Award 2012

The “empowering people. Award” aims to identify simple and appropriate technological innovations and make them visible and accessible to everyone. On this site you will find all information on this innovation Award: the categories, how to enter, who is eligible to apply, what you can win, who will sit on the judging panel, as well as details on the winning entries from the previous Award.

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The Award

Since the launch of the competition at the UN Summit for Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, inventors and developers around the world were called upon to submit their tested, simple tech innovations in seven crucial supply categories: food & agriculture, information & communication technology, energy, water supply & waste water treatment, healthcare, water & recycling and housing & construction.
Following the deadline for the entries on January 31st 2013, over 800 qualified inventions from 90 countries had been submitted to the innovation award. The most appropriate and evaluated solutions are showcased in a growing Solutions Database.

Technologies for Basic Needs

Siemens Stiftung initiated this worldwide innovation award in order to identify appropriate technical solutions for developmental activities. The combination of technological innovations and entrepreneurial approaches are viewed as the key driver for the improvement of living conditions in emerging countries. The aim of the innovation Award and of the "empowering people. Network" is therefore to connect innovations for basic supply problems in developing countries with potential partners, investors and other key players in development work.

Our Partners

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The Jury

The Award was supported by renowned experts from the fields of science, philanthropy and developmental work. We are happy to also welcome them to our emerging "empowering people. Network".

Meet our Jury

The Community Prize

The consistently growing “empowering people. Community” encompasses people from all over the world who are interested and often personally engaged in development and innovation topics. When the shortlist of our 23 winning solutions went online, they had the opportunity to choose the fourth winner of the competition by voting for their personal favorite: Gregor Schapers from Trinysol in Mexico won the Community Prize for his solution Solar Reflectors. It can be used to bake, cook, or fry food, as well as to generate steam. Schapers received funding for freely selectable technical equipment to the value of 3,000 Euro to support his project.

Evaluation Criteria

  • 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
  • Environment performance, if applicable to solutions


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empowering people. Award

Entries per Country