Channeling Innovation to Benefit Humanity

Channeling Innovation to Benefit Humanity

It would be tough duty to be a judge for the Tech Awards, the annual global technology competition sponsored by Applied Materials. Every one of the laureates, as they call the amazing group of finalists each year, made it through a rigorous judging and application process, lead by Santa Clara University, to the final awards gala in San Jose, California. Every one of them is worthy of an award. And while Al Gore, a commanding name when it comes to working to benefit humanity, was there to receive the James C. Morgan Humanitarian award it really is the laureates who stole the show.

Our own Mike Splinter highlighted how the laureates are “courageous individuals, driven with passion and persistence to channel innovation to benefit humanity. Their success unlocks hope, their determination spurs others to act and for that we are grateful to them all.”

It is worth checking out each project, especially the five winners, but two energy and environment related winners can give you a taste of what was displayed for a sold out crowd of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business leaders, venture capitalist and philanthropists last night.

cows to kilowats
cows to kilowats
Joseph Adelegan — Cows to Kilowatts is a great project with the best name of the night. While you might be thinking the usual bio-waste cattle manure methane energy production, this unusual project takes waste from slaughterhouses (sorry vegetarians) that would normally pollute streams and bring a foul stench to an area and converts it to usable energy in the form of clean methane.

alternative energy
alternative energy
Rolf Papsdorf — Alternative Energy for Empowerment brings 24/7 energy to rural villages in Africa with inexpensive zinc-air fuel cells that store solar energy for use at all times of the day or night is making a big difference. One of many projects that could be replicable all over the world and addresses a fundamental need for rural electrification and clearly demonstrates the feasibility of distributed rural solar electricity without a grid.

A shout out and thank you to CNBC’s Becky Quick who flew out from New York to emcee the event and brought a great level of class and entertainment to the night. Also to the nature photojournalists and photographers who contributed hundreds of amazing environmental photos. A truly great evening, and congratulations to all the laureates and the Tech Museum for another inspiring program, I think everyone left looking forward to next year.

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