SMART ECONOMY GRANT Supporting innovative ICT commercial ventures for a better Cook Islands’ IoT connectivity.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) is pleased to announce it has awarded a grant to ICTnexus Limited (ICTnexus) under the Government’s SMART Economy Initiative (SMART). ICTnexus will use the SMART grant to better connect people and devices with the internet through innovative new ‘internet of things’ (IoT) infrastructure and services.

ICTnexus is a licensed internet service provider for the Cook Islands and will leverage the high speed and bandwidth provided by the Manatua Cable to deliver these new services. ICTnexus Director Tai Kauraka Tangaroa explains what is meant by the ‘internet of things’ and how it adds value: “IoT is a term that refers to everything connected to the internet, from LoRa® sensors and smartphones to vehicles and buildings - or even islands!” says Tai. “These connected things ‘talk’ to each other, while collecting useful information.

“IoT can help businesses reduce costs, improve health and safety, save time on monitoring and reporting, and increase efficiency and return on investment. We will assist people to use the new technologies and take advantage of our new high bandwidth fiber cable and our wireless low power network. Our ultimate goal is to create a smart and sustainable island and help preserve our natural environment for our children.

”MFEM Financial Secretary Garth Henderson says: “ICT applications and services have a critical role to play in transforming the Cook Islands into a smarter, more complex, and diverse economy, as they underpin productivity, competitiveness and profitability, and drive economic growth. The SMART grant initiative is all about encouraging more innovative and productive technologies such as those being provided by ICTnexus.”

ICTnexus will initially set up infrastructure for ICT and IoT in the Cook Islands and introduce a long-range, low power LoRaWAN® network in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Their services will be scalable, enabling ICTnexus to support businesses, organisations, education providers and government departments. Main applications are Smart Agriculture, Energy Management, Equipment Monitoring (e.g. Waste Treatment Plants, Water Tanks, Freezers and Refrigerators), Building Automation and HVAC. This includes Smart Metering for Power, Gas and Water.