Over the past three decades, a swift and prominent transformation of the Puerto Rico IT sector has been on display. Thirty years ago, it would have been accurate to term the island primarily as a technology consumer, as it hosted few truly innovative or influential IT initiatives. As well, the innovative projects that were taking place on the island were mostly local in scope and virtually blind to market potential. IT talent, however, was robust and abundant. It was only a matter of time for desire and capital to enter the equation and trigger a sweeping change in the landscape.
Today, Puerto Rico houses a vibrant and more mature IT sector. On one end of the spectrum are the leaders of nearly all industries and organizations on the island, who have acquired a keen taste for investing in innovative IT projects in order to enhance their competitive positions. On the other end of the spectrum is a rich community of IT organizations that operate locally, from startups to multinational behemoths, and are betting on the benefits of developing numerous strategic initiatives on the island and beyond. In all cases, the underlying story is that Puerto Rico has quickly positioned itself as a prominent and ascending IT industry hub. Technological innovation has become the norm on the island, not the exception.
Introducing the PRITC Innovation Awards
Operating under the vision of making the island a leader in IT services and technological innovation, the Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster (PRITC) recognizes that there are ample prospects for the industry to grow and excel. More specifically PRITC sees plenty of opportunities for more and more Puerto Rico-based organizations to transcend the local market and evolve into regional, even world-class players. In order to serve as a catalyst to this process, the Cluster is launching the first-ever PRITC Innovation Awards, which support the following strategic objectives:
- Increase awareness of the salience of the Puerto Rico IT industry in all its dimensions
- Prominently recognize individuals, products, projects and organizations for their relevance as they pertain to the Puerto Rico IT industry, in terms of level of technological innovation, business impact, industry contribution, international projection and societal benefit
- Support the industry’s strategy of increasing its competitiveness throughout the region, and help it achieve a more elevated position of recognized excellence
It is PRITC’s position that the time has come for all industry participants to start openly celebrating IT excellence in Puerto Rico, thus contributing to the island’s continued ascent as an industry powerhouse.
During its annual CIO & IT Leadership Conference, PRITC will be publicly presenting the winners of five specific yearly awards. The awards are the following:
Intellectual Property Award
IT Project of the Year
Tech Exporter of the Year
Tech Startup of the Year
Societal Impact Award
Recognizing the inherent speed at which the industry normally develops and introduces technological change, the plan is for the PRITC Innovation Awards to be awarded on an annual basis.
The Awards Process
This is the first year that PRITC is presenting the PRITC Innovation Awards. To carry out the process within the highest quality and transparency standards, the Cluster will carry out the following steps:
The PRITC Innovation Awards cycle will launch on September 14, 2017. On that date, PRITC will message its membership and engage in a communications initiative aimed at making the process known to all potential participants. Details regarding the process, as outlined herein, will be openly distributed.
Starting on the day of the initial announcement and extending up to February 19, 2018, PRITC will be accepting nominations for the five different PRITC Innovation Awards. Nominations are to be exclusively submitted through the PRITC website, www.puertoricoisit.com. Successful submissions will be confirmed, after which candidates will be periodically updated on any relevant issues.
Initial Requirements and Eligibility Validation
Once the nominations period expires, PRITC will perform an initial screening of all submittals, and validate that they indeed comply with the award nominations acceptance criteria, as established in the Conditions of Participation. PRITC will progressively notify pertinent candidates of any situations of nonconformance with the established criteria, and specify the remediation alternatives available, if any. Candidates not meeting the established criteria will be disqualified from further consideration, and notified accordingly. This initial requirements and eligibility validation process is set to conclude on February 23, 2018. At such date, PRITC expects to notify all candidates of their updated status.
Independent Judges’ Panel Evaluation
PRITC will charter a panel of independent judges that will receive all relevant documentation corresponding to the nominations that successfully clear the initial requirements and eligibility validation process by February 24, 2018. Based on the materials provided, and following internally established evaluation guidelines for each award, the panel will evaluate each nomination. Throughout said evaluation process, the panel may request additional information from any nominees, a condition with which they are expected to comply. By April 20, 2018, the panel will have made a final determination of who the award winners will be, and will submit a confidential communiqué to the PRITC Board of Directors notifying it about such determination.
Shortly after receiving the confidential communiqué from the independent judges’ panel, during the 2018 CIO & IT Leadership Conference, to be held in May 11, 2018, the PRITC Board of Directors will announce the award recipients and publicly recognize their accomplishment.
Because the plan is to present the PRITC Innovation Awards on a yearly basis, PRITC is enthusiastically engaged in this first edition. The Board of Directors recognizes that the stated process is bound to be perfected with every new edition of the awards, all intended to enable PRITC to meet the strategic objectives stated herein.
The Judges and the Judging Process
It is a responsibility of the PRITC Board of Directors to name the members of the independent judges’ panel, which will ultimately determine to whom the PRITC Innovation Awards will be presented. Because the Board recognizes that the present and future success of this initiative hinges on the integrity and credibility of the members of such panel, and on the overall transparency of the process, it shall name judges of unquestionable reputation and with little inherence in local IT industry affairs. The PRITC Board of Directors intends to divulge the names of the judges before the evaluation is slated to begin.
The following timeline establishes the dates when all events related to the PRITC Innovation Awards are scheduled to occur:
September 14, 2017Initial Announcement
September 14, 2017Nomination PeriodFrom September 14, 2017 to February 19, 2018
February 19, 2018Initial Requirements and Eligibility ValidationFrom February 19, 2018 to February 23, 2018
February 24, 2018Independent Judges’ Panel EvaluationFrom February 24, 2018 to April 20, 2018
April 20, 2018Notification of Award Winners to the PRITC Board
May 11, 2018 Public Announcement and Awards Presentation on CIO & IT Leadership Conference
The Fine Print
The PRITC Board of Directors recognizes that, due to its nature, an initiative like the PRITC Innovation Awards entails numerous detailed rules and conditions. Therefore, PRITC requires that all parties wishing to submit a nomination accept and agree to the conditions established in the Conditions of Participation document. This will be done electronically during the nomination submission process.
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