Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore today received the 2009 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award given by The Tech Museum as part of its international program, The Tech Awards.
Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards celebrates the power of technology to address global challenges in the environment, economic development, education, equality and health. The Global Humanitarian Award, also sponsored by Applied Materials, honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help to build a just, humane and sustainable world. The award was inspired by company Chairman Emeritus James Morgan's belief that technology can be a tool to turn ideas into solutions for a better world. Gore was selected for his international work on environmental affairs - in particular, raising global awareness of climate change.
During the formal gala at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 15 innovators from around the world were also recognized for applying technology in practical ways to benefit humanity around the globe. Five were awarded $50,000 cash prizes during the ceremony before a capacity crowd of more than 1,500 people, including Silicon Valley industry giants, philanthropists and political leaders.
"The Laureates' awe-inspiring innovations are a powerful incentive for us to consider our individual responsibility to contribute to positive change around the world," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. "Tonight we have seen what happens when we harness the very best of ourselves with the express purpose of developing innovative ideas for a more promising future."
Since The Tech Awards was founded nine years ago, Applied Materials has partnered with The Tech Museum to celebrate the awardees' extraordinary inventions and to bring increased visibility to their efforts.
"This is Silicon Valley's best night of the year as we celebrate and support the amazing teams and individuals who are using technology to address our planet's greatest challenges with vision, impact, creativity and passion," said Mike Splinter, CEO and Chairman of Applied Materials. "The real winners tonight are the millions of people around the world who are directly benefiting from the work of The Tech Awards Laureates and whose lives are changed for the better."
The Tech Awards 2009 cash prize recipients are:
Intel Environment Award
Cows to Kilowatts, Dr. Joseph Adelegan:
Slaughterhouse waste is one of the most significant sources of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in most developing economies. The anaerobic fixed film reactor used in the Cows to Kilowatts project decontaminates the waste stream from slaughterhouses and turns organic waste into methane that can be used to generate electricity or as inexpensive cooking gas.
BD Biosciences Economic Development Award
Alternative Energy for Empowerment Alternative Energy Development Corp:
Fuel cell largely avoids the lead-acid waste of solar or wind installation batteries. Inexpensive, zinc-air fuel cells can be used in port communities lacking access to grid power. Fuel cell anodes can be removed manually in about 15 minutes and zinc oxide waste recycled as fertilizer. www.aedc.co.za
Microsoft Education Award
School Meals Program, Akshaya Patra Foundation:
High quality, calorically dense meals are key to the education process in poverty stricken areas. The School Meals Program uses integrated and adapted high-performance kitchen technology and a cost-effective food delivery system to serve millions of Indian children a nutritious daily meal. http://www.foodforeducation.org/
The Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award
Fair Wage Guide Software, World of Good Development Organization:
Handicraft workers around the world are generally paid per piece, often at low hourly rates. The Fair Trade Calculator software provides localized pricing evaluation of handmade goods to improve wages of informal workers. The free web-based platform determines localized price analysis of wages paid to artisans in comparison to international living wage standards.
Nokia Health Award
Ultra Rice PATH:
More than a billion people in developing nations suffer from dietary deficiencies in crucial micronutrients, including iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin A. Ultra Rice is an inexpensive, nutrient-fortified additive to standard rice, tailored to satisfy deficiencies common in the region where it is distributed. http://www.path.org/projects/ultra_rice.php
The Global Humanitarian Award is sponsored by Applied Materials. A major corporation or foundation sponsors each of the five awards categories: Environment (Intel), Economic Development (BD Biosciences), Education (Microsoft), Equality (Swanson Foundation), and Health (Nokia). Other major sponsors include Polycom, SAP, Genentech and KPMG.
Additional sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Santa Clara University's Center for Science Technology, and Society, Wells Fargo, Google, eBay, Qatalyst Partners and Accenture. Partners include World Federation of United Nations Associations, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank Institute, Catholic Relief Services, National Center for Technology, The CORE Group, Opportunity.org, Acumen Fund, NetHope, Ashoka Foundation, Schwab Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Global Giving, Lex Mundi, Social Enterprise Alliance, American Airlines, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, The Fairmont San Jose, The Sainte Claire Hotel, The Hilton Hotel San Jose, The Crown Plaza Hotel, NBC Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News, Forbes, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Blue Planet Run Foundation and Bain & Company.
For more information about The Tech Awards, visit www.techawards.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 educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs such as The Tech Challenge, 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.
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