The global spotlight shone on Silicon Valley as more than a dozen international "techmanitarians" unveiled their life-changing innovations for a Who's Who of the world's foremost technology companies, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropists.
The Tech Awards laureates, 15 of the world's brightest technology innovators, took center stage Thursday during The Tech Awards Showcase at Santa Clara University for a public exhibition of the new devices, machines and techniques that are being used to improve the lives of millions of people in every corner of the globe. Among the pioneering projects: a needle-free vaccination injection system, a mobile phone employment service, and a global online network to share water solutions and approaches in an open peer-review process.
"I am convinced that technology serves a critical role in ending the challenging global issues of the day," Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum, said. "The Tech Awards laureates who, by combining a great idea with an untiring commitment to help others, serve as inspiration to transform and, in some cases, actually save human lives the world over."
The showcase caps a week of specialized business training and networking with leading Silicon Valley tech companies and serves as a prelude to The Tech Awards, a black-tie gala celebrating the laureates at the Santa Clara Convention Center on November 6. Another of the honored guests that evening will be Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Queen Rania, a world-renowned human rights and education advocate, is the recipient of this year's James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.
The Tech Awards Presented by Applied Materials is a signature program of The Tech Museum in association with Santa Clara University. The renowned program started in 2001 with the hope of unleashing the potential of technological innovation into concrete solutions for a better world.
"Applied Materials is committed to making positive change in helping give people around the globe a better standard of life", said Mark Walker, Managing Director, Global Community Affairs, Applied Materials. "We believe that The Tech Awards provides a wonderful opportunity to shine a bright light on the innovative spirit in all of us that can be a catalyst for change in improving lives in developing and underserved areas of the world."
The Tech Awards laureates 2010 represent regions as diverse as the Netherlands, Brazil, India, United Kingdom, Philippines and the United States. Their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide. This year's laureates were selected from more than 1,000 nominations sourced largely by The Tech Museum's program partner, SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), an interdisciplinary center focused on promoting the use of science and technology to benefit underserved communities worldwide.
During the week, the CSTS introduced The Tech Awards laureates to techniques from the Center's signature Global Social Benefit Incubator program, which enable social entrepreneurs to build sustainable business models and raise funding. The laureates were also part of a unique conference designed to help humanitarian groups and enterprises improve the social benefit of their technological innovations.
"Taking technology innovations for social benefit to scale commensurate with the level of issues faced by the peoples of our planet requires an ecosystem," said Dr. Thane Kreiner, Executive Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. "It was our honor and privilege to bring together NetHope's network of more than 30 of the world's leading humanitarian organizations with the amazing Tech Awards laureates 2010 in one historic conference."
Dr. Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum, (left), looks on as Suresh Subramanian, Chief Operating Officer of IDEI, demonstrates a Treadle Pump, a water-lifting device that can irrigate small plots of land.
For more information about The Tech Awards, visit: www.thetech.org
Director Public Relations
The Tech Museum
Ogilvy Public Relations
Asst. Director Media Relations
Santa Clara University
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, 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 Spirit of Silicon Valley by providing science and technology experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought and inspire action.