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Imcon International, Inc.’s Internet Backpack 2.0 highlighted in Paris at United Nations Internet Governance Forum 2018


Paris, December 3, 2018 – Imcon International’s Backpack 2.0 Sustainable Microgrid was highlighted at the United Nations 13th Internet Governance Forum. The three-day event, November 12-14, was attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres and thousands of industry, government, civil society, and technical community representatives from over 140 countries. The forum, a discussion of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, took place at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters.

Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) Director of Employer Relations Sarah Weber and Associate Professor (and Imcon Board Member) Lee W McKnight were among those invited to speak during a ‘Two Networks’ session, organized by Syracuse University Adjunct Professor Garland McCoy. The panel addressed the challenge of bringing energy, and the Internet, to the half of the world’s population, 3.5 billion people, still excluded from participating in the global Internet economy.

Weber and McKnight stressed that the Imcon Internet Backpack is, among other things, a self-sustaining microgrid, with its foldable, portable, solar panel capable of recharging with 15 hours of sunlight its battery (for energy storage), and thereby all included devices. It can therefore also be understood as an infrastructure-less wireless community network, or mini-ISP (Internet Service Provider) for off-grid connectivity, including both privacy and security by design for its (per-pack) 30 users. Applications for emergency response, education and healthcare for rural residents worldwide were highlighted, as was its blockchained personal data identity app #My31 from Hu-manity.co, and its potential uses in smart cities when the centralized grid goes down, whether from a natural disaster or a cyber-attack.

Professor McKnight said: “The assumption that the Internet cannot be affordably extended beyond the reach of the centralized energy grid is now proven to be false. The Internet backpack changes everything, as its order of magnitude lower costs can sustainably connect the unconnected.”

Imcon’s Internet backpack edgeware platform was developed after more than a decade of U.S. National Science Foundation-sponsored research at Syracuse University with its academic, community, government and industry partners. Imcon International Inc., the start-up developer of the Internet Backpack solution, and Syracuse University have signed a Master Collaboration Agreement to partner also with the Government of Liberia in the recently announced ’40 in 2021’ project, intended to help increase Liberia’s Internet penetration rate from 7% to 40% within 3 years of project launch. Sarah Weber was in Paris to invite support of Syracuse University’s engagement in the Liberian National Pilot Project’s Public Private Philanthropic Partnership with a Build Transfer Operate model from other UN IGF 2018 attendees.

Garland McCoy, President, Technology Education Institute and Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University, said: “I became aware of Lee’s latest promising research on immediate connectivity solutions at the IGF USA in 2017. I arranged a Session at the 13th UN IGF in Paris for the Internet Backpack to be introduced as both a new mobile microgrid and community network. I was delighted to see the recognition by our colleagues that Lee’s vision has been developed by Imcon into a breakthrough product changing the way we think of the limits of connectivity – since there are clearly no limits, and no edge of the grid beyond which we cannot connect and share information for social and community development.”

About Imcon

Imcon International, Inc., is an immediate connectivity solutions provider. Imcon is developing edgeware services and device solutions, such as the Internet Backpack, which conform to the Open Specifications Model for the Internet of Things v0.5. The Internet Backpack is a remote connectivity solution utilizing narrow-bandwidth utilities which allows users to be able to communicate from almost every location on the planet. The Internet Backpack also allows users to create internal wireless networks with large coverage areas utilizing various radio frequencies. Please visit http://imconintl.com for more information.

About the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University

The iSchool is a globally recognized leader in advancing knowledge and developing creative, thoughtful, and technically capable leaders in the information field. The iSchool’s mission is to expand human capabilities by connecting people, information, and technology. The faculty and staff of the iSchool are committed to preparing students to be leaders in the information field, advancing knowledge and using information to solve problems faced by individuals and organizations. The iSchool impacts research and the information profession through scholarship, rigorous education opportunities, and commitment to service that advances science, improves professional practice, and contributes both to communities and more broadly to society.


For Imcon International:
Alan Winnikoff
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications
212-725-5200 x111

Rob Loud
Imcon International, Inc.

For Syracuse University:
J.D. Ross
Communications Director
School of Information Studies at Syracuse University

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