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25 Global Innovators Honored as Tech Museum Awards Finalists

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Sept. 5, 2003- The Tech Museum of Innovation today announced the 25 laureates for the third annual 2003 Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity, based on the decisions of judges assembled by Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society.

At the Oct. 15 black tie awards gala, Silicon Valley leaders and delegates from the United Nations will join together to honor all 25 laureates, and one finalist from each category will be awarded a $50,000 cash honorarium.

The awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., in partnership with the SCU center and the American Council for the United Nations University, are designed to honor individuals, for-profit companies, and public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who are applying technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the categories of education, equality, environment, economic development, and health.

This year an esteemed panel of judges considered more than 500 nominations, representing 70 countries. The 25 laureates are from Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nepal, and the United States.

“The Tech Awards connect the head and the heart of innovation,” said Jim Koch, director of the Center for Science and Technology at SCU. “They show that technology is not an end in itself but a means to bridge the chasm between humanity and cultures that are under served by technological advances.”

“Reflecting the mission of The Tech Museum of Innovation, these awards recognize the innovators who use technology to improve people’s lives,” said Peter Giles, president and chief executive officer of The Tech. “Through these awards, The Tech inspires future scientists, technologists, and social entrepreneurs to harness the incredible power and promise of technology to solve the challenges that confront us at the dawn of the 21st century.”

The center and faculty from the University have since the inception of the event conducted the impartial judging process for the Tech Museum Awards. “Santa Clara University is proud of its leadership role in the judging of the Tech Awards. Our judges were amazed by the courage and vision shown by laureates as they tackle some of the worlds pressing problems,” Koch added. The center assembled five panels of judges from around the world--one for each award category area, and each was again chaired by an SCU faculty member.

The SCU faculty participants were Jim Koch, chair of the judging process; Paul Soukup, S.J., Pedro Hernandez-Ramos, Hans-Peter Dommel, Emile McAnany, Christine Bachen, Neil Quinn, Alex Field, Linda Kamas, Drew Starbird, Dorothy Glancy, Michael Kevane, Ken Manaster, Amy Schachter, Craig Stephens, Leilani Miller, and William Eisinger. For more information about the judging process, contact Jim Koch at 408-551-1789, email or visit

The finalists for the 2003 Tech Museum Awards are:

The NASDAQ Stock Market Award for Education: Delivering technology applications that work to remove barriers to education such as computer and Internet access, infrastructure problems, language, and poverty.

  • Computers for Youth, New York, United States
    Equal Access, San Francisco, United States
    Brij Kothari, Indian Institute of Management–Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
    Alexander E. MacDonald, NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory, Boulder, United States
    Omar Dengo Foundation, San Jose, Costa Rica

Knight Ridder Equality Award: Using technology to combat human rights violations, and improve the local democratic process.

  • The Benetech Initiative, Palo Alto, United States
    The Boston Foundation, Boston, United States
    League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, Cupertino, United States
    Radio News Agency 68H, Jakarta, Indonesia
    WITNESS, New York, United States

Intel Environment Award: Developing or using technologies that conserve and protect our planet’s ecosystems.

  • Environmental Defense, Oakland, United States
    Iftekhar Enayetullah and A.H.Md. Maqsood Sinha, Waste Concern, Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Imbibitive Technologies America, Inc. St. Catherines, Canada
    INBio (National Diversity Institute), Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica
    James Spinhirne, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Branch, Greenbelt, United States

Accenture Economic Development Award: Providing innovative technology solutions to overcome significant barriers to economic development in non-industrial countries.

  • Bombas de Mecate S. A., Managua, Nicaragua
    EcoSystem Pvt. Ltd., Lalitpur, Nepal
    Gram Vikas, Berhampur, India
    Grupo Sofonias, Jinotepe, Nicaragua
    Lee Felsenstein—Jhai Foundation, Palo Alto, United States

Health Award: Applying effective surgical techniques, vaccination programs, drug development strategies and human genome-based information to improve the safety of health care in marginalized communities and the rest of the world.

  • AfriAfya, Nairobi, Kenya
    Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, UCSC Baskin School of Engineering Santa Cruz, United States
    Institute for One World Health, San Francisco, United States
    PATH (Program for Appropriate Technologies in Health), Seattle, United States
    The Smile Train, New York, United States

About The Tech Museum Awards
The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future at the Millennium report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The awards were inaugurated in 2001.

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. They assembled five panels of judges from around the world, recruited from research institutions, industry, and the public sector, who judged the nominations on five set criteria.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Awards Partners
The Tech Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Among Silicon Valley’s leaders supporting The Tech Awards are presenting sponsor, Applied Materials, Inc., Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society, and Hewlett-Packard. Category sponsors are The NASDAQ Stock Market, Knight Ridder, Intel, and Accenture.

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.

About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
The Center for Science, Technology, and Society fosters interdisciplinary inquiry into the societal implications of technological change. The Center links the Silicon Valley to Santa Clara University and fosters rich dialogue among thought leaders on how the potential benefits of technology can serve all of humanity. This goal is highlighted through the Center’s partnership with the Tech Museum and the American Council for The United Nations University for the annual Technology Benefiting Humanity Awards.  Additional information about the Center may be found at

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all
U.S. masters ’ universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at



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