Wednesday, April 20, 2011

USTDA Supports ICT

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) supports the development of ICT systems to help in worldwide emerging economies. USTDA links U.S businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions.

On March 14, 2011, USDTA released the Synopsis/solicitation (2010-11020A titled “Nigeria-Children’s Hospital Project” to provide technical assistance on the proposed Children’s Hospital project in Nigeria. The project is envisioned as an 80 bed hospital to feature a neonatal intensive care unit, biomedical research laboratory, teaching facilities, and a children’s health outreach program.

The technical advisor chosen for the project will assist in planning the hospital’s clinical services and facilities. The plan is to support infrastructure, provide medical equipment, information technology systems, and telemedicine equipment for remote diagnosis services. The grant award for $289,000 will be paid in U.S. dollars.

In another example, last month, USTDA provided grant funding of $645,944 to help India expand an Integrated Emergency Communications System (IECS). The grant was awarded to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs to plan a pilot project to develop the IECS in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, sixth largest city in India.

India does not currently have a nationally standardized system that can manage emergency communications and services like “911” in the U.S. India has designated the exchange “108” as the national integrated emergency number. The support from the U.S. will help to establish a national model for implementing IECS throughout the country. The implementation of a national system holds the potential to open India’s market for $800 million in U.S. exports to include homeland security and emergency response and communication equipment and services.

In addition to the USTDA grant, “Optimal Solutions and Technologies, Inc., a U.S provider of management consulting, information technology, and engineering services will also contribute additional resources towards the completion of the feasibility study.

A few years ago, a $700,000 USTDA grant was awarded to the Special Telecommunications Service of Romania to improve Romania’s ability to manage emergencies so that users can share voice, data, and multimedia content instantly. With the funding, Telecordia Technologies of Piscataway, N.J conducted the study “Romania Next Generation Network Infrastructure for Emergency Management.”

When the President of China made a state visit to the U.S., last January, USDTA, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Commerce joined with China’s Ministries of Health and Commerce to support the establishment of a new public-private partnership in the healthcare sector.

The objective for the collaborative effort is to foster long term cooperation with China in the areas of research, training, regulation, and to increase accessibility to healthcare services in China. Through this program Chinese participants will have greater access to U.S. private sector expertise and be able to find out about innovative technologies that will be important to long-term healthcare delivery.

Over time, the partnership will provide for cooperation in areas such as rural healthcare, emergency response, personnel training, medical information technology, and management systems while also exploring ways to support traditional Chinese medicine.

The program will support a Healthcare Professional Personnel Exchange Program with potential funding from USTDA in terms of studies, consultancies, training, pilot projects and related project development.

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