The Vodafone Americas Foundation™ today announced winners of its sixth annual Wireless Innovation Project, a competition where entrepreneurs, creators and developers from universities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and non-profits are invited to submit innovations that make a difference in the world under the theme of “mobile for good.” Winners were named during a ceremony at the Social Innovation Summit 2014 held May 28-29 at the United Nations Plaza in New York City.
The 2014 winners are:
1st Place (US$300,000)— MobileOCT, Mobile Multimodal Colposcopy
MobileOCT, in partnership with Scripps Clinic, developed technology that converts any digital camera, including smartphones, into a device that can detect abnormal cell growth, which can be an early warning sign of cancer. Their technology is currently focusing on cervical cancer.
2nd Place (US$200,000)—Soko Enterprise Project
The Soko Enterprise Project (SEP) is empowering SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) with access to the global marketplace through a tool that enables small scale producers to manage production and operations, sell to global consumers and get paid directly all via mobile. Using the Soko tool, artisans and craftspeople in countries like Kenya will be able to participate in the global marketplace.
3rd Place (US$100,000)—eyeMITRA
eyeMITRA from the MIT Media Lab is an innovative mobile phone attachment enabling at-home imaging of the retina, the nervous tissue in the back of the eye. This system seeks to not only provide real-time health status assessment, but also to contribute to the field of predictive analytics in healthcare.
Vodafone Americas Foundation Director June Sugiyama said: “Mobile continues to have a transformational impact on society, and we are only starting to scratch the surface of its potential. We’re proud to be celebrating the sixth year of the Wireless Innovation Project. Vodafone Americas Foundation™ has already contributed over US$3 million to innovative mobile technology solutions that strive to improve economic opportunity and quality of life for people around the globe, especially in developing countries.”
Ninety-two percent of previous Wireless Innovation Project winners have gone on to receive additional funding from the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which has enabled them to further develop their innovations. Some of these innovations are already being implemented and starting to improve people’s lives. In addition to the monetary award, Wireless Innovation Project winners are given access to technical expertise and support to help accelerate their concepts into market-ready devices and services.