Lane Fox Backs Technology4Good Awards Scheme

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The new award will recognise people or organisations who have used technology to improve society

Martha Lane Fox, the government’s Digital Champion, is to back a new awards programme recognising those who have used technology to make the world a better place.

The Technology4Good scheme was created by e-accessibility charity AbilityNet and is backed by BT. Lane Fox will serve as part of the panel of judges, AbilityNet said on Monday.

The award is aimed at giving charities, businesses, schools, government and the public their first chance of wide public recognition for their use of technology to create social benefits.

Empowering influence

Nominations can be submitted on the Technology4Good website in categories including accessibility, volunteering, innovation, fundraising, creating partnerships, community action and meeting the needs of disabled customers.

The deadline for nominations is 9 May.

“As the leading experts in e-accessibility for people with disabilities, we are acutely aware of the empowering influence of digital technology,” said AbilityNet chief executive Nigel Lewis, in a statement. “Whether at home, at work or in education, full access to computers and the Internet can be life changing – economically, socially and psychologically. We are delighted that BT has enabled us to make this awards scheme a reality.

Other Technology4Good backers include AppiChar, Barclaycard, Charity Technology Trust, HiSoftware, IT4Communities, Microsoft, RaceOnline2012 and UK online centres. The awards ceremony will take place at BT Centre in London on 7 June.

Race online

Earlier his year, Lane Fox launched a scheme, as part of the government’s Race Online 2012 campaign, aimed at getting more Britons online by offering a complete computing package for under £100. The package includes flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, telephone helpline and delivery. The computers, refurbished by Remploy, will run open source software including Linux.

Lane Fox said the scheme is aimed at bringing computers out of the price range of luxury items and making them more comparable to widely used products such as televisions or mobile phones. “A good price point is certainly part of what helps people get online,” she said at the time.

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