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Annual Tech Museum awards honor five global innovators with $250,000

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2004 – Five little known innovators, who used technology to improve the lives of people around the world, were awarded $50,000 each for their efforts on Wednesday Nov. 10 at the fourth annual Tech Museum Awards.

The winners were picked by a panel of judges assembled by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society.

Presented by Applied Materials, the Tech Museum in San Jose and Santa Clara University, the Tech Awards recognize the need to bridge existing technology in emerging countries with technologies in developed countries. The Awards honor individuals and organizations from around the world who apply technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health 

The 2004 Tech Museum Awards cash prize recipients were:

  • Dr. Kenneth Owens, Jr. and Paul Burgess of Humboldt State University received the Intel Environment Award for developing remote-controlled, GPS-enabled robots to seek and destroy landmines.
  • International Development Enterprises - International received the Accenture Economic Development Award for Easy Drip, an affordable and low-waste micro-irrigation kit for poor rural farmers.
  • Andrew Lieberman of Asociacion Ajb'atz' Enlace Quiche received the Microsoft Education Award for developing low-cost, bilingual, intercultural technology centers for indigenous Guatemalans.
  • Rodrigo Baggio of the Committee for the Democratization of Information Technology received the Agilent Technologies Equality Award for leveraging Information & Communication Technology to promote social inclusion of less-privileged people.
  • Dr. Ashok Gadgil of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory received the Affymetrix Health Award for UV Waterworks, a quick, low-cost system to disinfect drinking water in poor regions around the world.

The awards drew more than 580 nominations from 80 countries. The laureates represent a global community from locations including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Guatemala, Nepal, Nigeria, Singapore, the United States, and Uruguay. Work done by the laureates can be seen in virtually all of the world's continents.

"The entrepreneurial spirit and rapid development of technology that characterizes the best of Silicon Valley is propagated through this program to the cause of social justice," said Geof Bowker, executive director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at SCU. "The awards program brings together grass roots innovators and entrepreneurs with university faculty to support innovation that improves lives across the world. As a Jesuit university in silicon valley our goal is to promote the use of technology to improve lives."

In addition to the five SCU faculty chairs, the judges are comprised of another 10 SCU faculty, plus CEOs and senior executives from some of the world's largest multinational corporations and thought leaders from research institutions and the public sector. This summer, these panels again reviewed more than 580 nominations, and selected the 25 Laureates.

For more information about the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, call 408-551-1785, or see

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 solve the most critical global challenges. The Awards were inaugurated in 2001. For more information, visit

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. Judges for the five categories are recruited from research institutions, industry and the public sector around the world.

The Tech Museum Awards Partners

Key supporters of The Tech Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials, Inc., Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society, the United Nations Development Programme and The World Bank Institute. Category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies, and Affymetrix Inc.

About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society

The Center for Science, Technology and Society (CSTS) is one of four Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. The center seeks to foster a global network of scholars, practitioners and leaders to better understand the social dimensions of technological change and the potential for science and technology to create sustainable legacies for society. CSTS is a global network of academic and industry experts that promotes dialogue and studies issues related to the influence of new technologies on social and economic development, innovation and organizational change, and law and public policy.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,047 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the second-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.  More information is online at



<p>The annual Tech Museum Awards encourage innovation to improve lives.</p>

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