November 2012

"Techmanitarians" Being Honored at The Tech Awards Nov. 15, to Participate in Business-Building Workshops at Santa Clara University

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012— Each year, nearly four million newborn babies never live past their first days – all for lack of warmth.

At least a billion people globally have limited or no access to clean water. And while almost half the world’s population cooks with wood or other biomass fuels, indoor-air pollution generated by cooking fires contributes to the premature deaths of nearly two million people annually.

Enter the “techmanitarians” – a dozen international innovators who toil with unequaled resolve to eliminate these and other persistent global challenges.  Their noble achievements will be recognized Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Santa Clara Convention Center during Silicon Valley's leading awards program, The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.

This year, two cash prizes will be awarded - $75,000 and $25,000 - in each of six of The Tech Awards categories: Intel Environment Award; Microsoft Education Award; The Swanson Foundation Young Innovator Award; Nokia Health Award; Flextronics Economic Development Award, and The Sustainable Energy Award. 

The Tech Awards laureates 2012 represent regions as diverse as Africa, India, South America and the United States. Their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide. 

During their week-long stay in Silicon Valley, the laureates are engaged in specialized business and media training, networking with leading tech companies and venture capitalists, as well as learning about the experiences of fellow laureates.

As part of Santa Clara University's ongoing partnership with The Tech Awards, through the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), several workshops will be hosted by CSTS to build the business capacity of the laureates. CSTS is hosting a "speed-pitch" workshop where the laureates will have one minute to make their elevator pitch to each impact investor in the room as a way to provide real-world feedback from those who matter most, investors. After the "speed-pitch" more advanced discussion about investment models for social enterprises and non-profits will be led by John Kohler, director of impact capital for CSTS.

The night of the Gala, CSTS will also provide profiles of each of the laureates for guests of the Gala and the general public which encapsulate 3 months of direct work with the laureates to develop a marketing piece that can be used for fundraising as well.

Since the inception of The Tech Awards program in 2001, 257 laureates have been recognized. Their pioneering work has included designing earthquake-resistant construction technology to creating a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunizations to building a simple, low-cost, mobile phone-based device that allows remote monitoring and operation of irrigation pumps.

As part of The Tech Awards, Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy, will be honored with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award sponsored by Applied Materials. This award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help to alleviate humanity's greatest challenges. Murthy founded tech services giant Infosys Limited along with six colleagues and went on to become one of India’s most influential advocates for health care and rural development.

More on The Tech Awards can be found at

Applications are now being accepted for next year's laureates.