November 26, 2014

Life-changing Innovations at Techcon

Eight labs showed off their innovations with the potential to improve the quality of life of people around the world at this year’s TechCon in San Francisco, Calif., this month. Those labs are in the Higher Education Solutions Network and include the US Global Development Lab and seven universities. The event in numbers included 150 students, 80 professionals, 75 sessions, and seven prizes awarded at the Innovation Marketplace for a total of $15,000.

The winners

Audience Choice Award | $500
WorldWide Empowerment of Women Engingeers, a project by students in SEAD at Duke University, teaches school girls in Kenya to make renewable energy flashlights and sell them in their community. See the project on YouTube.
Audience Choice Award | $500
And VentureWell E-Team Program Award (Stage 1 Travel Grant) | $5000
PhotosynQ, from a team at Michigan State University, works in tandem with MultispeQ, a low-cost, handheld photospectrometer that can measure the health of a plant and the soil. Anyone can use the technology and the crowd uploads their data to PhotosynQ, an open, global database of plant health information.
•1st Place | $2000
Sisu Global Health is a social enterprise that created two medical devices, a modular centrifuge and the Hemafause, a manual blood autotransfusion device that transuses a patient’s own blood back into the body during surgery.
•VentureWell E-Team Program Award (Stage 1 Travel Grant) | $5000 
SenSen, by MIT’s International Development Innovation Network, is a low-cost wireless sensor system for monitoring the usage of devices in homes and in the field. The sensors can fit in a package smaller than a pack of playing cards and run for up to a year on a single battery, transmitting all of their data wirelessly. See SenSen on YouTube.

Here we present a gallery of photos of the technologies on display at the marketplace that can meet basic needs in developing countries. For more, please see our Flickr album.

This is one of a series of graphic notes drawn by the graphic artist, Abby VanMuijen, a student of visual note-taking at the University of California, Berkeley. For more of VanMuijen’s illustrations, see her on Twitter at @abbyvanmuijen. Photo by Iana Aranda / E4C

The team behind Henlight displayed their solar-powered light with an automatic sun-tracking timer that provides extra light for egg-laying hens to help them produce more eggs. Photo courtesy of HESN

The people who visited the Innovation Marketplace voted with play money, awarding the projects that they like with these “Development Dollars.” Photo courtesy of HESN

The RootIO (roots radio) Project crosses the best parts of community radio, broadcast networks, and peer production into a vertically integrated platform, gluing together existing technologies and creating new ones where necessary. Photo by Iana Aranda / E4C

More notes by Abby VanMuijen. Photo by Iana Aranda / E4C

A sample of water technologies evaluated in India by MIT’s CITE program. Photo by Iana Aranda / E4C

Photo courtesy of HESN

Commercially available water filters in India evaluated by MIT’s CITE program. Photo by Iana Aranda / E4CTec

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