Siemens Stiftung Innovation award finalists announced

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

The finalists of the “Empowering People Award” have been selected and an international jury will announce  top three winners in Nairobi on October 30th.

Among the finalists are several African entries, including a fish farm in a container from South Africa, and a sanitary pad made from papyrus from Uganda.

The Siemens Stiftung organized the international competition to find simple but intelligent technological solutions with the capacity to sustainably improve the lives of people in developing countries.

The first three winners will receive 50,000, 30,000 and 20,000 Euros respectively. 20 further finalists will each receive 5,000 Euros each.

The Fish Farm technology is a micro-intensive fish farming for food security. The tanks, filters and pumps required for the fish farming are housed in a shipping container only twelve metres in length. This makes the system cost-effective; it is mobile, takes up little space and meets commercial requirements. Produces up to four tonnes of fish a year.

In the MakaPads innovation, the sanitary pads from papyrus fibres, paper and water hardly needs any electrical energy. The heat of the sun takes care of the drying process; smoothing and compressing are carried out mechanically. The inserts are 75% cheaper than normal sanitary napkins and 100% biodegradable.

From now until October 21st, anyone can take part in the online voting and choose their personal favourite for the special community prize.

According toSiemens Stiftung an online platform will be developed to bring together inventors and users of the technical solutions and put them into contact with potential investors and multipliers.

“The entries on our shortlist illustrate in an impressive manner how simple technical solutions can dramatically change living conditions for the better. They provide access to water, energy, health, education and communication in a practicable and cost-efficient manner. They also create opportunities for the establishment of small businesses, new ways of generating income and improvements in daily life”, says  Rolf Huber, Managing Director of the Siemens Stiftung.  “We will therefore support the further development of selected technical solutions and we hope that partners from around the world will join us in this initiative.”

The Siemens Stiftung is currently setting up a database in which all the submitted technological solutions which have been classified by experts as best-practice solutions will be published.

Developers and users of interesting products and solutions as well as potential investors and development organizations are to benefit from this database by receiving information about useful applications and technical possibilities  as well as about varied experiences in implementation on site. 

“We are convinced that transparency, partnership-based collaboration and knowledge transfer are key requirements for a targeted improvement of living conditions. By launching the “empowering people. Award”, we have already been able to set up a network connecting interested persons around the world with important players in development cooperation to form an active community, says Rolf Huber:

As part of the Award Ceremony, a workshop will be held together with the Social Impact Development Group, an initiative of the Siemens Stiftung and Ashoka. In this workshop, the inventors will have the opportunity to discuss their inventions with social entrepreneurs and to further develop their own business approaches.

A vote can now be cast for the community prize at

The online community also has the opportunity to select its favourite entry from among the 23 finalists as of now.

The winner will receive freely selectable technical equipment to the value of 3,000 Euros for his or her project.


Share this News
Share |
Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter here