SAN JOSE, US: Each year, nearly four million newborn babies never live past their first days - all for lack of warmth.
At least a billion people globally have limited - or no access - to clean water. And while almost half the world's population cooks with wood or other biomass fuels, indoor-air pollution generated by cooking fires contributes to the premature deaths of nearly two million people annually.
Enter the "techmanitarians" - a dozen international innovators who toil with unequalled resolve to eliminate these and other persistent global challenges. Â Their noble achievements will be recognised Thursday, 15 November 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Centre during Silicon Valley's leading awards program, The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials in association with the Centre for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.
"We are inspired by the laureates' desire to improve the world through the creative use of technology and their perseverance to this end," said Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum. "Their lives and work serve as a challenge to us... Do we desire to make our work count for others, and are we willing to use our considerable assets to build a better world?"
This year, two cash prizes will be awarded - US$75,000 and US$25,000 - in each of six of The Tech Awards categories: Intel Environment Award; Microsoft Education Award; The Swanson Foundation Young Innovator Award; Nokia Health Award; Flextronics Economic Development Award, and The Sustainable Energy Award.
Since the inception of The Tech Awards program in 2001, 257 laureates have been recognised. Their pioneering work has included designing earthquake-resistant construction technology to creating a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunisations to building a simple, low-cost, mobile phone-based device that allows remote monitoring and operation of irrigation pumps.
Applications will be accepted for next year's laureates beginning 1 November 2012.
For more information about The Tech Awards, visit http://thetechawards.thetech.org/