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Siemens Stiftung announces the Empowering People Award

Pic courtesy siemens-stiftung.org

[Update: The deadline for the award application has been extended to Jan 31, 2013.]

Munich-based Siemens Stiftung (“foundation” in German) wants to identify efficient technical solutions which empower people in developing and emerging countries to independently combat existential problems through the empowering people. Award (yeah – that’s exactly how the award is named). The Siemens Stiftung launched the competition in June 2012 at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20. It is supported by the KfW (business area development bank) and the Helmholtz Association.

Inventors and developers from all regions worldwide are invited to enter simple and appropriate technical products and solutions in the following categories:

  • Water & Waste Water
  • Energy
  • Waste Management & Recycling
  • Health
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Housing & Construction
  • Information & Communication Technology.

Entries are to be made online on the project website. The main requirement here is that the solutions or products can be implemented with the resources in the areas themselves. The entries will be professionally evaluated and an international jury will select winners.

Ulrike Wahl, Managing Director at Siemens Stiftung, hopes the various submissions for the award will facilitate a search and discovery platform for practitioners.

“We are on the lookout for technologies which enable sustainable development. Whether it is mini wind turbines, compost plants, thermal collectors or water filters – technologies such as these improve life quality for people around the world. Many good ideas have been realised but the main challenge is utilising them in the best possible way. This is why we want to make the submissions from the Empowering People Award available on a database so that practitioners working in developmental cooperation as well as people on the ground, who are looking for solutions for specific problems can identify them. We are aiming to facilitate the search and identification of these solutions for both parties by systematically organising these solutions. This should network as many actors as possible and enable them to provide a contribution in improving conditions in the supply of basic needs. To this end we are able to collaborate with strong partners such as the KfW (business area development bank) and the Helmholtz Association.”

Criteria for submitting enterprises

  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which have the potential of social impact for people in developing and emerging countries.
  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which are already successfully implemented to improve basic supply in developing or emerging countries.
  • The enterprise has a strong focus on job creation.
  • The enterprise follows values such as fairness, social responsibility and self-sustainability.
  • The enterprise is not a microfinance institution, private equity fund or deposit taking institution.

Prize Money Specifics

Siemens Stiftung has allocated a total prize money of  200,000 EUR with the following breakdown:

  • 1st Prize EUR 50,000
  • 2nd Prize EUR 30,000
  • 3rd Prize EUR 20,000
  • 20 runners up to EUR 5,000 (each)

Following the competition, the technical innovations will be categorised in a new long-term database which aims to offer international practitioners in developmental cooperation a speedy and comprehensive overview of operational solutions from the categories defined. The online platform is also designed to foster an international exchange of knowledge, the initiation of cooperation and the further development of the products and solutions available. The aim of the Siemens Stiftung is to encourage the broad use of effective and tailored technological solutions in the appropriate basic supply context. This is to make a valuable contribution in improving living condition in the regions affected most.

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