When you like technical solutions that make a big impact in the developing world, this is something to have a look at..
Siemens Stiftung foundation selected 23 companies working on innovations in the field of solar energy, education, transportation, medical an more.
The “’empowering people.Network” is an initiative of the Siemens Stiftung foundation. It aims to make simple, technical solutions accessible on the basis of sustainable entrepreneurship models.
Who founded the Siemens Stiftung foundation?
Siemens Stiftung has been established to act as trustee for the Nowak-Stiftung family, with the purpose of providing development aid and support to impoverished families. The aim of the foundation is to improve basic services in Africa by stimulating simple and effective technical solutions and education activities.
23 promising finalists
This year over 880 entries (!) were made, and 23 promising finalists were shortlisted. Amongst those 23 finalists there are some very interesting products and solutions.
Some of my personal favorites..
Solar technology solutions are amongst the finalists. These are my 2 personal favorites.
A lot of children in developing countries have limited access to educational materials. And when they have, it’s often outdated.
Library For All (LFA) aims at unlocking knowledge and opportunities for these children. These do this by giving kids access to a cloud-based library of e-books.This cloud obviously can be filled with any type of educational content. Currently their digital library is filled with primary and secondary books that are culturally relevant and available in local and international languages.
Three points make this concept attractive:
- the platform is specifically designed for a low-bandwidth environment (these people can’t stream videos yet..)
- Library For All does not provide the hardware: their platform works with all existing, low cost phones and tablets on the market. This way Library For All is inexpensive and highly scalable.
- This model works because mobile networks are growing tremendously fast in developing countries.
And the cost? 3 USD per user per year
For a child to have access to education.. That’s close to nothing..
A low cost tablet or mobile phone for every child in the developing world with access to a cloud based educational library? I’m all for this.
Access to a reliable source of electricity to power lights and other appliances is still a problem for hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries.
The io™ solar power system is a new way to generate affordable electricity in rural, off-grid households in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The main product:
a 3.5W solar panel, solar charge controller, 10W.h LiFePO4 battery that power two LED ceiling lights with wall switches. These lights are enough to power a living room (80 lumens) and will last 5 hours after a full day of charging in the sun.
Three points make this product attractive:
- comes with a base set which is so affordable, it doesn’t require micro financing for most buyers
- the systems can be easily scaled up to meet the user’s electricity needs.
- designed to power any off-the-shelf 12V DC appliance
The cost of this amazing piece of technology? People in developing countries get access to their off-grid base energy supply for only USD 26.95.
And once they start using more electricity, they can scale up step by step..
Make sure many more people can benefit from cheap electricity and vote for the io™ solar power system
Which finalists are your favorites? You can vote here