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Top 23 finalists of the empowering people. Award announced – online voting for the Community Prize is open

Munich | August 16, 2016

Two expert teams specializing in appropriate technologies for development and social entrepreneurship evaluated more than 800 entries and have selected the 23 finalists. The online votes will now determine the winner of an additional Community Prize who will be announced in October along with the top three winners at the Award Ceremony in Berlin.

Key criteria in the rigorous examination process included potential social impact, technical feasibility, functionality and reliability in local conditions as well as the potential for financial sustainability. “The two expert teams had a hard time choosing the 23 finalists as we received fascinating entries from all over the world,” said Rolf Huber, Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung. “We are now eager to hear the assessment of our international community of engaged activists. They are invited to vote for the solution they believe can empower people where it counts most."

Three top winners, selected by an international jury, will be presented with prizes of €50,000, €30,000 and €20,000 respectively at the Award Ceremony in Berlin. The 20 runners-up will receive €5,000 Prize money each. The winner of the Community Prize will be awarded hardware to the value of €3,000. Award winners and other promising entrants will be invited to join the empowering people. Network, a Siemens Stiftung initiative that offers on- and offline activities tailored to the specific needs of these ventures as they proceed to scale, replicate, increase capacity and develop viable internal structures.

The shortlisted projects can be reviewed and a personal favorite project can be chosen online


The shortlisted finalists are as follows:

Barsha Pump (Netherlands)

Developed to provide a sustainable irrigation solution to farmers across the world, Barsha utilizes the energy from the flow of rivers and canals to pump water without requiring any fuel or electricity to be operated. The water can then be used to flood fields or be pumped to a reservoir to couple with an irrigation system such as a sprinkler.

Bempu Hypothermia Alert Bracelet (India)

Bempu has developed a temperature monitoring wristband for newborns, which intuitively alerts a parent if the baby’s temperature drops and the baby becomes hypothermic. As it requires no training to use, it is ideal for implementation by uneducated parents as the alert system is clear.

Breezergy Micro Wind Turbine (Germany)

An innovative, reliable micro wind turbine consisting of just two parts, which is light, yet robust and easy to use and install. Providing sufficient output for a small household, it is ideal for off-grid areas.

Café Compadre (Peru)

Designed in Peru, Café Compadre roasts coffee beans using sunlight. The technology concentrates the sunrays on one focal point and can roast 1 kg of coffee beans in 15–25 minutes requiring a fraction of energy of conventional devices.

Ennota (Egypt)

Devised for use in the MENA region, this app is a financial management tool helping to empower owner of small businesses in developing countries to grow. Providing a financial overview, this integrated education in finance enables users to advance their knowledge.

Evaptainer (USA)

These evaporation coolers provide electricity-free mobile refrigeration. Used for keeping small harvests cooled before being taken to market, and operating on the same principle as a “Zeer Pot”, this innovation is sturdier than its traditional counterpart.

Garbage Clinical Insurance (Indonesia)

A micro health insurance program utilizing recyclable waste as a financial resource. This integral solution allows a community to pay for clinical services by using garbage as payment to a health insurance scheme.

GiftedMom (Cameroon)

This social enterprise improves maternal health with last mile mobile technologies. Combining SMS/voice reminders with curative GPS-integrated tricycle solutions, the project aims to end preventable maternal and infant deaths.

GravityLight (UK)

GravityLight provides instant light and powers a string of up to four ancillary SatLights for use around the home. Powered by lifting weights, the device does not need batteries or sunlight providing a clean, safe and affordable alternative to kerosene lamps in off-grid areas.

GRIS water saving system (Hungary/Brazil)

This set of water-containers can be laid on the bathroom floor under the shower capturing water from the showerhead, a person’s body and from the wall whilst showering. The collected water stored in these containers can be reused, for example, in toilet-flushing, cleaning, or watering the garden.

