SOURCE: Vodafone Americas Foundation

Vodafone Americas Foundation

November 02, 2015 10:00 ET

Vodafone Americas Foundation™ Opens Call for Entries to Eighth Annual Wireless Innovation Project

The Annual Competition to Award $600,000 in Prize Money to Promising Wireless and Mobile Innovations Designed to Impact the Global Community

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 2, 2015) - The Vodafone Americas Foundation today kicked off the eighth annual Wireless Innovation Project™ (WIP), opening the call for submissions to applicants for their wireless-related technologies with the high potential to solve critical issues facing the world today. Online applications will be accepted from November 2nd, 2015 through February 27th, 2016, with winners announced in June 2016.

"We're excited to open the competition for this year's Wireless Innovation Project," said June Sugiyama, Vodafone Americas Foundation Director. "We look forward to recognizing the outstanding work nonprofits, universities, non-governmental organizations, and social entrepreneurs are undertaking to change the world through wireless and mobile platforms, and continue to support the innovative ways technology, specifically wireless technology, can have a positive global impact."

Since launching in 2009, the Wireless Innovation Project has awarded $4.2 million to unique solutions made to help address critical issues around the world with a focus on helping people in the most vulnerable areas. Three winners are selected each year with first place awarded $300,000, second place $200,000, and third place $100,000. Past WIP winners have gone on to future success through international accolades, various industry prizes, and more than $9.5 million in additional funding following their involvement with WIP.

In 2015, WIP awarded the $300,000 in first place prize money to the California Institute of Technology SEVA Sanitation project, for its vision to provide an intelligent black water treatment system to the 4.5 billion people in the world without access to adequate sanitation.

"Participating in the Wireless Innovation Project last year has set us up for success as we continue to develop our solution," said Cody Finke, PhD Student, California Institute of Technology, and co-lead of the SEVA Sanitation project. "The awarded funding, combined with Vodafone's global experience and industry knowledge, helps us bring our sustainable solution to people around the world. Since participating, we've seen a marked increase in interest in our project as well as more confidence from the international community in the success of our sanitation project."

WellDone's remote monitoring tool called MoMo won the second place, $200,000 prize last year. MoMo helps improve the reliability of rural infrastructure and the accountability of development projects by tracking water flow rates via the cellular network. Third place winner, the Mobile Stethoscope from MIT D-Lab, is the world's first USB-powered mobile stethoscope and decision-support mobile application providing critical diagnostic assistance to untrained health workers and non-specialist doctors in developing countries.

How to Enter
Application information

  • The application is available online.
  • The competition is open to nonprofit organizations, universities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and social entrepreneurs with a 501(c)(3) status. If you are not a nonprofit, you must have a nonprofit partner.
  • Applicants compete for first, second and third-place prizes worth $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.
  • Projects must be at a late stage of research, advanced prototype or field/market test; these can occur during the award period.
  • A panel of expert judges from the fields of wireless engineering, international development, social entrepreneurship and business will evaluate the finalists.
  • The mobile or wireless solution must have the potential to solve issues in the fields of education, health, access to communication, economic development and the environment/disaster relief.

Further details about the competition, eligibility, past winners, and the Foundation can be found at project.vodafone-us.com.
To follow Vodafone Americas Foundation™ on Twitter, visit @VodafoneProject.
To visit Vodafone Americas Foundation™ on Facebook, click here.

About the Vodafone Americas Foundation
The Vodafone Americas Foundation is part of Vodafone's global network of 27 foundations. It is affiliated with Vodafone Group. In addition the Wireless Innovation Project, the Vodafone Americas Foundation provides grants in the United States within the three-pillared approach to Improve People's Lives, Support the Development Sector and Spark Innovation.

About Vodafone
Vodafone is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 30 June 2015, Vodafone had 449 million mobile customers and 12 million fixed broadband customers. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.