The Tech Museum Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech), today announced that Professor Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank, is the recipient of the 2008 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT). Yunus will accept this distinguished honor during the annual Tech Museum Awards Gala on November 12, where he and 25 innovators from around the world will be celebrated for applying technology to solve the most urgent issues facing humanity. The Tech Museum Awards program is presented by Applied Materials, whose Chairman, Jim Morgan, was the inspiration for the prestigious Global Humanitarian Award.
"For more than three decades, Muhammad Yunus' broad vision, creativity and leadership have improved the lives of millions through innovative, micro-financing practices," said Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. "We are pleased to honor Muhammad Yunus, whose selfless mission and ability to inspire others to take action exemplifies the spirit of the Tech Awards."
Often referred to as "the world's banker to the poor," Yunus developed a benchmark microcredit application through his Grameen Bank which allows the rural poor access to micro-loans for entrepreneurial enterprises such as purchasing livestock and procuring weaving materials. Yunus' vision of a world without poverty has been the inspiration for his life's work. Yunus and Grameen Bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their significant contributions in the field of microcredit.
In 1976, Yunus determined that a mere $27 loan could transform the lives of many of the poorest villagers in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Since then, under Yunus' leadership his bank has provided more than $6.8 billion in small loans to would-be entrepreneurs who conventionally would not qualify for such loans from traditional banks, the majority of whom are women in businesses such as street vending and farming. Today, Grameen Bank operates 2,499 branches in more than 81,000 villages throughout rural Bangladesh.
"I am honored to be named the recipient of this year's James C. Morgan Humanitarian Award," said Muhammad Yunus. "Through Grameen Bank, we are demonstrating our commitment to obtain social justice for all and receiving this award further recognizes the great work of all those who have strived to make this a reality."
The Global Humanitarian Award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are helping to address humanity's greatest challenges. Past winners include Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates and Intel co-founder and technology luminary Gordon Moore.
"Given that so many of our Awards Laureates are from other countries and continents, it makes great sense to welcome someone from across the world to our distinguished group of Global Humanitarian Award winners," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation. "Like many of our Laureates, Yunus started with a simple but profound idea that has since been adopted by many institutions, creating a life-changing economic solution for millions. He truly embodies the essence of a global humanitarian."
Nominations for the 2008 awards program have been extended through April 7, and can be submitted through The Tech Museum's Awards Web site, available at www.techawards.org
. Individuals, non-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Nominations received after that date will be considered for the 2009 program.
About the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award
The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are helping to address humanity's greatest challenges. The Award was inspired by Applied Materials Chairman, Jim Morgan. Morgan demonstrates in his work and his philanthropy that technology can unleash the potential in all of us and turn our ideas into concrete solutions for a better world. Morgan also shows us that corporations can play a vital role in helping identify and extend the benefits of technology to those who need them most. For more information about Applied Materials' involvement in The Tech Museum Awards, visit www.appliedmaterials.com
About The Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity
The Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., is one of the premier annual humanitarian awards programs in the world, recognizing technical solutions that benefit humanity and address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. The awards program honors 25 scientists and innovators annually alongside the recipient of the Global Humanitarian Awards. Award category sponsors include Intel (Nasdaq:INTC), Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and The Swanson Foundation.
For more information about The Tech Museum Awards or to make a nomination, visit www.techawards.org
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. Located in San Jose, California the Capital of Silicon Valley — its mission, as a public-benefit corporation, is to inspire the innovator in everyone. Through hands-on exhibits, educational programs, the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and the internationally recognized Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum of Innovation honors the past, celebrates the present, and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum of Innovation, visit www.thetech.org
The Tech Museum of Innovation