Inventors called upon to improve basic supply in poor regions

Posted on 2 Jul 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Siemens Stiftung (the Siemens Foundation) has launched its ‘empowering people. Award 2015’ to tackle issues such as water quality, disease and improve internet access in world’s poorest regions

The competition has a £35,000 first prize to develop the idea and the winners must show that the innovation can be used independently as a business model by individuals and communities in developing regions.

The previous 1st prize went to OneDollarGlasses, an invention allowing anyone to manufacture affordable glasses where they are needed.

Siemens Stiftung (the Siemens Foundation) ‘empowering people. Award 2014’
Winners of the 2014 empowering people. Award (L to R): Gregor Schäpers / Solar Reflectors (Community Prize); Martin Aufmuth / OneDollarGlasses (1st); Moses Musaazi / Maka Pads (2nd); David Osborne &Simon Peter Egadu / Jompy Water Boiler (3rd).

Previous UK winners include Scottish inventor David Osborne for his Jompy Water Boiler, a device that combats waterborne diseases in the Third World, and the University of Nottingham’s Paul Riley with the Score Stove2, a low-smoke cook stove with high combustion efficiency.

Siemens is on the lookout for effective, simple and innovative solutions in the categories of Water & Waste Water; Energy; Food & Agriculture; Waste Management; Healthcare; Sheltering; Education, and Information & Communication.

Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung commented: “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. 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 first prize winner will be awarded a sum of €50,000, second prize earnings are €30,000, and €20,000 for third. In addition, 20 runners-up will be awarded a sum of €5,000 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 €3,000.

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 endeavor: the “empowering people. Network”.

Deadline for entries is November 30, 2015 at 12 00am EST.

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.