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Premier Silicon Valley awards program increases support for global "techmanitarians" who use technology to benefit humanity

Press Release Date 
Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

SAN JOSE, SILICON VALLEY, Calif., Tuesday February 21 - The Tech Awards, The Tech Museum's international program that recognizes innovators whose work improves the lives of millions of people, has expanded to foster a global network of laureates whose ideas lead to solutions for a better world.

The changes, which take effect now, are meant to attract a broader range of potential laureates, increase nominations from every corner of the globe, provide financial support and raise awareness about the life-changing work that affects residents from Bangladesh to Uruguay.

Among the changes:

  • The Tech Awards will honor two laureates in six categories, rather than three laureates in five categories.
  • Two cash prizes will be awarded - $75,000 and $25,000 - in each category.
  • Previously, only one laureate was awarded a $50,000 cash prize.
  • A new category, Sustainable Energy, has been added to honor those innovators who help meet the world's energy needs while minimizing the adverse effects on health and the environment.
  • Replacing the Equality category is the Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator  Award. The award recognizes innovators under the age of 26 (as of December 31, 2012) who are transforming our world for the better through ingenuity, energy and a spirit of optimism.

"There has never been a time when the innovative use of technology was more important," said Tim Ritchie, museum president. "It is our hope that by increasing the financial awards and by establishing new categories we will continue to encourage a high level of innovation for a world that needs it."

Each year, laureates from around the world are honored for their efforts to use technology to benefit humanity. Since the inception of The Tech Awards program in 2001, 245 laureates have been recognized. Their pioneering work has included designing earthquake-resistant construction technology to creating a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunizations to building a simple, low-cost, mobile phone-based device that allows remote monitoring and operation of irrigation pumps.

Nominations for the museum's signature international program are now open through April 6, 2012. Prospects can nominate themselves or others for a chance to be honored as a leading light who applies technology to benefit humanity.

The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, is a signature program of The Tech Museum. In addition to the Sustainable Energy and Young Innovator categories, The Tech Awards recognizes laureates in four other categories: Intel Environment Award, Microsoft Education Award, Nokia Health Award, and Flextronics Economic Development Award. This year's program is November 15th at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

As part of The Tech Awards, an individual is honored with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials. This award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help to alleviate humanity's greatest challenges. The impressive roster of recipients includes renowned philanthropist and social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, education and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied's Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award.

Submit a nomination for a laureate for The Tech Awards 2012.

Click here for more information about The Tech Awards.

Here's a highlight video of The Tech Awards 2011:

Contact:
Roqua Montez
Director of Public Relations
(408) 795-6225
rmontez@thetech.org

About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum-located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future.