Vodafone Americas Foundation Announces Call For Entries For 5th Annual Wireless Innovation Project™

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vodafone Americas Foundation™ today announced a call for submissions for their annual Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™, a competition that identifies and supports wireless-related technologies with high potential to solve critical global issues. Online applications will be accepted from October 1, 2012 through January 13, 2013, with winners announced in spring 2013.

Since launching the Wireless Innovation Project™ competition in 2009, Vodafone Americas Foundation has helped inspire entrepreneurs in every industry to make their wireless solutions a reality. Winners of past years have found that the recognition, along with critical funds, has helped leverage further opportunities for their projects.

2012 Wireless Innovation Project Winner Comments

"Outside the box technology like ours – making cartography a computational science to help the agriculture industry – often struggles to receive conventional academic funding. We are very grateful to Vodafone Americas Foundation for taking a chance on such a high risk, yet, high reward project that aims to provide an important tool for farmers worldwide."
- Dr. Eamonn Keogh of UC Riverside, lead of the first place winning team, Wireless Bug-Sensor

"This award is a great honor. Being able to test our ideas in real settings makes a big difference - and the award lets us do just that."
- Manu Prakash of Stanford University, lead of the second place winning team and mHealth Alliance Award winner, OScan

"We are now regarded as a promising and exciting company aiming to do global good. Winning the award proved that we had a legitimate mobile solution solving a real need. The award opened doors to banks that we are now working with and helped to cultivate more donors and investors alike."
- Shivani Siroya, CEO and Founder of InVenture and third place winner for InSight

  • How to Apply: Applications must be completed online. The competition is open to nonprofit organizations, universities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and social entrepreneurs with a 501(c)(3) status. Details about eligibility and the application can be found at project.vodafone-us.com.
  • Criteria: Projects should be globally replicable and must be at advanced prototype or field/market testing stage which can occur during the award period. Applications will be evaluated for the potential of their wireless solution to solve issues in the fields of education, health, access to communication, economic development, and the environment.
  • Awards: Applicants compete for first, second and third-place prizes worth $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

"We're proud and excited to see so many of the winning innovations entering the market, employing mobile and wireless technology for the good of societies around the world. It's clear that the mobile and wireless platforms will continue to transform our way of life in every sector," said June Sugiyama, Director of Vodafone Americas Foundation.

Further details about the competition, past winners, and the Foundation can be found at project.vodafone-us.com.

The 2012 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ winners:

First Place: Wireless Bug-Sensor
The team at UC Riverside developed an important tool for farmers worldwide: tiny, inexpensive sensors that can automatically count and classify the insects in the field, sending the farmer a once-a-day text message instructing them what type of intervention is necessary and where it is needed.

Second Place: OScan
OScan from Stanford University is the first standardized imaging tool for the oral cavity allowing untrained individuals to affordably screen for oral cancer and hygiene. OScan includes hardware that integrates with camera phones and software. It will empower minimally-skilled health workers to reduce the morbidity and mortality of one of the deadliest cancers.

Third Place: InSight
The InVenture team is transforming microfinance by providing a global credit rating platform, InSight. They deploy SMS-based accounting tools to borrowers who would otherwise not have access to such tools and deliver critical data to lending institutions.

About the Vodafone Americas Foundation™

Vodafone Americas Foundation™ is part of Vodafone's global network of 27 foundations. It is affiliated with Vodafone Group Plc, the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with more than 406 million customers around the world. Considered the seventh most valuable brand in the world, Vodafone operates in more than 30 countries and partner with networks in over 50 more countries.

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.

For further information or to speak with a representative of the Vodafone Americas Foundation™ or a previous winner, please contact: Ayla Richards on +1 646 561 8546, or email VodafoneNA@hotwirepr.com

SOURCE Vodafone Americas Foundation