Channeling Innovation to Benefit Humanity (AMAT)

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AppliedMaterials CEO Mike Splinter presents former U.S. Vice President andNobel laureate Al Gore with the 2009 James C. Morgan GlobalHumanitarian award.

It would be tough duty to be a judge for the Tech Awards,the annual global technology competition sponsored by AppliedMaterials. Every one of the laureates, as they call the amazing groupof finalists each year, made it through a rigorous judging andapplication process, lead by Santa Clara University, to the finalawards gala in San Jose, California. Every one of them is worthy of anaward. And while Al Gore, a commanding name when it comes to working tobenefit humanity, was there to receive the James C. Morgan Humanitarian award it really is the laureates who stole the show.

Our own Mike Splinter highlighted how the laureates are “courageousindividuals, driven with passion and persistence to channel innovationto benefit humanity. Their success unlocks hope, their determinationspurs others to act and for that we are grateful to them all.”

It is worth checking out each project,especially the five winners, but two energy and environment relatedwinners can give you a taste of what was displayed for a sold out crowdof Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business leaders, venture capitalistand philanthropists last night.

JosephAdelegan — Cows to Kilowatts is a great project with the best name ofthe night. While you might be thinking the usual bio-waste cattlemanure methane energy production, this unusual project takes waste fromslaughterhouses (sorry vegetarians) that would normally pollute streamsand bring a foul stench to an area and converts it to usable energy inthe form of clean methane.

Rolf Papsdorf — Alternative Energy for Empowerment brings 24/7

 Channeling Innovation to Benefit Humanity (AMAT)

energyto rural villages in Africa with inexpensive zinc-air fuel cells thatstore solar energy for use at all times of the day or night is making abig difference. One of many projects that could be replicable all overthe world and addresses a fundamental need for rural electrificationand clearly demonstrates the feasibility of distributed rural solarelectricity without a grid.

A shout out and thank you to CNBC’s Becky Quickwho flew out from New York to emcee the event and brought a great levelof class and entertainment to the night. Also to the naturephotojournalists and photographers who contributed hundreds of amazingenvironmental photos. A truly great evening, and congratulations to allthe laureates and the Tech Museum for another inspiring program, Ithink everyone left looking forward to next year.