From Mobile Phone Science to Solar Powered Hearing Aids, The Tech Awards Laureates Vie for Big Money

tech award laureates

The Tech Museum of San Jose has announced The Tech Awards Laureates 2009, 15 innovators from around the world who have committed their groundbreaking work to solving humanity's most pressing challenges. Since 2001, The Tech Awards has recognized innovators and activists in five categories: environment, economic development, education, equality, and health. From solar powered hearing aids to using slaughterhouse waste to purify water, click through to see what applicants have made the cut for projects working to benefit the environment.

Out of 650 applicants from 66 countries, only these few have made the cut. One applicant from each category will win a $50,000 cash prize.

Among the categories is the Intel Environment Award. The finalists for this category include:

Dr. Joseph Adelegan, Cows to Kilowatts (Nigeria): Slaughterhouse waste is one of the most significant sources of water pollution and greenhouse gases 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 this organic waste into methane that can be used to generate electricity or as inexpensive cooking gas.

GRUPEDSAC (Grupo para Promover la Educación y el Desarrollo Sustentable), Eco-techniques Toolkits for Self-Sufficiency (Mexico): Poor quality of life in rural Mexico includes loss of soil fertility, lack of access to clean water, adequate shelter, nutrition, and health resources. Customizable Eco-techniques Toolkits for Self-Sufficiency combine old and new sustainable technologies-from cisterns to solar ovens-to fit the needs of each community.

Sean White, Electronic Field Guide (USA): Plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate; mobile identification, classification, and data collection of plant species may aid in conservation and cataloguing. The Electronic Field Guide uses photos to identify leaves with mobile, hand-held and augmented reality visualization of information.

Other categories include the Biosciences Development Award, which includes the Alternative Energy Development Corp. (AEDC) and their project promoting Alternative Energy for Empowerment, Solar Ear, promoting solar powered affordable hearing aids, and Driptech for appropriate and affordable irrigation solutions; the Microsoft Education Award; the Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award; the Nokia Health Award; and the The Global Humanitarian Award is sponsored by Applied Materials.

Each category has some facinating projects, all deserving of a financial boost, and all definitely deserving of the recognition they'll receive as a Tech Award Laureate.

"With all that is going on in the United States it is easy to forget that much of the world is still without power, lighting and access to quality, or sometimes to any, healthcare and education." said Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. "This year's laureates remind us that through creativity, entrepreneurship and determination, individuals and small groups can have a powerful impact and bring innovative solutions to the world's most immediate problems."

We'll keep you updated and let you know who the winner is when they're announced in November. Meanwhile, check out more about the nominees at the Tech Awards website.

More on Environmental Award Winners
Society of Environmental Journalists Announces 2008-2009 Award Winners
Goldman Environmental Prize Winners Take the Stage in San Francisco (video)
Bonnaroo Festival Given Outstanding Green Festival Award, No Word on if Acid Flashbacks are Eco-Friendly

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