Do you have questions about the “empowering people. Award”? See if you can find your answers here.

If you want to have information about the Terms & Conditions click here. You can also find the FAQs in Spanish here...

The Siemens Stiftung is looking for low technological solutions or products with business potential for basic supply problems in developing and emerging countries. The “empowering people. Award” is addressed to any individual, team, organisation or enterprise from any region in the world. The products or solutions have to already be in use. The aim of the competition is twofold: Firstly, identify winning solutions that can be further scaled with the developer and have them implemented on site and secondly have these innovations prominently showcased in a central database on the website www.empowering-people-network.siemens-stiftung.org. All intellectual properties will remain with the developer/developing team. Developmental cooperation organizations and institutions such as the Siemens Stiftung may also approach inventors to further their products.

The “empowering people. Award” is implemented by the Siemens Stiftung.


Siemens Stiftung operates in the fields of basic services, education, and culture. As a hands-on foundation, we develop our own projects and implement them with a view to the long term. Together with our partners, we aim to help people improve their living conditions. By doing so, we try to empower functioning communities in which people can have a good life. We are committed to international, impact-oriented, and transparent project work. The geographical focus of our work is on regions in Africa and Latin America as well as Germany and other European countries.

The “empowering people. Award” is supported by the Global Alliance of Siemens Foundations.

The “empowering people. Award” is addressed to any individual, team, organisation or enterprise from any region in the world as long as they comply with the Terms & Conditions. The AT-Verband and FASE as well as employees of the Siemens Stiftung are not allowed to enter.


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.

All entries will be evaluated according the following criteria:

·         Potential of the approach to making a contribution in solving basic supply problems

·         Technical feasibility considering resource demand, functionality and reliability under local conditions

·         (Social) Business concept with view on job creation and replicability

·         Sustainability of business with view on financial aspects

·         Environmental performance

We are looking for relatively simple, appropriate technical products and solutions in the categories Water & Waste Water, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Waste Management, Healthcare, Sheltering, Education, Information & Communication. These categories have been defined as they depict the areas of basic needs in developing and emerging countries. The entries should be designed to meet these basic needs challenges and enable individuals to access these areas. Each product or solution submitted has to be implemented in a project.

All intellectual properties will remain with the developer/developing team.

The Solutions Database will include the following information: Name of the product, a short technical description of the product or the solution, Background information & social impact,, photos of the product or solution, your name, your mail address, the URL of your website (if available), and a presentation and/or video.

The current Solutions Database can be found on “empowering people. Network” site and makes visible all the evaluated products and solutions entered to the “empowering people Award” held in 2012. Organizations working in the field of developmental cooperation may approach individual developers/teams to implement their product or solution in a certain developing or emerging country.

The Siemens Stiftung will honour the 1st prize-winner with a sum of 50,000 EUR. The second prize is valued at 30,000 EUR, the third at 20,000 EUR and a further 5,000 EUR will be awarded to 20 runners up. A Community Prize will also be awarded with a prize of hardware to the value of 3,000 Euro. 

The winners will further receive promotion on an international scale with global public relations activities ensuring wide visibility. Further support via the “empowering people. Network” will also be offered with valuable insights and connections.

Nominees will be invited to attend an Award Ceremony where they will have the opportunity to present their products and solutions to representatives from the world of politics, NGOs, science, media and technology as well possible business partners and investors.

Online application is possible via this website until 15th January 2016, 12pm EST.

- Launch July 2015: If you are interested in applying to the “empowering people. Award”, you may fill out the application form on this website by January 15, 2016, 12pm (EST).

- By Spring 2016: Pre-evaluation of all entries and creation of a shortlist of potential winners by technical experts.

- Summer 2016: Evaluation of the entries’ shortlist by the jury.

- Fall 2016: Awards ceremony, date and location tbd.

- From Fall 2016: Promotion of the winning products and solution.

Unfortunately not. All submitted applications will be considered as final. The only exception to this rule is if you receive a specific request by the evaluation team to provide further information.

We kindly ask you to submit your application in English or Spanish.

Documents, as requested in the submission form, can be uploaded together with the entry form. Please note that entries exceeding the stipulated file sizes and formats may not be considered.

An expert team will conduct initial screening and identify a shortlist of finalists. Up to 23 winners will be selected by an independent jury. The names of the jurors will be published end of July 2015.

Yes. You may enter if you have a new product or solution you would like to have considered.

Yes. If you have further developed your submission, you may enter it to the competition.

Finalists will be notified by the beginning of July 2016. The contact information you provided in the application form will be used to contact you.

Basic Needs encompass food, including water, shelter and clothing, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare. The Siemens Stiftung views the use of technology in concert with social entrepreneurship to improve quality of life and social structures.