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Four DM Winners become Tech Awards Laureates

Elena Altieri's picture

Click here to watch the Tech Awards Gala Live: Nov 12, 7 p.m. PST 

The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity is an annual humanitarian award program recognizing technical solutions that benefit humanity and address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. Each year, the program honors 25 global innovators (Laureates) who are applying technology to benefit humanity in five categories: Education, Equality, Environment, Economic Development, and Health. Although The Tech Awards program is year-round, it culminates each November in a Gala event, where five of the 25 Laureates—one in each category—receive a $50,000 cash prize.  Since 2003, twelve DM projects have become Tech Award Laureates.

At the 2008 Gala on November 12, the following DM Projects will be nominated:
Sunlabob Renewable Energy (DM 2005), 2008 Environment Award Laureate (
Sunlabob developed a comprehensive system to make solar energy affordable to the rural poor. The project rents large solar-charging stations to local entrepreneurs who in turn rent good-quality, rechargeable lamps to fellow villagers for less money than they would spend on kerosene. This guarantees a long and productive life for each lamp, and makes it economical for people to switch to sustainable solar lighting.    

DESI Power: Decentralized Energy Systems India (DM2006), 2008 Economic Development Award Laureate: (
DESI Power helps poor villages in India build local power plants and launch micro-enterprises to alleviate poverty. The project trains village residents to run biomass gasification power plants and help people start micro-enterprises such as pumping and selling irrigation water, charging batteries, and making ice. These businesses use enough of the newly-generated electricity so that the power plants become profitable, while creating jobs that spur village-level development.

Solar Electric Light Fund (DM2006), 2008 Economic Development Award Laureate, (
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) powers drip irrigation with solar technology so farmers can cultivate income-generating crops year-round. Solar-powered pumps move water to reservoirs at each agricultural site, and gravity distributes the water to crops. A project in two villages has helped provide one ton of much-needed produce to the region each week and increased household incomes by as much as 50% or more. (DM2003), 2008 Health Award Laureate (
DataDyne developed the EpiSurveyor, a free, easy-to-use, open-source program that allows healthcare workers to collect and share survey data using their own PDAs or cell phones. The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Red Cross use DataDyne software as their technology standard to enable quick assessment of disease outbreaks and proper allocation of lifesaving resources.

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