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Imcon International, Inc. and Syracuse University Collaborate to Digitally Transform Liberia One Backpack at a Time

By Special Guest
Shrey Fadia, Special Correspondent
February 15, 2019

Imcon International Inc., the developer of the Internet Backpack, a remote connectivity solution that allows users to be able to communicate from almost every location on the planet, teamed up with the iSchool at Syracuse University and the Republic of Liberia will collaborate on “40 in 2021,” a far-reaching initiative that aims to digitally transform Liberia by increasing the nation’s current Internet penetration of about 7% to 40% by 2021. 

Imcon’s system is being used to create internal wireless networks with large coverage areas using various radio frequencies. Imcon’s IoT backpack provides the network elements needed to provide secure connectivity at a very low cost.

The iSchool at Syracuse University will lead research, education, cyber-physical network design and implementation for the Liberia project, and Associate Professor Lee McKnight will serve as the faculty project manager.

The Backpack uses Narrow Band Utilities and is combined with a Mobile App developed by Imcon, an open-source distributed edgeware system also known as the Imcon International Platform. It runs on the cloud and mobile devices and allow users to interact with each other and with other systems through ‘Gridlets’.

McGill expressed his support for the 40 in 2021 Project saying “the potential significant value to the country, especially the benefits to be gained by Liberia’s ailing education and health sectors.”

Jallah, Liberian Minister of Health and Sonii, Minister of Education also demonstrated their support for the project by executing a Memorandum of Understanding, for their respective agencies, to formally launch the partnership.

As a part of this project which is valued at $150 million, Imcon International will provide 6,000 Internet Backpacks, as well as edgeware, through its partner, VMware, to the Republic of Liberia for education, healthcare, rural community, and government use, connecting the Internet to all schools and hospitals throughout the country.

The project includes a project-based learning curriculum through Imcon’s education partner One Planet Education Network (OPEN). Based on its collaboration with Hu-manity.co and OrbHealth, Imcon will also implement a nationwide broadband network dedicated to the nation's Education and Healthcare system.

Imcon’s hope is to open doors for people who haven’t had them opened before.  By bringing Internet access to people around the world who previously haven’t had it, we hope to increase education, healthcare, and entrepreneurial levels in addition to providing access, so citizens of the world can be better informed in general, said J. Rob Loud.  “We don’t know where the next great artist, mathematician, programmer, humanitarian, doctor, scientist, etc. will from, but we hope to help foster the development through better access to information and technology.”

Moreover, Imcon will deploy and maintain Liberia’s first Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. As Imcon previously announced, the newly established non-profit Imcon Liberia Foundation will drive the goals of 40 in 2021.

“The Internet Backpack is a revolutionary technology and a groundbreaking solution with multiple applications for use across the planet,” J. Rob Loud said. “This alliance will dramatically jumpstart our ability to extend our proprietary technology and effectuate positive change for underserved people as well as for those in remote areas without access to standard connectivity.  The Liberia project is the first of many projects we envision rolling out on a global scale over the coming months and years.”

Dean Liddy said, “We are pleased to take part in this project with Imcon and lend our technical and research expertise to this important endeavor to increase Internet connectivity across Liberia and other locations around the globe. The iSchool is deeply committed to leveraging our academic and scholarly resources to improve the world around us.”

Recently, Imcon’s International Backpack 2.0 Sustainable Microgrid was highlighted at the United Nations 13th Internet Governance Forum. This initiative of providing the network coverage to the students would help students to come online.




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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