SOURCE: INNOCENTIVE, INC.
September 25, 2008 14:36 ET
31-Year-Old Texas Native Develops Solar-Powered Wireless Router for ASSET India, a Non-Profit Organization Focused on Educating Marginalized Children in India in Technology
Solver Awarded $20,000 for a Challenge That Was Posted on InnoCentive's Network in November
WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - September 25, 2008) - InnoCentive, Inc., the global
innovation marketplace, today announced the winner of a Challenge posted in
November by The ASSET
India Foundation seeking the design of a solar-powered wireless router.
Zacary Brown of Texas was awarded $20,000 for his design by the Rockefeller Foundation, which
sponsored this Challenge.
ASSET (Achieving Sustainable Social Equality through Technology) India
Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps train the children of
sex workers and girls rescued from trafficking, in technology, so they can
escape the sex slave industry in India. ASSET India has successfully
established training centers within several major cities within India but
sought the development of a solar-powered wireless router through
InnoCentive's network to enable them to reach small rural towns with
limited electricity or available Internet access. GlobalGiving, a non-profit
organization that connects donors with community based projects around the
world, made the Rockefeller Foundation aware of ASSET India and worked with
them to get the Challenge posted on InnoCentive.
-- The Challenge was posted to the InnoCentive's website for two months
beginning November 28 and closed at the end of January. Over 400
InnoCentive Solvers analyzed this Challenge, and 27 solutions were
-- The Challenge sought the design of a solar-powered wireless router
composed of low-cost, readily available hardware and software components.
The router is to become part of a reliable Internet communications network
connecting metropolises and remote towns in developing countries. ASSET
India will own the Intellectual Property rights to the design.
-- The Solver, Zacary Brown, is a software engineer who joined
InnoCentive's Solver community in 2006 and has solved two Challenges to
-- The solution runs on a Linux-based system and is powered totally by a
battery that is charged through solar panels. It was built with hardware
that is able to withstand daily outdoor use and can be controlled remotely,
allowing network operators to activate the switches with pre-paid cell
-- This solution will allow teenagers in small centers outside big cities
to handle some of the work that is coming from technology companies in the
cities and gain the skills to achieve greater career opportunities in the
-- ASSET India works with children in India, ages 16 to 20, and provides
educational training in English as well as computer literacy.
-- The prototypes for the solar-powered wireless router will be built by
engineering students at the University of Arizona this year as part of a
year-long Senior Project for two undergraduate classes.
Zacary Brown, Solver
"I regularly check for interesting Challenges on InnoCentive's website and
found this one particularly interesting because it combined several of my
hobbies. I analyzed the problem for several weeks, actively working on it
in the evenings. I got discouraged at one point but kept going and finally
found the solution. It is rewarding to develop something that will have
such a profound impact on children in India and support a world cause."
Ray Umashanker, Executive Director, ASSET India Foundation
"We have been receiving ten to twelve requests per month from rural towns
in India to establish computer centers. Our concern was that there were no
businesses and industry in these small towns to provide employment but
InnoCentive came to our rescue, allowing us to come up with a solution that
would involve outsourcing work from the big cities to the small towns. We
looked at a number of solutions and selected this one because it was the
most comprehensive. It called for hardware parts that were affordable and
even suggested places where the parts could be purchased. We see on a daily
basis the positive effects that our training centers have on children who
live in the big cities. We are thrilled that we will now be able to extend
our services to other parts of the country, educating children so they will
be able to escape the sex trade industry in India."
Dwayne Spradlin, CEO, InnoCentive, Inc.
"I am always awed and humbled when a Challenge like this gets solved
through InnoCentive's network. Our network encourages brilliant minds to
apply their skills to world changing problems and make a difference. This
solution will have a substantial influence on the future of these children
in India and will support similar initiatives in developing countries
throughout the world."
Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to help spark and support innovative
efforts to spread the benefits of 21st century technology in poor
communities. As ASSET India enables the subcontinent's children to tap
into the Internet's transformational power, it makes an enormous impact in
these children's lives and aspirations, while demonstrating the kind of
solutions that can help expand substantial, uplifting opportunities to more
people, more fully, around the world."
Mari Kuraishi, President, GlobalGiving Foundation
"On a daily basis at GlobalGiving, we generate crowdsourcing solutions for
community development. Being able to broaden that community to include the
brilliant minds at InnoCentive is an amazing opportunity for us to expand
our reach globally. From the design to the implementation, many people will
be involved in this cause and bring change to a problem that has existed in
India for many years."
Founded in 2001, InnoCentive built the first global Web community for open
innovation, enabling scientists, engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs
to collaborate to deliver breakthrough solutions for R&D-driven
organizations. InnoCentive Seekers, who collectively spend billions of
dollars on R&D, submit complex problems to the InnoCentive Marketplace,
where more than 160,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business people,
and research organizations in more than 175 countries are invited to solve
them. Solvers who deliver the most innovative solutions receive financial
awards ranging up to US$1,000,000. InnoCentive's Seekers include
commercial, government and non-profit organizations such as Avery Dennison,
Procter & Gamble, Pendulum, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay,
GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation.
For more information on InnoCentive, go to: www.innocentive.com.
InnoCentive and InnoCentive Challenge are registered trademarks of
InnoCentive, Inc. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the
trademarks of their respective owners.