Computerworld Honors 2013: Tech projects that are changing the world

These organizations are using technology to solve some of society's most pressing and complex issues.

Computerworld Honors medal

The Computerworld Honors Program, now in its 25th year, recognizes organizations that use information technology to promote and advance the public welfare, benefit society and business, and change the world for the better. This year's 267 Laureates are that rare group with the ability to recognize problems and the courage to take bold steps to solve them. They are an inspiring reminder that great things can happen when determined people explore technology's full potential.

All Laureates were selected after a rigorous application and review process. A panel of judges, made up of IT executives and Computerworld editors, chose the five finalists in each category, and from those, one 21st Century Achievement Award winner in each group.

Each Laureate case study is briefly profiled below, and the projects of the 21st Century Achievement Award winners are described in more detail, based on their case studies. Laureates' case studies become part of the Honors Program's Global Archives, available to researchers, students and scholars through the Computerworld Honors website and through records housed in national archives in over 350 universities, museums and research institutions throughout the world.

Also, read how some of the 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureates are using big data to battle the effects of unemployment and climate change, and help at-risk students succeed.



  Economic Development

  Emerging Technology


  Human Services


  Mobile Access


  Safety & Security


  World Good


Organization Project Name Project Achievements  
Literacy Bridge The Talking Book

Robust, low-cost mobile device delivers on-demand audio lessons to impoverished people in remote communities; powered by disposable/rechargeable batteries, the device allows users to play, record and copy lessons aimed at improving their health and economic opportunities

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21st Century Award winner
U.S. Pacific Command All Partners Access Network (APAN) Global online information-sharing platform enables various functions including international military exercises, interagency work groups and scientific research; APAN's social media tools allow the Defense Department to securely collaborate with nontraditional partners, such as non-governmental organizations and academia Finalist
U.S. Department of State Office of eDiplomacy Collaboration and knowledge management platforms foster greater cooperation and collaboration across organizational and geographic boundaries within the State Department as well as with other stakeholders, such as policymakers, aid workers and civil society organizations Finalist
Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard Global Health Delivery Online ( enables virtual communities to share information, identify new research questions and test new tools across organizations, industries and geographies; more than 8,500 professionals from 173 countries have joined so far Finalist
Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM) CIM provides a secure, standard and reusable platform for data sharing for government and public entities by applying customer integration techniques developed in private industry to overlapping databases maintained by the state of Colorado Finalist
3M Use of Social Technologies to Enhance Customer Experience Social technologies including intelligent chat and user behavioral analysis allow 3M customers and employees greater voice in the product development cycle, resulting in lower rates of product failure, faster ideation and more successful launch of products and services
4-VA 4-VA: Transformation Through Collaboration Leaders of four Virginia universities establish consortium that uses technologies such as immersive video to reduce the cost of delivering instruction, expand access to education, increase research competitiveness, and enhance students' success rate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) Universal Provider Datasource (UPD) Database allows healthcare providers to submit data required by multiple plans to one source instead of multiple locations, saving 4.6 million hours of administrative work and $142 million annually for more than 1 million providers and 680 participating organizations
Cyber Defence Challenge Cyber Defence Challenge MindSet, the Manitoba Network for Science & Technology, and the Canadian Information Processing Society Manitoba implement an educational program combining classroom learning, hands-on training and competitions to develop students' understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals
Defense Information System Agency, Modeling and Simulation Division, Enterprise Analysis Branch (EE44) Joint Communication Simulation System (JCSS) By providing a common simulation environment in which models can be shared and applied as needed, JCSS enables unprecedented collaboration among disparate Department of Defense modeling and simulation working groups, resulting in improved efficiencies and effectiveness in the acquisition process
Explorys Explorys Enterprise Performance Management (EPM): Enabling Healthcare Providers to Explore Clinical Data in Real Time A secure, cloud-based computing platform that integrates clinical, financial and operational data, EPM quickly processes, organizes and curates large batches of incoming data, answering complex questions in real time to improve healthcare and lower costs
George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Network (NEES) NEES hub Internet-accessible system stores and utilizes research data and computation tools, allowing groundbreaking research to be shared among researchers, students, practitioners and the public; relying heavily on server-level virtualization, NEES hub also provides seamless access to multiple high-performance computing venues
Huddle Huddle Foundation Donated and discounted access to Huddle's cloud-based collaboration platform helps hundreds of nonprofit organizations worldwide improve organizational efficiency, more easily connect workers and volunteers, and more effectively share information across networks
ICT4TD Learning Centre Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Sisi kwa Sisi (Us for Us) Program initiated by the Africa Upendo Group and the ICT4TD Learning Centre connects community organizations in Tanzania with youth from around the world who, working as interns, utilize the Internet to build their skills and help organizations reach their goals
Itasca Area Schools Collaborative Itasca Area Schools Collaborative: Using Technology to Expand Student Opportunities Consortium of seven Minnesota school districts and one community college deploy robust technology infrastructure, standardized IT systems and digital teaching tools to ensure rural students can collaborate with and learn alongside urban students
Massachusetts General Hospital and LiveData Inc. Perioperative Workflow Redesign Project integrates data streams from operating room physiological monitors, anesthesia records, procedure process records, hospital information systems and electronic medical record systems, creating a single, patient-centric view that care teams can see in real time
Office of Management and Budget MAX Federal Community Suite of cloud-based technology services supports collaboration, knowledge management, document creation, data collection, business analytics and other functions, enabling more than 76,000 users at more than 100 government agencies to work more effectively and efficiently
Pennsylvania Justice Network JNET Federated Background Check Application within the JNET integrated portal enables single unified search, allowing users to conduct comprehensive investigations using numerous data sources owned by various commonwealth agencies; saves resources and cuts errors by reducing redundant searches
Plum Organics Providing Healthier and Tastier Food to Babies, Toddlers and Children Deployment of a cloud-based enterprise resource planning system that runs the company's entire business enables Plum Organics to automate most processes, giving employees more time to collaborate, engage clients and focus on corporate mission
San Jose Water Company Project CCB Integration of company's customer and field operations information gives workers real-time insight into customer service and operation schedules, improving decision-making, productivity, responsiveness and customer satisfaction
Schools of Isolated and Distance Education Western Australia E-Learning and Virtual Classroom Across Australia's Largest State Development of an advanced e-learning program provides a realtime virtual learning environment, including high-quality video, virtual breakout rooms and interactive examinations; delivers interactive lessons to serve the diverse needs of 3,000 children who live in a sparsely populated regio
Technology For All Texas Connects Coalition Project Project brings technology and hands-on computer training to low-income and underserved communities, helping participants of various ages and backgrounds participate in the 21st century economy and improve their educational and work opportunities
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA GeoPlatform Infrastructure allows EPA staff to collaborate around maps and placebased information by supporting workers' ability to conduct relevant geospatial analysis in their own areas of interest using common data, tools and methods

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