Renowned Philanthropist and Infosys Co-Founder N.R. Narayana Murthy Receives Global Humanitarian Honors at The Tech Awards

Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:31am EST

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  SILICON VALLEY, CA, Nov 16 (Marketwire) -- 
Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy and a dozen innovators from
around the world were honored Thursday at The Tech Awards, Silicon
Valley's most esteemed program for honoring the people who create
pioneering technology to benefit humanity.

    Murthy received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. Sponsored
by Applied Materials, this award honors individuals whose broad vision
and leadership help to alleviate humanity's greatest challenges. The Tech
Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, also
recognizes 12 laureates in six sponsored categories: Intel Environment
Award; Microsoft Education Award; Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator
Award; Nokia Health Award; Flextronics Economic Development Award, and
Accenture Sustainable Energy Award.

    "Technology uses the power of science to make life better for all of
society," Murthy said. "I believe that technology not only has the power
to make a difference in health, nutrition and sheltering the poor, but it
also can enhance one's confidence and dignity. The Tech Awards recognizes
this. And I am honored to be a part of this distinguished program."

    Murthy founded tech services giant Infosys Limited along with six
colleagues and went on to become one of India's most influential
advocates for health care and rural development. Infosys established the
Infosys Foundation in 1996. The foundation works in partnership with
non-governmental organizations to help underprivileged communities in
India that are focusing on healthcare, education and rural development

    "As an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Narayana Murthy has focused on
helping people achieve the economic empowerment that offers a path out of
poverty," said Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials, Inc.
"His passion and commitment to address humanity's greatest challenges
exemplify the spirit of The Tech Awards."

    Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards has recognized 257
laureates since its inception in 2001. Their pioneering work has included
building a "solar suitcase" to provide emergency lighting and power for
medical procedures, developing an eco-techniques toolkit that improves
the living conditions in rural communities and the creation of a
heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure people receive potent

    This year's laureates represent regions as diverse as Africa, India and
Latin America, and their work impacts people in many more corners of the
globe. For their commitment to applying technology in practical ways to
resolve some of the world's most challenging issues, the laureates are
given a week filled with unique Silicon Valley business experiences and
training and an unrestricted cash award up to $75,000. Judging for The
Tech Awards is conducted by Santa Clara University's Center for Science,
Technology and Society (CSTS). The CSTS acts as an independent party that
organizes and convenes six panels of expert judges representing academia
and the public and private sectors.

    The Tech Museum of Innovation President Tim Ritchie encouraged the
night's attendees to be inspired about the future, our capacity to solve
problems and to make a difference. "Is there some need that speaks to
your heart? Some work, some community, some problem that needs your mind,
your time, your sympathy, your best work? Step up to the place where your
joy and the world's needs meet," he urged. 

    With PBS Newshour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan as master of ceremonies,
the gala unfolded against the backdrop of an exhibition specially curated
for The Tech Awards that included some of the world's most iconic photos
projected on five towering screens. Contributed free of charge by
National Geographic photojournalists, the compelling images were shown
for the evening only, as a tribute to The Tech Awards laureates. Another
gala highlight included live appearances by two former laureates who were
brought together by Polycom RealPresence Platform to share their
experiences and progress since winning the award.


    Intel Environment Award

    LEHR, Inc. Propane Outboard Motors

    Region of Impact: North America

    Problem: Small gasoline engines cause excessive pollution, yet
electric/battery solutions do not provide the performance required to be
a universally viable alternative.

    Solution: Patented gaseous-fueled engines that significantly
reduce/eliminate pollution while improving performance and reducing cost
of ownership.

    Impact: To date, about 100,000 lawn and garden engines have been sold
that eliminate evaporative emissions while reducing VOC (Volatile Organic
Compounds) emissions. 1,000s of marine outboard engines sold eliminate
fuel spills into water while reducing methyl-mercury-causing particulate
emissions by up to 96 percent.

    Arup K. SenGupta

    Region of Impact: Cambodia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam

    Problem: According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 200 million
resource-poor people are threatened with arsenic poisoning by drinking
contaminated groundwater in Cambodia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and

    Solution: Use of appropriate simple-to-operate technology in rural
setting to transform arsenic crisis into an economic enterprise while
protecting human health.

    Impact: Over 200,000 people including school children are benefiting in
arsenic-affected countries.

    Microsoft Education Award

    Literacy Bridge

    Region of Impact: Africa

    Problem: Basic health and agriculture knowledge isn't reaching the
world's poorest billion people due to illiteracy and lack of electricity.

    Solution: A simple and durable, battery-operated, audio computer playing
locally produced lessons that address the practical needs of people in
oral cultures.

    Impact: 250,000 lessons delivered to 20,000 farmers in the poorest
regions of Ghana. Farmers harvested 48 percent more crops for a 3x ROI,
and 90 percent of maternal health lessons led to healthier behaviors.


    Region of Impact: Global

    Problem: Research shows that despite hundreds of millions of dollars
spent worldwide on HIV "awareness" campaigns over 30 years, accurate
knowledge of HIV still remains dangerously low.

    Solution: Re-imagine the worldwide public health solution to focus on
actual "education" rather than "awareness" and develop the most effective
and flexible HIV education software after 5+ years of cross-disciplinary
research at Stanford.

