For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 7, 2000
Contact: Ranjit de Silva
(202) 482-7002
Art Brodsky
(202)482-0019

Department of Commerce Grantee Only U.S. Winner of Stockholm Challenge Award

KORRnet, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Regional Network of Tennessee (www.korrnet.org/chips), was the only project from the United States among 13 international winners of the Stockholm Challenge Awards (www.challenge.stockholm.se), presented to innovative information technology projects that are focused on people and society.

This year there were 13 winners in seven categories: Public Services and Democracy; Culture and Entertainment; Environment; Equal Access; Health and Quality of Life; Education; and New Economy. KORRnet's CHIPs (Computers for Homebound and Isolated Persons) project won in the Equal Access category, which rewards projects working for equal access to the benefits offered by the new information technologies.

CHIPs uses computers to network homebound and isolated individuals with each other and with service providers. The project was the recipient of a 1998 Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) grant, part of the Department's National Telecommunicaitons and Information Administration (NTIA).

The CHIPS project provides homebound and isolated individuals with computers, modems, and extensive training and support. Many of the computers are given to people who are visually impaired or suffer from paralysis. The computers are equipped with assistive technologies specifically developed by disabled computer pioneers to aid disabled users. The computers improve the quality of life for the disabled by giving them access to the outside world and helping them learn to live as self-sufficiently as possible.

More than 600 projects from all over the world competed for the Stockholm Challenge Award 2000. Projects were evaluated on four criteria: Innovation; User Need; Sustainability; and Transferability. The Stockholm Challenge Award is a non-profit initiative of the City of Stockholm, Sweden, in partnership with the European Commission. Projects come from the private, public, and academic sectors. The Award is the successor to the Global Bangemann Challenge (1997 to 1999). The City of Winston-Salemís INFO (Integrated Network Fire Operations) Project, a 1996 TOP grantee, was among the eighteen winners of the Global Bangemann Award in 1999.

NTIA's Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) awards grants for model projects demonstrating innovative uses of network technology, and has accumulated a significant body of knowledge about the creation and management of network technology.

NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the executive branch on domestic and international telecommunications issues.