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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, November 15, 2006, Vol. 7, No. 5

Annual Tech Museum Awards honor five global innovators

undefinedphoto_spacerEstablished in 2001, the Tech Museum Awards recognizes 25 laureates in five categories: Environment, Economic Development, Education, Health, and Equality. These 25 laureates have developed, or are currently developing, innovative ways of using technology to solve global challenges and benefit humanity. One laureate in each category will receive a $50,000 cash prize, announced at a Nov. 15 gala dinner, to be held at the museum and hosted by NFL legend Steve Young, who is a member of the Tech Museum’s Board of Directors.

In addition to the 25 laureates being honored, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be presented with the 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials.

“The Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials Inc., are an incredibly important way to call attention to some of the most meaningful innovations in science and technology in the world, and to the often unsung heroes behind them,” said Peter Friess, president of the Tech Museum. “The laureates who we honor serve as great role models to future generations of inventors and engineers, and their work reminds us that innovation can be applied in profound ways to benefit humanity and the world.”

This year’s laureates span the globe, from Nigeria, India, Tanzania, and Eritrea, to the California communities of Richmond, Mountain View, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz. In addition, several themes emerged from this year’s entries, as multiple projects were submitted to address the issues of water shortages in developing countries; technologies for assisted living; and the environmental and economic challenges facing impoverished African and South American communities.

James Koch, executive director of the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, said, “Each year’s award submissions give us a glimpse at global trends and issues that we might not have had insight into otherwise.”

Koch further noted that the prevalence of East/West alliances between Europe, North America, and Asia have been replaced with North/South alliances linking developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere and developing nations of the Southern Hemisphere. The Tech Museum Awards represents a collaborative effort among educational institutions and businesses. Silicon Valley leaders supporting

The Tech Museum Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials and Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Award category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation and The Swanson Foundation. Awards Laureates can be individuals, private companies, and non-profit organizations.

The 2006 Tech Museum Awards Laureates are:

2006 Intel Environment Award

  1. Debesai Ghebrehiwet Andegiosgish, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Energy Research and Training Center of Asmara, Eritrea, for his Improved Stoves Project.
  2. Joachim Ibeziako Ezeji, Rural Africa Water Development Project of Owerri, Nigeria, for creating Mor-Sand Filters for Oil Producing Communities.
  3. FogQuest: Sustainable Water Solutions of British Columbia, Canada, for its Fog Collection Technology that converts fog into drinking water for use in arid, rural regions of developing countries.
  4. MBA Polymers Inc. of Richmond, Calif., for developing an advanced, energy-efficient plastics recycling process.
  5. Seawater Greenhouse Ltd. of London, for its development of a seawater distillation process that allows crops to be cultivated in arid, coastal regions.

2006 Accenture Economic Development Award

  1. Mohammed Bah Abba of Mobah Rural Horizons of Kano, Nigeria, for developing a desert refrigerator powered by evaporative energy for use in homes without electricity.
  2. Center for Development of Disadvantaged People of Chennai, India, for its creation of a water purification system that uses materials, such as indigenous plants, found easily in impoverished areas of India.
  3. The Global Connection Project Team (composed of members from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; Google Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.; and NASA Ames Research Center of Moffett Field, Calif.) for the development of software tools enabling the rapid overlay of high-resolution aerial photographs and satellite imagery onto an earth image browser (Google Earth), providing disaster responders with more accurate and up-to-date information to facilitate damage assessment and recovery efforts.
  4. IESC Geekcorps of Washington, D.C., for its development of a PC that uses little power and can be used in rugged desert conditions.
  5. Synergo of Tucson, Ariz., for its development of a Backstrap Weavers’ Ergonomic Bench for use by weavers in Guatemala.

2006 Microsoft Education Award

  1. Arrow Network Systems Ltd. of Accra, Ghana, for its Javelin (Just Another Very Easy Link Into the ‘Net) project, which provides Internet connectivity to rural schools in Africa.
  2. Campus School EagleEyes of Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., for its assistive technology that helps people with severe physical disabilities and communication disorders operate a computer by moving his or her eyes.
  3. Connexions of Rice University in Houston, for its free, Web-based educational resource that allows individuals to post learning material that can be manipulated and shared by users.
  4. Internet Archive of San Francisco, for building an Internet library with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections in a digital format.
  5. Dominic Massaro, University of California, Santa Cruz, for developing Baldi, a computer-animated language tutor for persons with autism and those who are hard of hearing.

2006 Agilent Technologies Foundation Health Award

  1. Ecovec of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for its development of a faster and more accurate system for monitoring and mapping populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitos to reduce dengue infections, which afflicts 20 million people per year around the world.
  2. Medical Missions for Children (Global Telemedicine and Teaching Network) of Paterson, N.J., for providing videoconference consultations to hospitals around the world and distributing medical educational content via Internet and satellite broadcast.
  3. PointCare Technologies of Marlborough, Mass., for its streamlined, inexpensive CD4 cell counter that provides HIV/AIDS monitoring for clinics in resource-poor settings.
  4. Riders for Health of Daventry, United Kingdom, for mobilizing health-care personnel in rural African villages by supplying 1,200 specially outfitted motorcycles as well as a transportation infrastructure that includes trained mechanics to support the vehicles.
  5. Sumitomo Chemical Co. of Tokyo for its Olyset long-lasting mosquito bed net for malaria protection.

2006 Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award

  1. America’s Second Harvest—The Nation’s Food Bank Network of Chicago, for its Choice System Internet application that allows members of the Second Harvest Food Bank Network to receive shares and bid in more efficient ways for the food they need and want.
  2. Catalytic Communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for creating a database of community organizations with experience in dealing with problems common to many low-income populations throughout the world.
  3. Daniel K. Davies of AbleLink Technologies Inc. of Colorado Springs, Colo., for pioneering information technology to help cognitively disabled persons take part in everyday activities, career development, and independent living.
  4. K-NFB Reading Technology Inc. of Wellesley Hills, Mass., for the Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader, a PDA-format reading machine that allows everyday items such as clothing labels, ATM screens, menus, and signs to be read by the blind.
  5. Video Volunteers of New York City, for bringing Community Video Units to economically disadvantaged countries to broaden the impact for social change.

For more information about the Tech Museum Awards, visit