    Impact: Provide HIV education with unprecedented efficacy to more than
200 organizations and governments in 73 countries, educating millions
around the world, and including breakthrough implementations in regions
that had banned sex education.

    Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award

    Angaza Design

    Region of Impact: Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia

    Problem: 1.5 Billion people around the world lack access to electricity,
and prohibitively high upfront prices for quality solar products prevent
millions of off-grid families from purchasing them.

    Solution: Low-cost, embedded Pay-As-You-Go technology that allows
customers to pay for energy use in small amounts with cash-in-hand.
Remotely regulated over cellular networks and integrated with existing
mobile money platforms, these energy payments are cheaper than typical
weekly kerosene expenditures.

    Impact: Clean, bright light and cell-phone charging financially
accessible to customers in Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia.

    Art Center College of Design, Designmatters

    Region of Impact: Peru

    Problem: In Cerro Verde, a slum on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, 30,000
people live without access to running water and sanitation.

    Solution: Design and co-create with Cerro Verde families, innovative and
cost-effective products tested by the community and implemented by Un
Techo Para Mi Pais, a Latin American NGO dedicated to working with
families living in extreme poverty.

    Impact: Empower families and communities through responsible design to
conserve water, reduces illness and generate social, cultural, and
economic change.

    Nokia Health Award


    Region of Impact: Global

    Problem: Every year almost 2 million people die prematurely from indoor
pollution caused by smoky open cooking fires; these same fires contribute
more black carbon than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.

    Solution: The BioLite Homestove: A low-cost, highly efficient
wood-burning stove that dramatically reduces smoke and harmful black
carbon emissions while reducing fuel needs by 50 percent.

    Impact: Paying for itself in six to seven months, a single HomeStove
lowers the rates of potentially fatal respiratory diseases while saving
~2000lbs of wood per year and averting the C02 emissions of a compact car.


    Region of Impact: Global

    Problem: 1.1 Million preterm babies die every year, 75% could survive
with inexpensive treatment.

    Solution: A low-cost infant warmer specifically designed to address the
needs of babies suffering from hypothermia.

    Impact: Thousands of babies may be impacted by the warmers currently
distributed with 11 partnerships in eight countries.

    Flextronics Economic Development Award

    Pamela C. Ronald, David Mackill, Kenong Xu

    Region of Impact: Global

    Problem: Yields of rice, the most important crop for over half of our
planet, are catastrophically reduced during floods. Because rice provides
up to two thirds of the diet of many people in the developing world, many
who live on less than $1 day, these losses have devastating impacts on
farmers and their families.

    Solution: Identification of a submergence tolerance gene and precise
introduction of the gene into locally adapted varieties favored by
farmers using modern molecular breeding.

    Impact: In 2011, 1,000,000 farmers grew Sub1 rice, with millions more
expected in the next few years. Yields of Sub1 rice are three to five
folds greater than conventional varieties during floods.

    Grameen Foundation USA

    Region of Impact: Uganda

    Problem: Lack of agricultural information among the poorest & hardest to
reach rural farmers.

    Solution: Social Enterprise with 800 CKWs that use smartphone-based
knowledge to share expert agriculture information with small holder
farmers and collect data through mobile surveys.

    Impact: 17% increase in knowledge of 6 representative agriculture
practices, 37% difference in higher maize prices vs. non-CKW-served
farmers, and 51% difference in "access to extension services and
training" vs. non-CKW-served farmers.

    Accenture Sustainable Energy Award

    Simpa Networks

    Region of Impact: India

    Problem: 400 million people in India, and more than 1.5 billion worldwide
are without access to reliable electricity. 

    Solution: Simple, affordable, pay-as-you-use pricing and mobile payment
for off-grid solar energy solutions.

    Impact: By 2015, more than 250,000 households with access to aspirational
amounts of clean energy, 6.5 megawatts of distributed solar power
installed, more than 160,000 tonnes of CO2 displaced. 

    Eco-Fuel Africa

    Region of Impact: Africa

    Problem: Clean cooking fuel is inaccessible for thirty million people in
Uganda and 28 million poor farmers have no access to fertilizers.

    Solution: Simple, locally made technology that can be used by local
people to convert locally sourced farm and municipal waste into clean
cooking fuel and organic fertilizers.

    Impact: 6,000 families already benefiting from the technology, with
10,000 more expected to be reached by the end of 2013.

    For more information about The Tech Awards, visit:

    About The Tech Museum of Innovation 

    The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of
all ages and backgrounds. The museum -- located in the Capital of Silicon
Valley -- is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to
engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies
affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge
presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and
internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by
Applied Materials, The Tech Museum endeavors to inspire the innovator in

    About Applied Materials
 Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) is the
global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to
enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and
solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like
smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and
accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. Learn more at

    About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
 The mission of the
Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) is to accelerate
global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Through
its signature program, the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI(TM)), as
well as the Frugal Innovation Lab, research in Impact Capital, and
collaboration with The Tech Awards, the Center engages business and
technical resources to build the capacity of social enterprises around
the world. As a Center of Distinction at Santa Clara University, the
Center leverages its programs to inspire faculty and students with
real-world case studies, distinctive curriculum, and unique research
opportunities, advancing the university's vision of creating a more just,
humane, and sustainable world. More information can be found at

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