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Global Problems Can be Solved

New mHealth Alliance Award to Spur Innovation in Wireless Solutions to Global Health Challenges

Award provides dedicated mHealth funding as part of Vodafone Americas Foundation's Wireless Innovation Project

Walnut Creek, CA & Washington, DC —   December 2, 2009

To spur innovation in the development of wireless solutions to global health challenges, the Vodafone Americas Foundation and the mHealth Alliance announced today a partnership that will expand the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project to include the new mHealth Alliance Award. The award will be granted to the developer of an innovative wireless technology with the most potential to address critical health challenges, especially in developing regions.

"In places where roads remain unpaved, and where basic infrastructure such as clean water and electricity are scant, mobile phones already have become an empowering force for millions," said David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance. "The mHealth Alliance Award challenges innovators and social entrepreneurs to use mobile technology to advance health delivery in even the most remote environments, such as through improved diagnosis, treatment, or access to information."

The winner of the mHealth Alliance Award will receive a cash prize and benefits totaling $50,000, including participation in Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s Global Social Benefit Incubator Program (GSBI™), a highly competitive program that connects innovators with a Silicon Valley support network and provides instruction on how to achieve maximum sustainability and impact in social enterprises.

In addition, the winner will receive strategic and networking assistance from the mHealth Alliance, an umbrella group founded by the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Foundation, and Vodafone Foundation that supports cross-sector collaboration in delivering healthcare to the furthest reaches of wireless communications.

"We are thrilled to partner with the mHealth Alliance to further encourage new technology in the field," said June Sugiyama, Executive Director of the Vodafone Americas Foundation. "This is an ideal partnership because we share a common goal of improving livelihoods through wireless and mobile technology."

The Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project is now under way, with applications being accepted through February 1, 2010.  Although projects may be global in scope, the applicants must be from nonprofits based in the United States. A panel of judges from the fields of wireless engineering, international development, social entrepreneurship and business will evaluate the applications for their potential to solve a critical global issue in the fields of education, health, access to communication, the environment or economic development.

Vodafone Americas Foundation will award first ($300,000), second ($200,000) and third ($100,000) prizes, and the new mHealth Alliance Award. The winner of the mHealth Alliance Award is eligible for the first three prizes as well. mHealth Alliance Award and Wireless Innovation Project winners will be announced at the Global Philanthropy Forum in April 19, 2010.

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2009 Wireless Innovation Project Winners
Last year’s Wireless Innovation Project winners included two second prizes awarded to mHealth related technologies -- CellScope, a mobile microscope capable of identifying infectious diseases such as TB and malaria; and CelloPhone, a mobile blood and fluid analyzer that can identify and transmit results from fluid samples in the field. The first prize was awarded to EnHANTs, a disaster recovery system that can locate people trapped by fires or structural collapse. Complete detailed information about eligibility and an application can be found at http://www.project.vodafone-us.com/

About the Vodafone Americas Foundation
Vodafone Americas Foundation is part of Vodafone’s global family of foundations. We are affiliated with Vodafone Group Plc, the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with ownership interests in 31 countries and Partner Markets in more than 40 countries. As of June 30, 2009, Vodafone had approximately 315 million proportionate customers worldwide. In the U.S., our foundation directs its philanthropic activities towards the San Francisco Bay and the Metro Denver Areas where most of our employees live and work, and where we strive to make a positive and enduring impact on our communities. The Foundation is driven by a passion for the world around us. We make grants that help people in our communities and around the world lead fuller lives. For more information about the Vodafone Americas Foundation, visit http://www.vodafone-us.com/

About the mHealth Alliance
The mHealth Alliance is dedicated to enabling the delivery of quality healthcare to the farthest reaches of wireless networks in the developing world. Created by the United Nations Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Vodafone Foundation, the Alliance’s mission is to be a catalyst and accelerant, supporting leaders, celebrating successes, creating hard research, filling gaps, making connections, and forging public-private partnerships. More information is available at www.mhealthalliance.org or info@mhealthalliance.org.

About Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Santa Clara University is committed to educating leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion who will help fashion a more just, humane, and sustainable world. As a University center of distinction, the Center for Science, Technology, and Society undertakes three integrative activities: educating students, engaging the public, and exemplifying the realization of social impact through our flagship Global Social Benefit Incubator Program (GSBI™). In so doing, we forge strong connections across local and global businesses, civic and academic institutions, and the technology innovators of Silicon Valley in the context of Jesuit values of service. For more information visit www.scu.edu/sts or contact Sherrill Dale at sdale@scu.edu.

Press Contact:
Adele Waugaman, United Nations Foundation
(o) 202-887-9040, (e) awaugaman@unfoundation.org

Denise Lamott
(o) 415-381-8793, (m) 415-235-6458, (e) Denise@DeniseLamottPR.com

 
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