Tech Awards Gala

Global Humanitarian Awards Gala


SAN JOSE, CA – Dean Kamen, who is responsible for breakthrough inventions in medicine

and clean energy and is widely hailed as a mentor to hundreds of thousands of youth around

the world as founder of FIRST®, received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award

before more than 1,400 Silicon Valley technorati Thursday at the 13th

“Technology and innovation only mean something if they have an impact on people’s lives,”

Kamen said. “I strive to inspire the younger generations to continue innovating.”

Kamen’s DEKA Research & Development Corporation is responsible for several pioneering

inventions including a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT – a

motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Kamen also led teams in the development of devices

such as the Segway® Human Transporter, an insulin pump for diabetics, portable energy

and water purification devices for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed

While an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable infusion device to deliver drug

treatments that previously required round-the-clock hospital care.

Founded in 1989 by Kamen, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and

Technology), is dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy

science and technology. This year FIRST will serve more than 300,000 young people, ages 6

to 18, in more than 60 countries around the globe.

Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., the global humanitarian award honors individuals

whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating humanity’s greatest problems.

Kamen joins an impressive roster of past award recipients of the global humanitarian award

that includes Infosys founder N.R Narayana Murthy, social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, education

and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel laureate and

former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied Materials’

Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award a decade ago.

“Dean Kamen personifies the spirit of a global humanitarian,” said Mike Splinter, Executive

Chairman of Applied Materials. “He is a gifted inventor, who at a young age was encouraged

to explore and think beyond limits, a quality he now instills in students all around the world.

I congratulate Dean and all the laureates honored tonight for using technology to make a

positive difference.”

Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards has recognized 267 laureates since its

inception in 2001. The pioneering work of these laureates has included building a “solar

suitcase” to provide emergency lighting and power for medical procedures, developing

an eco-techniques toolkit that improves the living conditions in rural communities and

the creation of a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to ensure people receive potent

The Tech Awards Gala also included awards recognition for 10 laureates whose life-changing

work impacts people in nearly every corner of the globe. For their commitment to applying

technology in practical ways to resolve some of the world’s most challenging issues, the

laureates were given a week filled with unique Silicon Valley business experiences and

training and an unrestricted cash award up to $75,000. Judging for The Tech Awards

is conducted by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society

(CSTS). The CSTS acts as an independent party that organizes and convenes expert judges

representing academia and the public and private sectors.

The Tech Museum of Innovation President Tim Ritchie challenged the night’s attendees to

discover “what problem do you care so much about that you are willing to dedicate your

life to solving. It’s a privilege to live in a community that both wants to, and believes it can,

change the world,” Ritchie said. “I look forward to seeing the wonderful things we can do

together. I look forward to taking on big problems with the kind of gritty optimism that

characterizes this valley.”

Hosted by stage actor and Santa Clara University professor Aldo Billingslea, the gala unfolded

against the backdrop of an exhibition specially curated for The Tech Awards that included

some of the world’s most iconic photos projected on towering screens. The night’s special

highlights included the reading of an original poem written for The Tech Awards by the

nation’s fifth presidential inaugural poet, Richard Blanco; a presentation on Leonardo

DaVinci, one of the world’s foremost innovators, by Fritjof Capra, author, physicist and

systems theorist, and a moving solo vocalist performance by Broadway-bound Archbishop

Mitty senior Myha’la Herrold.


Intel Environment Award

Antrix Corp./ISRO: Sujala Project

Microsoft Education Award

Globaloria: Invent. Build. Share.

Enova: Learning and Innovation Network

Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award

OPI: Yo Propongo

Nokia Health Award

D-Rev: Brilliance

Nazava Water Filters

Flextronics Economic Development Award

Kilimo Salama: Syngenta Foundation

Potential Energy


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