NII Awards Showcase Information Superhighway Potential Six Winners Named as Champions of Cyberspace

Press Contact: Melinda Machado
Edelman Public Relations
(202) 371-0200
mmachado@edel-dc.edelman.com

Washington, July 12, 1995--The National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards today announced the winners in its first annual awards program recognizing the best of the information superhighway. Chosen from a field of more than 550 entries, the six national winners were recognized for their projects in the categories of arts and entertainment, business, community, education, government and health.

Sponsored by more than 70 influential industry, government and community leaders, the NII Awards were founded as part of a public education program to accelerate the development and use of the information infrastructure.

"The winners of the NII Awards represent real-life benefits delivered through the NII and give us an encouraging look at what is possible in the future," said Vice President Al Gore. "These examples will help all Americans understand the promise and potential of the information superhighway. And, as others continue to create exciting innovations of their own, our lives will be enriched for generations to come."

NII Award winners are:

"The NII Awards make an important contribution to raising awareness of the applications of the National Information Infrastructure not only in healthcare but in all sectors of society," said former surgeon general Dr. C. Everett Koop, an NII Awards judge and presenter. "As more members of the health community follow the examples of entrants in the Awards, there will be a profound effect on the well being of all Americans."

The NII Award winners were honored at a Washington dinner event sponsored by AT&T and hosted by talk show personality Dick Cavett. Other speakers at the event included Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown, AT&T Chairman Robert Allen, Larry Irving, assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce; Rich Frank, president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; Regis McKenna, chairman, Regis McKenna, Inc., and Becky Cain, president, League of Women Voters.

The winning projects allow public health officials to track outbreaks of infectious diseases, rural library users to tap into national data bases, such as the Library of Congress, and give families of Alzheimer patients a link to 24-hour support and clinical experts. Through the Internet, disabled students are pursuing scientific careers; more than 5,000 businesses recycle waste materials and over 200,000 readers access one of the vibrant, interactive magazines in cyberspace.

The winners, along with all 550 entries, are showcased in a national data base available on the World Wide Web. The applications can be accessed on http://www.gii-awards.com and are part of the NII Awards public education campaign.

"There is much to be learned from the early travelers and developers of the information highway. We encourage everyone to explore this database and learn from these champions of cyberspace," said James D. Hake, chairman of the NII Awards. "Their experiences are the building blocks for tomorrow's possibilities."

The National Information Infrastructure (NII) is the combination of public and private networks, computers and electronics that connect people and information across time and space. The networks of businesses, carriers, schools, communities and government agencies and the Internet all form part of the NII.

Corporate sponsors of the NII Awards are US WEST, AT&T, Intel, IBM, Lotus Development, Price Waterhouse, BellSouth, Sun Microsystems, Alcatel, United States Postal Service, Fujitsu, General Instrument, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments and UUNET Technologies.

Among association and community sponsors are the American Medical Association, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the League of Women Voters, the National Education Association, the Morino Institute and the National League of Cities, Electronic Learning, Info World, Network World, Inter@ctive Week and Variety are among the NII Awards media sponsors.

The NII Awards were created and organized by Access Media Inc. of Santa Monica, California.