In 2006, Cooper Union began working with rural communities in northern Ghana on a solar lantern project. They have made steady progress since then, developing several generations of prototypes. Field trials began in June 2007, with the ultimate goal of creating an affordable, solar-powered lantern made from local materials and sold by local entrepreneurs.
This grant further supported the project. Students traveled to Ghana in summer of 2008 and continued developing prototypes of lanterns, charging stations, and a pilot production assembly line.