Groasis Technology (Jordan)

Groasis Technology is an integrated technology that allows the planting of trees in degraded ecosystems. A 20-litre box planted around a seedling, collects dew and enough rainwater to sustain the plant while it grows.

io solar power system (UK)

The system provides a new way to make solar power more affordable for rural, off-grid households. With a small investment in a basic io solar power module, users can scale-up the size of their system adding power and functionality at their own pace. When several are joined, they synergise to create a full-size system.

Library for All (USA)

Library For All aims at providing children in developing countries access to educational materials with a cloud-based library of e-books. Designed specifically for low-bandwidth environments, the Library is scalable, and responsive to the needs of educators and children in the regions.

Maps G110 (USA)

The MAPS G110 is a utility vehicle designed to meet the needs of farmers and agriculture businesses. Able to drive on rough terrains, it aids farmers to get food to markets before it spoils and can also power attachments like food processors and water pumps.

Mellowcabs (South Africa)

Mellowcabs manufacture and operate three-wheeled, electric mini-cabs to provide low cost, eco-friendly and convenient taxi and transport services in built-up cities. A flexible solar panel in the roof can also generate up to 35% of the cab’s power.

Multi-Crop Thresher (Tanzania)

The Multi-Crop Thresher is an agricultural product that can thresh various types of crops such as maize and rice in just one machine. This is a cleaner agricultural product that can be used more efficiently reducing the amount of hard labor.

Pearltect (Netherlands)

Pearltect is designed as a self-defence product helping women to protect themselves. Worn as a bracelet, it contains a breakable capsule (the pearl) filled with an unpleasant odoriferous substance to repel, and DNA dye to mark the attacker.

Pocket FM (Germany)

Pocket FM is a broadcasting system, which serves as an interface between internet and radio. The device has been adapted to situations and regions where communication is difficult, for example those cut off from vital information including refugee camps and areas with civil wars.

Quintas (Nigeria)

This biomass hot air dryer/dehydrator is a relatively simple construction and can burn locally availably biomass to dry agricultural produce. This allows farmers flexibility when selling their produce.  

Safe Travel (Cameroon)

Safe Travel is a free phone app which works as a monitoring system called ‘traveler’. Designed for passengers and users, it offers a platform and data system tracking a traveler’s location. This is used to notify families and road safety or emergency teams if a traffic incident occurs.

SolarTurtle (South Africa)

The SolarTurtle is a solar kiosk designed for maximum security and portability. Housed in containers it can be deployed by simply offloading and unfolding the panels towards the sun. These community-owned solar kiosks sell electricity by the bottle.

Videobooks in Sign Language (Argentina)

Enabling deaf children access to literature and reading, these videos combine children’s books and young adult literature read in sign language, with voice-overs and animated illustration. This invites hearing-impaired children into the world of reading together with their families and friends.

WAFFCO (Germany)

The Waste-Fuel Free Combustion, is a closed biomass burning stove for households. Simple and cheap to produce, it is constructed mainly of clay and metal and serves as a free cooking technology since it is fired with generated agricultural and domestic waste as well as packaging waste material.


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Siemens Stiftung

As a non-profit corporate foundation, we promote sustainable social development, which is crucially dependent on access to basic services, high-quality education, and an understanding of culture. To this effect, our project work supports people in taking the initiative to responsibly address current challenges. Together with partners, we develop and implement solutions and programs to support this effort, with technological and social innovation playing a central role. Our actions are impact-oriented and conducted in a transparent manner.

Working Area Basic Services

Secure access to basic services is indispensable for people to lead independent and dignified lives. Our goal is to reduce existential deficits in basic services and strengthen necessary social structures. With our international empowering people. Network, we bring innovators and social entrepreneurs together and encourage the combination of technical and entrepreneurial concepts. This allows us to promote the spread of suitable solutions, maintain a platform for knowledge transfer, and enable networking of development collaboration organizations. Locally operating projects are run together with partners and implement innovative as well as proven solutions. Additionally, we impart the necessary knowledge to ensure that self-supporting structures can contribute to a permanent improvement in basic services.

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