The Siemens Stiftung has initiated a worldwide competition to identify and present appropriate technical solutions for developmental activities. Held to directly bring together technical innovations for basic supply problems in developing countries, these innovations should be implemented with the resources at hand in the regions. The project also aims to build up a database of inventions that is accessible to actors in developmental cooperation at a later date.

Application deadline for the "empowering people. Award" 2012: 31st December 2012

Information on the award: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Blog.


The aim[edit | edit source]

The aim of the competition is twofold: Firstly, identify winning solutions that can be further advanced with the developer and have them implemented on site. Secondly, these innovations will be prominently showcased in a central database on the website as soon as the competition is closed and the entries have been evaluated. All intellectual properties will remain with the developer/developing team, however, the platform is an ideal opportunity for all the entrants involved to network and further evolve products and solutions if they so wish. Cooperation development organizations, NGOs and institutions may also approach inventors to further their products.

Applicants[edit | edit source]

The “empowering people. Award” is addressed to individuals, teams, organizations or enterprises from any region in the world. Solutions entered have to already be in use or a feasibility study of the prototype has to be made available. All intellectual properties will remain with the developer/developing team. Submitting enterprises should fulfill the following criteria:

  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which have the potential of social impact for people in developing and emerging countries.
  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which are already successfully implemented to improve basic supply in developing or emerging countries.
  • The enterprise has a strong focus on job creation.
  • The enterprise follows values such as fairness, social responsibility and self-sustainability.
  • The enterprise is not a microfinance institution, private equity fund or deposit taking institution.

Categories[edit | edit source]

Entries can be submitted in the following categories: Water & Waste Water, Engergy, Food and Agriculture, Waste Management and Recycling, Healthcare, Housing & Construction and Information & Communication Technology. You can get further information on the categories on the website.

  • Water & Waste Water: The entries should enable individuals or communities to create, maintain and manage their water supply and/or their waste water treatment. Entries can range from less complex solutions such as a clay water filter to solutions such as UV Waterworks which uses ultraviolet light to quickly, safely, and cheaply disinfect water of the viruses and bacteria that cause severe diseases.
  • Energy: Energy is crucial for the use of most technologies. Entries could vary from simple energy supply for a single machine or a few households up to regenerative solutions for an entire community. Sustainable energy (provided by solar, water, wind, or other sources) could be used for mobility, electricity, cooking, heating, manufacturing etc.
  • Food & Agriculture: Technology can considerably improve the harvest, even in regions with poor soil or difficult climate. Submitted products should help people get the most out of the soil and, at the same time, save on resources. Products and solution for the processing and distribution of food is also an important factor in this category.
  • Waste Management & Recycling: The Siemens Stiftung is looking for solutions with lasting impact on the improvement of solid waste management. The scope ranges from solutions for composting and anaerobic digestion to different recycling approaches. The solutions submitted can make new value chains a reality.
  • Healthcare: The scope of entries may reach from sanitation infrastructure to simple instruments for medical use. Also required are e-health solutions or technologies to educate individuals or communities on the subjects of health and nutrition.
  • Housing & Construction: This category encompasses materials and methods for the construction and the heating or cooling of houses in urban and rural zones. Products for cooking or other devices for everyday family life may also be submitted.
  • Information & Communication Technology: Information and communication technology, even on a relatively low level, can dramatically improve living conditions. We are looking for entries that help to build up communities, implement alerts, improve the market overview, and support communication in rural regions.

Prizes[edit | edit source]

The Siemens Stiftung has a total of 200,000 EUR at its disposal to be awarded to the best 23 entries.The prizes will be allocated as follows:

  • 1st Prize EUR 50,000.00
  • 2nd Prize EUR 30,000.00
  • 3rd Prize EUR 20,000.00
  • 20 runners up EUR 5,000.00 (each)

All nominees are requested to attend an Awards Ceremony where they have the opportunity to meet representatives from the world of politics, science, media and technology.

Evaluation Criteria[edit | edit source]

  • Potential of the approach in making a contribution to solve basic supply problems
  • Technical feasibility considering resource demand, functionality and reliability in local conditions
  • Social Business concept with view to job creation and replicability
  • Sustainability of business in view of financial aspects
  • Environmental performance, if applicable to solution

All entries will be evaluated by experienced specialists in the fields of technology and development cooperation.

Partners[edit | edit source]

The German KfW (business area development bank), the Helmholtz Association and the AT-Association are accompanying this project and contributing their expertise.

The organizer[edit | edit source]

The Siemens Stiftung, organizing, funding and carrying out the competition, wants to empower people to actively address today’s social challenges and is dedicated to the values of Werner von Siemens. Together with partners, the foundation designs and implements local and international projects with the aim of promoting individual responsibility and self-initiative. The foundation is committed to enlarging basic services and social entrepreneurship, promoting education and strengthening culture. The Siemens Stiftung pursues an integrative approach and stands for responsible, impact-oriented and innovative project work.

External links[edit | edit source]

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