UK inventors and developers called upon to submit technical solutions to improve basic supply in developing regions

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

Siemens Stiftung (the Siemens Foundation) is today launching the ‘empowering people. Award 2015’ and is looking for UK inventors and developer teams to submit their low-tech innovations in one of eight categories that cover the main areas of basic supply in impoverished 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. 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 Stove™2, a low-smoke cook stove with high combustion efficiency.

Effective, simple and innovative: The Award is on the lookout for solutions in the categories of Water & Waste Water, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Waste Management, Healthcare, Sheltering, Education and Information & Communication.

Rolf Huber, Managing Director, Siemens Stiftung: “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 Euros; the second prize earnings are valued at 30,000 Euros; third place at 20,000 Euros. In addition, 20 runners-up will be awarded a sum of 5,000 Euros 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 Euros.

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”. 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 organizational 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.

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

Further information on

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