunities and solutions to further improve its operations, investments, and work in the Asia and Pacific region.

One effective way of achieving this goal is for ADB to collaborate with major technology companies and start-up firms to support its digital journey.

“The pace of technology change is increasing rapidly. We need to ensure that we stay current and leverage new thinking as it emerges. We need to embrace digitalization and develop the skills to be more impactful as an organization,” said ADB’s Vice-President for Administration and Corporate Management Bruce Gosper during DigitalxADB, ADB’s signature digital event.

In late October,   ADB signed an arrangement with Software AG to experiment and use emerging technologies and create digital solutions to support ADB’s operational needs and workplace innovation.

  It also signed a cooperative agreement with Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) to collaborate on digital solution designs through pilot projects related to cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, and other cloud technologies. This collaboration will support ADB’s agenda to advance digital transformation of ADB’s developing member countries.

ADB established in 2019 a High-level Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development to advise on the use of digital technologies and their implications for ADB’s development work.

  Aside from partnering with major tech companies and personalities, ADB has linked up with start-ups through a series of hackathons to develop applications for developments.

ADB most recently awarded two teams for their innovative solutions.

The first hackathon challenge was on the Use of Digitalization to Support Finance of Women-owned Businesses in the Pacific Islands. The selected team for this challenge was Living Healthy of Viet Nam whose solution aims to support the collection and analysis of business data for women-led small and medium size businesses which will in turn help banks make informed lending decisions.

The second challenge was on the Use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for Development. The selected team was Fauna, with team members from Cambodia, France, and United Kingdom, that aims to help raise awareness and funding through a gamified global donation system by contributing each NFT minted towards the survival of endangered species.

ADB has been working with startups selected from hackathon challenges, notably in the #DigitalAgainstCOVID long-running hackathon.


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