The “empowering people. Award” aims to identify simple and appropriate technological solutions and to make them visible and accessible to everyone. These innovations enable the sustainable improvement in the supply of basic needs in developing countries.

About the Award

Since the launch of the competition at the UN Summit for Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, inventors and developers around the world were called upon to submit their tested, simple tech innovations in seven crucial supply categories. Following the deadline for the entries on January 31st 2013, over 800 qualified inventions from 90 countries had been submitted.


Our Partners

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The Jury

The Award is supported by renowned experts from the fields of science, philanthropy and developmental work.

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Technologies for Basic Needs

Siemens Stiftung initiated a worldwide competition for the “empowering people. Award” in order to identify appropriate technical solutions for developmental activities. The aim of the Award is to connect innovations for basic supply problems in developing countries with potential partners, investors and other key players in development work.

Siemens Stiftung views the combination of technological innovations and entrepreneurial approaches as the key driver for the improvement of living conditions in emerging countries.

The Community Prize

The consistently growing “empowering people. Award” community encompasses people from all over the world who are interested and often personally engaged in development topics. These have voted for their favourite entry and chose the fourth winner: Gregor Schäpers from the Trinysol in Mexico won the Community Prize for his solution Solar Reflectors, that can be used to bake, cook, or fry food, as well as to generate steam. Schäpers received freely selectable technical equipment to the value of 3,000 Euro as a support for his project.



Evaluation Criteria

  • Potential of the approach in making a contribution to solve basic supply problems
  • Technical feasibility considering resource demand, functionality and reliability in local conditions
  • (Social) Business concept with view to job creation and replicability
  • Sustainability of business in view of financial aspects
  • Environment performance, if applicable to solutions


empowering people. Award

Entries per Country


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