By Nixon Kanali, TechTrendsKE
The Submissions phase for The Siemens 2015 empowering people Award is now open for entries. Innovators Africa and across the world are invited to submit their technologies in a competition that seeks to identify innovative technical solutions to tackle global challenges in basic needs.
The Siemens empowering people Award is on the lookout for solutions in Water & Waste Water, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Waste Management, Healthcare, Sheltering ,Education Information & Communication
Inventors and developer teams can submit their low-tech innovations in one of eight categories that cover the main areas of basic needs. The potential to be embedded in entrepreneurial models providing sustainable help to individuals and communities in developing regions is one of the pivotal criteria.
“There is a wealth of innovative skill in Kenya and around the world, and I am proud to be a juror for an Award that recognizes and celebrates ordinary people who innovate for the good of their communities,” Duncan Onyango, East Africa director for Acumen Fund said. “We look forward to submissions that show the creativity and ingenuity sparked by challenges in the developing world.”
The winner will be awarded KES 5.5 million, the second winner a prize of KES 3.3 million while the third winner will walk away with a cash prize of KES 2.2 million. In addition, 20 runners-up will be awarded a sum of KES 550,000 each.
A Community Prize will also be awarded and judged by the highly engaged global online empowering people community. The winning entry here will receive hardware to the value of KES 330,000.
Alongside the awarding of prize money, the solutions will be showcased and promoted in a Solutions Database and the inventors and entrepreneurs behind the innovations will become part of a broader endeavour: the “empowering people Network”.
Previous winners showcasing their innovative technologies include solar kiosks to enable communities without electricity to charge mobile phones, One Dollar Glasses that are simple to construct locally, Georadar software that maps water tables in water scarce areas, SMSGYAN – an offline research database that gives users access to encyclopaedia via SMS and the micro-intensive Fish Farm that fits in a single shipping container among others.
This community, created and facilitated by Siemens Stiftung, consists of developers and social entrepreneurs from around the globe. Members of the Network benefit from training sessions on relevant topics for their businesses as well as expert support for their organisational or technical developments. Regular online and offline meetings enable the creation of synergy and cooperation between inventors and players of the ecosystem who span the globe.
“The goal of the contest is ultimately to empower people in developing regions to have access to basic services for their daily needs. We want to locate creative solutions and we are eager to work with innovative teams to bring their solutions to the lives of those who need them most.“ Rolf Huber, Managing Director, Siemens Stiftung said’
”Since our first Award in 2012, we were able to support dozens of initiatives. In addition, our network partners of engineers from various fields and social business experts around the world help them maximise their impact.”
Project entries will be assessed by an interdisciplinary and international jury with the winners receiving cash prizes and an expert evaluation of their entries. The deadline for submission of entries is November 30, 2015 at 07:00 am EAT.