E-marketplace vendor I2 Technologies wants its technology to help feed the poor and provide global disaster relief.
It's associated charitable organisation, the i2 Foundation, has launched Aidmatrix which is being heralded as the first not-for-profit e-marketplace.
Aidmatrix has been kicked off in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, the American Red Cross, CARE, and US food bank distributor Second Harvest. It follows a earlier project called ResourceLink by Hewlett-Packard and Second Harvest that has proven successful.
I2 CEO Sanjiv Sidhu positioned the announcement as the most important at the i2 Planet 2000 conference in San Diego this week.
Representitives from the companies and charities involved said they expected to see cost savings, better relief planning, less wastage of surplus inventory from donor companies, and more visibility for donors to see where their largese has ended up.
Donors are being sold on the deal as a way of quiting excess and expiring inventory as well as doing good for humanitarian causes.
According to the Kristy Dooley, executive director of Aidmatrix, the marketplace will operate domestically in the USA first. International expansion will follow later.
Final decisions on which of the humanitarian agencies will receive any donated goods will rest with the individual donors, but for disaster relief the emphasis will be on sourcing to specific requirements rather than relying on donations so such "competitive" issues are unlikely to arise.