Vodafone Americas Foundation Announces Finalists in Annual “Mobile for Good” Competition

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Vodafone Americas Foundation announced last night the eight finalists for its fifth annual Wireless Innovation Project, a competition that identifies and supports wireless-related technologies with high potential to solve critical global issues.

Each year, the Vodafone Americas Foundation awards prizes of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 and provides additional support by integrating the winning projects with the Foundation’s vast network of social entrepreneurs, NGOs and international agencies.

Vodafone Americas Finalists for 2013

Approximately 100 innovative solutions were judged against Vodafone Americas Foundation’s guiding principal: mobile for good. The technologies below were selected as finalists because they appeared to be most impactful in changing the lives of people throughout the world, particularly in developing communities where wireless technology is often the backbone of the communication infrastructure.

  • ColdTrace, from Nexleaf Analytics, a wireless vaccine monitoring system to help ensure life-saving treatments to reach everyone
  • CrowdShake, from the California Institute of Technology, a cloud-based earthquake early warning system using smartphones
  • A G-Fresnel Cell-phone Spectrometer, from Pennsylvania State University, that can be used for health monitoring, medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring and scientific studies
  • Mobile Technology Enabled Credit Program for Medicine, from the William Davidson Institute of the University of Michigan, a mobile payment platform to ensure higher availability and access to medicines
  • MoboSens, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an affordable, easy to use water quality sensor for mobile phone
  • Open mHealth, an open software architecture that will allow health-based apps and devices to “talk” to each other to accommodate individual health needs
  • RetiCue, from MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a retinal imaging attachment for mobile phones for diabetic patient screening and diagnosis
  • SharedSolar, from Earth Institute, Columbia University, a pay-as-you-go electricity delivery system for off-grid communities using renewable energy technologies, smart metering and mobile phones

Representatives from the finalist development teams traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area from around the world to demonstrate their technologies to a group of distinguished judges today. The three winning projects for 2013 will be announced at the Global Philanthropy Forum on April 16 in Redwood City.

The finalist projects and their representatives were celebrated at a reception last night at Vodafone xone (www.vodafone.com/content/xone/index.html) in Redwood City, Calif., Vodafone’s Silicon Valley-based R&D center that is designed to extend beyond conventional incubator models with a highly hands-on and iterative environment to develop ingenious solutions and fast-track development of real-life, game-changing technologies for mobile internet.

Andrew Dunnett, Director of Vodafone Group Foundation (http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/about/foundation.html) and a judge in this year’s competition said, “The creativity and dedication of this year’s applicants is amazing. We believe that every one of the finalists has the potential to help create a better life for people in every corner of the world using mobile technology.”

June Sugiyama, Director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, said, “The excitement has never been greater. Over the past five years, roughly 500 teams have competed for funds, and past winners have been associated with innovative programs at universities including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkley, UCLA, UC Riverside and UCSF, and also Massachusetts General Hospital. Winning projects have moved past prototyping stages, acquired VC funding and even advanced to field deployment, reaching people and benefiting communities who need these technologies the most. Our 2013 finalists know that they could soon be on that same track.”

More about the Wireless Innovation Project

Open to NGOs, universities, nonprofit and mHealth organizations, the Wireless Innovation Project competition attracts numerous submissions from across the world. By providing both financial support and the access to its vast resources throughout the world, Vodafone America Foundation helps its winners advance their projects to the next level of development.  For example, three past winners, Frontline SMS: Credit, InSight by InVenture, and Sana, are now operating and expanding their services, and CellScope, from UC Berkley, has received VC funding. For further details about this annual competition and past winners visit www.project.vodafone-us.com.

About the Vodafone Americas Foundation

Vodafone Americas Foundation (www .vodafone-us.com) is one of a network of 27 global foundations affiliated with Vodafone Group Plc., striving to better the lives of millions of people around the world. Overall, Vodafone and its foundations have invested more than 566 million USD over the past 20 years to address pressing issues using mobile technology.

About Vodafone Group Plc.

Vodafone Group Plc. is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company with ownership interests in more than 30 countries and Partner Markets in more than 40 countries. As of March 31, 2012, Vodafone had approximately 404 million proportionate customers worldwide. In the U.S., the foundation directs its philanthropic activities towards supporting mobile for good and wireless technology projects that improve people’s lives, support the international development sector, and spark innovation.


Media Contacts

June Sugiyama

Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation

Phone: +1 650-832-6611

Email: June.Sugiyama@vodafone.com


Barbara Kline

Breakthru Communications

Phone: +1 650-868-5804

Email: bkline@breakthrucom.com

SOURCE Vodafone Americas Foundation

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