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Annual Tech Museum Awards Grant $250,000 to Five Global Innovators

Press Release Date 
Thursday, October 16, 2003
An organization using Digital Satellite Radio technology to provide information and education to hard to reach populations, and a Costa Rica-based institute helping to document and preserve biodiversity, were among those honored for applying technology to improve quality of life around the world. Last evening at a gala black-tie event attended by global technology leaders and philanthropists, The Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., announced the five 2003 Tech Awards winners in the categories of education, equality, environment, health and economic development. Each winner received a $50,000 cash honorarium to encourage continued innovations and to honor their contributions in applying technology to solve global challenges and improve the lives of people around the world. The 2003 Tech Museum Award winners are:
  • Equal Access received The NASDAQ Stock Market Education Award for establishing a digital satellite broadcast infrastructure that delivers educational programming to areas of the world with poor telecommunications capabilities, little or no electricity and high rates of illiteracy.
  • WITNESS received the Knight Ridder Equality Award for its use of video and digital imaging technology to document civil rights violations around the world.
  • INBio (National Biodiversity Institute) received the Intel Environment Award for developing and maintaining a massive electronic database that records and provides information on biodiversity in Costa Rica, home of one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
  • EcoSystems Pvt. Ltd. received the Accenture Economic Development Award for working to improve the welfare of Nepal's rural population by developing a unique wire bridge system that is safe, efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally sound.
  • PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) received the Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni Health Award for improving health in developing nations by creating sterile pre-filled, single-use syringes for vaccines, that are easy to administer and cannot be reused. The 2003 Health Category Award was given in honor of Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni by Affymetrix, Inc., Alza Corporation, Dr. Thomas Fogarty, SurroMed, Inc., Symyx Technologies, Inc., and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation.
"The achievements of these remarkable people and organizations are inspiring and humbling reminders of technology's potential for goodness and positive change," said Tech Museum president and CEO Peter Giles. "Here at the dawn of the 21st Century, there is no doubt that it is scientists, technologists and social entrepreneurs like those honored by the Tech Museum Awards who will harness the promise of technology to solve the global challenges we face." "As a founder and presenting sponsor of the Tech Awards, Applied Materials is proud of the success this program has achieved and pleased to help recognize some of the world's most beneficial technology applications," said Jim Morgan, Chairman of Applied Materials. "We continue to find inspiration in the work of the winners and Tech Laureates. Collectively they are improving the lives of millions of people and by leveraging the resources and innovation of Silicon Valley we hope to further replicate and expand the power of their work around the globe." This year, more than 500 nominations were received, representing 70 countries. The 25 finalists came from Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nepal and the United States. The judging panels were assembled and coordinated by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Nominations for the 2004 Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity will be accepted October 16, 2003. For more information and nomination forms, visit About The Tech Museum Awards The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future at the Millennium report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Awards were inaugurated in 2001. Judging for The Tech Museum Awards is independently conducted by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society, a global network of academic and industry experts dedicated to understanding and influencing how science and technology impact society. They assemble five panels of judges from around the world, recruited from research institutions, industry and the public sector, who judge the nominations on five set criteria. The Tech Museum Awards Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Among Silicon Valley's leaders supporting The Tech Museum Awards are presenting sponsor, Applied Materials, Inc. and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society. Category sponsors include The NASDAQ Stock Market, Knight Ridder, Intel, and Accenture. Sponsors of The Tech Laureates Venture Network are Applied Materials, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company. About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit or call (408) 294-TECH. The Tech Museum Awards
The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 795-6338