October 2, 2008 By News Report
The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials and a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, today announced the 2008 Tech Awards Laureates, 25 global innovators who are applying technology to benefit humanity and spark global change. This esteemed group of Laureates was selected from hundreds of nominations representing 68 countries. The 2008 Laureates represent the truly global vision of the program, spanning countries such as Senegal, Peru, Hungary, Canada, Namibia, Germany, Egypt, India, United Kingdom, Laos and the United States. Their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide.
In addition to the 25 Laureates being honored, Professor Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank, will receive the 2008 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, honoring individuals whose broad vision and leadership are helping to address humanity's greatest challenges. Yunus will accept this honor during the annual Tech Awards Gala on November 12, in San Jose, Calif.
One Laureate in each category will receive a $50,000 cash prize during the annual Awards Gala on November 12. Sponsors for The Tech Awards categories include: Intel for the Environment Award; Accenture for the Economic Development Award; Microsoft for the Education Award; and The Swanson Foundation for the Equality Award.
Below are the IT-Related 2008 Laureates and a brief description of the winning projects. For the entire list of laureates, click here.
2008 Accenture Economic Development Award
NComputing, Inc.: NComputing, based in Redwood City, Calif., taps the unused power of a standard PC and redistributes it to multiple users, helping organizations in developing countries save on deployment, maintenance, energy and replacement costs and thereby narrowing the digital divide.
2008 Microsoft Education Award
Digital StudyHall: Digital StudyHall, based in Lucknow, India, records classroom lessons given by high-quality teachers and distributes the videos to teachers in disadvantaged schools in rural areas and urban slums where the lessons are implemented.
Aaron Doering, Go North! Adventure Learning Series, University of Minnesota: Go North! brings together polar scientists and polar communities to share their research and lives with students around the world by chronicling online their annual Arctic expeditions and giving students the chance to see and interact with research team members on a "live" basis.
Center for Puppetry Arts: The Center for Puppetry Arts, Distance Learning Program, based in Atlanta, improves education quality for rural and low-income communities, as well as those with special needs, by delivering arts lessons through interactive video-conferencing.
Curriki: Curriki, based in Washington, D.C., gives teachers, students and parents in the developed and developing world universal access to free and open peer-reviewed K-12 curricula and powerful online collaboration tools.
Leonar3Do, Daniel Ratai, 3D for All Ltd.: Dániel Rátai's invention, Leonar3Do, developed by 3D for All Ltd. is a tool that can transform an ordinary personal computer into a three-dimensional configuration. The use of Leonar3Do in the classroom as a 3D blackboard, 3D schoolbook and a 3D sketch-book represents entirely new dimensions in education.
2008 The Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award
Adaptive Multimedia Information System (AMIS), DAISY Consortium: DAISY Consortium provides open source software to read text to impaired people in 20 languages using AMIS software, which implements synthetic speech to make text and multi-media information available to people who have visual and other impairments, and people who are unable to hold a keyboard or printed publication.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.