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Annual Tech Museum Awards Honors Five Global Innovators with $250,000

Press Release Date 
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity presented by Applied Materials, Inc., awarded $250,000 at a black-tie gala last night to educators, scientists and social entrepreneurs who use technology to benefit mankind. The five $50,000 cash prize recipients hail from Canada, Cuba, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United States, and their technology solutions change and save the lives of countless individuals from all backgrounds in every country on earth.

Each of the five Laureates awarded a cash prize is encouraged to reinvest their winnings in additional innovative programs that utilize technology to solve global challenges and improve people's lives.

The 2005 Tech Museum Awards cash prize recipients are:

Enviro Options (Pty) Ltd. received the Intel Environment Award for its Enviro Loo, a waterless dehydration/evaporation toilet for the developing world.
Kya Sands, South Africa -

SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd.received the Accenture Economic Development Award for supplying power to rural India and its application of micro-financing opportunities for its customers to pay for the service.
Bangalore, India -

MIT OpenCourseWare received the Microsoft Education Award for making course materials for all of its undergraduate and graduate classes available free of charge on the Web.
Cambridge, MA, USA -

The Hib Vaccine Team received the Agilent Technologies Foundation Health Award for creating an affordable, synthetic vaccine against the bacteria that can cause meningitis and pneumonia.
Havana, Cuba -

Center for the Improvement of Working Conditions & Environment received the Knight Ridder Equality Award for its efforts to improve working conditions for adults in the carpet weaving industry, thereby encouraging child workers to return to school.
Lahore, Pakistan -

"The 2005 Tech Museum Awards celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of this year|!s 25 laureates and their creative applications of technology to the benefit of global humanity," said Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. "While recognizing their great work today, our real hope is that by leveraging the strength and know-how of Silicon Valley we can link these amazing innovators with the resources and tools they need to replicate and extend their innovations to benefit more lives worldwide."

Additionally, Kristine Pearson, Executive Director of the Freeplay Foundation, received the 2005 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc. Pearson, whose organization received $50,000 as a 2001 Tech Awards laureate, has implemented revolutionary technology solutions that are having a profound impact on millions of people in Africa and around the world. To date, almost 100,000 of Freeplay's wind-up and solar-powered Lifeline radios are being used by an estimated 2 million villagers in 20 countries, mostly in Africa.

The gala, attended by over 1,100 global technology leaders, philanthropists and guests, honored 25 laureates in the categories of environment, economic development, education, equality and health. The laureates traveled to Silicon Valley from the 9 countries they represent for a week of meetings with potential funders and partners, various speaking engagements, and the black-tie gala.

This year, more than 580 nominations were received, representing 80 countries. The 25 laureates come from Brazil, Canada, Cuba, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The work for which they are honored impacts people in 115 countries around the world. Nominations for the 2006 Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity are now open. For more information and nomination forms, visit

About The Tech Museum Awards
Annually, The Tech Museum Awards honor individuals, for-profit, public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who apply technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health. The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which finds that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Tech Museum Awards were inaugurated in 2001. To date, $1 million in prize money has been disbursed and 100 Laureates recognized for their pioneering work to benefit society through the use and/or development of new technologies.

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. Judges for the five categories are recruited from research institutions, industry and the public sector around the world.

The Tech Museum Awards Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Applied Materials, Inc. is the presenting sponsor of The Tech Awards. Award sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation, Knight Ridder, and Applied Materials.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech, 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 innovator in everyone. For more information, visit or call (408) 294-TECH.

Tony Santos, The Tech Museum, 408-796-6226;
Theresa Chavez, Ketchum Public Relations, 415-984-6138;