Food waste and spoilage is a problem in developing countries, which often lack the infrastructure to preserve food. For example, in Cameroon, despite the fact that the majority of the population farms, many people end up buying long-lasting products like canned tomatoes, bottled spices, chocolate, and coffee at exorbitant prices.
JolaVenture is developing the Solar Food Dryer (SFD) as an effective, low-cost solution to food spoilage in developing countries. Using solar energy to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and meats, the SFD extends the shelf lives of perishable food items, giving users a simple and cost-effective means of food preservation. The team's goal is to create SFD packaging and distribution centers within country farmer's group partners where produce would be bought, dried, packaged, and sold to local markets.
Infant mortality in poor areas of the world remains high, with premature birth and asphyxia two of the leading causes. The well-regulated thermal environment provided by an incubator in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can be crucial for a newborn’s survival, but social, cultural and economic pressures often result in mothers of premature infants in developing countries being forced to leave hospitals as soon as possible in order to resume their traditional family duties.
This team is circumventing the problem by providing a low-cost home incubator kit for in-home care of high-risk infants. The team’s device is a combination transporter (for the move between hospital and home), cooler, heater and incubator. It consists of a heat pipe-coupled evaporative cooler (water-filled clay pot) connected to a pod-like bubble for housing the infant. The heat pipes will allow both heating and cooling. A digital temperature readout is on the front, and a battery and solar panel are provided for off-grid functionality. The team is partnered with General Electric’s (GE) Maternal Infant Care division and a charitable hospital in Southern India. Their one-year goal is to design and test the device; once tested, GE will take over marketing and manufacturing.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011 - $32,700
While approximately 80% of the world’s amputees live in developing nations, only 2% of the people in that segment have access to appropriate prosthetic care and rehabilitation. There are two primary reasons for this: the custom-fit sockets typically provided to amputees are very expensive, costing up to $5,000, and they are not geared toward the agricultural- and labor-oriented contexts of the developing world. Additionally, due to the fact that 90% of the world’s amputees are missing a lower extremity instead of an upper extremity, the majority of prosthetics research has been applied to leg development and not toward arms, thus leaving a gap in upper-extremity devices.
This grant involves three entities in producing an inexpensive prosthetic arm for above-the-elbow amputees in India. The three entities are: 1) a year-long, interdisciplinary, project-based course at UIUC, including international immersion with a team devoted to this topic; 2) Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), a non-profit organization founded by University of Illinois engineering students; and 3) Marketplace Literacy Communities, a non-profit organization in South India. IPT, which grew out of a design course at UIUC, has been working for over three years to develop an affordable and appropriate below-the-elbow prosthetic arm for amputees in Guatemala. This new device will build on this technology, called OpenSocket™, and take IPT in a new direction by exploring above-the-elbow prosthetic arms in a new geographical setting.
In 2007, Stanford University began a multi-year partnership with the government of India to establish the Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) program (previously funded by NCIIA), the goal of which was to promote medical technology innovation and create novel medical devices for the poor of India. Phase I of SIB was a five-year pilot with the aim of developing one center (in New Delhi) as a “prototype” SIB center. The center has been internationally recognized for its approach to training innovators in the process of creating novel medical technologies for the poor, with three novel medical devices developed and one new company formed. The Government of India is now enthusiastic to commence Phase II, in which additional SIB centers will be developed. However, India can only fund in-India expenses. This grant supports the launch of Phase II, which includes continuing to enable Stanford medical, engineering and business students to pursue clinical immersion within India, creating the “India Biodesign Sourcebook” as an open source resource for medtech innovators, and advising in the creation of two to five new India Biodesign centers within India.
Sustainable Vision Connect 2013, a one-day preconference workshop designed specifically for faculty building strong educational programs around invention and innovation for poverty alleviation and basic human needs, will be taking place March 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
This event is full to capacity, and registration is now closed. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainable Vision Connect Advisors
Iqbal Quadir, Director, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT
Paul Polak, Founder, International Development Enterprises
2009 NCIIA E-Team grantee, AYZH, was among projects honored this month as part of the WHCC Affordable Health Innovations Exhibit in Washington, D.C. AYZH is a social venture looking through the eyes of women to identify the tools they want and need to help improve their standard of living. AYZH's main focus is preventing maternal and new-born deaths, by distributing affordable clean birth kits to women and clinics (that cost $2) that dramatically reduce lethal childbirth infection.