Posted: December 3, 2008

$250,000 to be awarded to innovators using technology to benefit humanity

(Nanowerk News) The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials and a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation today announced that nominations are open for The Tech Awards 2009.
The deadline for nominations is March 27, 2009. Individuals, non-profit organizations and companies are eligible to apply in one of five award categories: Environment, Economic Development, Education, Equality or Health. Online nomination forms and award criteria can be found at The Tech Awards Web site at
In September, 25 Laureates will be selected by an international panel of judges led by the Santa Clara University Center for Science, Technology and Society. Five of the 25 Laureates will each receive a $50,000 prize at a gala event November 19, 2009, when Silicon Valley luminaries and technology philanthropists gather to celebrate the ways in which these Laureates have applied technology to address the world’s most pressing issues.
“The Tech Awards program receives hundreds of incredible nominations from around the globe each year that collectively represent the power of technology—both simple and complex—to transform the world and effect positive change,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum.
Launched in 2000, The Tech Awards program is inspired in part by the “State of the Future” report published by the Millennium Project of the American Council of the United Nations University. The report recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthrough and technological applications to improve the human condition.
“The Tech Awards celebrates innovation by inspiring a new generation of socially conscious leaders who employ technology to address the global challenges we face,” said Lee Wilkerson, executive director for The Tech Awards. “We encourage everyone to participate in the nomination process. Nominating people or projects that use technology to benefit humanity is a proven way to ensure that socially significant works gain the kind of visibility they need to proliferate and prosper.”
In 2008, The Tech Awards received hundreds of nominations from 68 countries. The 2008 cash prize recipients were:
Intel Environment Award
Biomass Energy Project, Cheetah Conservation Fund: Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund uses technology to convert an invasive bush species into clean fuel while restoring habitats. Cheetah Conservation Fund's Bush Project is a biomass processing plant that uses a high-pressure extrusion process to convert bush into a clean and economically viable alternative to existing products such as firewood, coal, lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes used for cooking fuel and barbecues.
Accenture Economic Development Award
DESI Power: Decentralised Energy Systems India: DESI Power helps poor villages in India build power plants and launch micro-enterprises to alleviate poverty. DESI Power uses nineteenth century technology - biomass gasification through agricultural waste - to expand the supply of electric power in more than 100 villages in Bihar, India.
Microsoft Education Award
Digital StudyHall: Digital StudyHall, based in Lucknow, India, deploys DVD technology to extend the reach of skilled teachers into underprivileged classrooms in India and Bangladesh. Digital StudyHall records classroom lessons given by high-quality teachers and distributes the videos to teachers in disadvantaged schools in rural areas and urban slums.
Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award
Build Change: Build Change designs and trains builders and homeowners to build earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries using locally available skills and materials. The designs are affordable, sustainable, easy to build and culturally appropriate, and ensure that each homeowner has access to affordable technology to build a house that will not collapse, injure or kill their families in an earthquake, regardless of their income level.
Fogarty Institute for Innovation Health Award
K1 Auto Disable Syringe, Marc Koska, Star Syringe, Ltd.: United Kingdom's K1 "auto-disable" syringe etches a locking ring in the syringe barrel so that once the plunger is fully depressed, it locks in place and can't be used again. The simple, single-use syringes reduce millions of cases of Hepatitis B and C and HIV. The K1 syringe costs the same as standard models and its design is openly licensed to manufacturers. To date, more than one billion K1 syringes have been made, saving an estimated 3 million lives.
The Tech Awards collaborate with humanitarian, educational, and business partners through global outreach efforts, giving people around the world the opportunity to benefit from the successful technologies recognized through the Awards.
Key sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Applied Materials, Inc., Intel Corporation, Accenture, Microsoft, The Swanson Foundation, The Fogarty Institute for Innovation, BD Biosciences, Polycom, Genentech, Wells Fargo, SAP, eBay, KPMG, Cadence, The Quattrone Foundation, Omidyar Network, NASDAQ OMX, HP, Google, Satyam, Cisco, Scott Cook and Signe Ostby, NBC Bay Area, The Fairmont San Jose, Marriott San Jose, The Sainte Claire Hotel, American Airlines , Siltronic, The Mercury News, Forbes, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and Stanford's Center for Social Innovation. Key partners include Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society, World Federation of United Nations Associations, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank Institute, Catholic Relief Services, CORE Group, National Center for Technology Innovation, Opportunity International and Acumen Fund.
About The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity
The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., is one of the premier annual humanitarian awards programs in the world, recognizing technical solutions that benefit humanity and address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. The awards program honors 25 scientists and innovators annually alongside the recipient of the Global Humanitarian Award. Laureates are selected by a prestigious panel of international judges organized by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society, and made up of Santa Clara University faculty as well as leaders from educational and research institutions, industry and the public sector around the world.
For more information about The Tech Awards, visit
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs, the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and The Tech Awards, an internationally recognized program, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum of Innovation celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum of Innovation, visit
Source: The Tech Museum of Innovation
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