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April 9, 2018

UNLP and ITU: A collaborative relationship to end e-waste and promote green standards

To read this article in Spanish click here.

By Javier Díaz, National University of La Plata

The problems associated with electronic waste (e-waste) are global in nature and will require global solutions. At the National University of La Plata (UNLP), we are proud to collaborate with ITU to help advance technological solutions to the problems of e-waste by advancing the ‘circular economy’ as well as advancing global work on green standards.

The National University of La Plata (UNLP), founded in 1905, is located in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina and is one of the most prestigious and recognized national universities in Latin America. UNLP is made up of 17 faculties in which 110,000 undergraduate and 22,000 graduate students are trained. It also has 154 Research and Development Institutes, Centers and Laboratories where approximately 6,000 researchers work.

In 2014, UNLP joined the “Universities and ITU” initiative, becoming an ITU Academic Member. It participates in Study Group 5 of the ITU Standardization Sector (environment, climate change, circular economy) on issues related to e-waste, green ICTs, smart sustainable cities and Non-Ionizing Radiation (NIR.)

For more information about becoming an ITU Academic Member visit the website:

UNLP was present in international forums and events, such as the “International Symposium on Electronic Residues” in August 2015 and the “Strive to Achieve the SDGs: ICTs as Catalysts” Forum in November 2016. It also participated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2016, where UNLP’s E-Waste Program named “e-basura” received the WSIS Champions Prize in the “ICT Applications: Environment” category.

Photo courtesy of e-basura

The main activities of the project included a Computer Reconditioning Center to repair and reuse donated personal computers (PCs) along with environmental awareness and education for the public. Through this project, over 180,000 students benefitted from donations. Over 400,000 members of public were reached with awareness campaigns in more than 210 events. Over 800 students were given instructions and training in PC Assembly and Repair Courses and Professional Practices in Schools.

It is worth mentioning that the signing of an international cooperation agreement between ITU and UNLP and the donation of equipment for the “E-waste Pilot Plant Project” establishment in Argentina show the bonds of work and commitment between both institutions. ITU’s standards will be applied in the work environments of the E-Waste Program and E-waste Pilot Plant Project.

For more insights download the Global E-waste Monitor

Collaborations on cybersecurity and accessibility

In addition to our collaboration with ITU on e-waste, UNLP is also working with ITU on issues related to cybersecurity. Our commitment with ITU is evidenced in our role as host of “Cyberdrill: Cybersecurity from La Plata River,” an activity that will take place in its facilities from 4 to 8 June, 2018. We are counting on the participation of several experts from different countries who will provide technical training and cybersecurity simulations.

ITU and its relationship with the industry is key to enabling the realization of innovative projects.

With its participation in ITU, UNLP has the opportunity of being an active member in conferences and fora where issues of ICTs are discussed. ITU and its relationship with the industry is key to enabling the realization of innovative projects. Our intervention in the study groups also enables us to access to new trends and address challenges related to research in science and technology.

And last year, two graduates from UNLP won the Accessible Americas prize with their project Talklouder, a mobile solution to enable communication between deaf persons and hearing persons who do not know sign language.

The university, through this collaborative agreement will continue to moderate between the productive power of the ICT industry and public interests which a State must ensure.

We look forward to continuing our collaborative activities with ITU to foster beneficial relationships with the spheres of research, development and innovation.

Lic. Francisco J. Díaz is the Secretary of Institutional Relations of UNLP; Director of Laboratorio de Investigación en Nuevas Tecnología Informáticas (LINTI), Faculty of Informatics, UNLP; Director of Centro Superior del procesamineto de la Información (CESPI), UNLP; Coordinator of ICT disciplinar core, Asociación de Universidades del Grupo Montevideo (AUGM). Contact point of ITU from UNLP.
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UNLP and ITU: A collaborative relationship to end e-waste and promote green standards

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