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Vodafone Americas Foundation Announces Call For Entries For Annual Wireless Innovation Project and mHealth Alliance Award

Prestigious Competition Awards $650,000 in Cash and Prizes to Technology with Most Promise to Solve Pressing Global Issues

Walnut Creek, CA —   September 27, 2010

The Vodafone Americas Foundation™ and mHealth Alliance are pleased to announce a call for entries for the annual Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ and mHealth Alliance Award, a competition to identify and support promising wireless-related technologies to address critical social issues around the globe.  Proposals will be accepted from September 27, 2010 through December 15, 2010, with the final winners announced at the annual Global Philanthropy Forum in Redwood City, CA in April 2011.

“Through the Wireless Innovation Project™, Vodafone Americas Foundation™ is proud to encourage innovation and further Vodafone’s efforts to advance mobile for good," said Andrew Dunnett, Director of The Vodafone Group Foundation.  “The Vodafone Americas Foundation™ and the awards are at the edge of the mobile frontier – encouraging and leveraging the most cutting edge technology to solve problems and enhance people’s lives.”
 
The Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ will award $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000, to the first, second and third-place winners.  The mHealth Alliance 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 of the world.  The award winner will receive an additional cash prize of $50,000, as well as strategic and networking assistance from the mHealth Alliance, an umbrella group founded by the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Foundation, Vodafone Foundation, PEPFAR and the GSM Association that supports cross-sector collaboration in delivering healthcare to the furthest reaches of wireless communications.

“We are proud to once again collaborate with the Vodafone Americas Foundation in presenting the mHealth Alliance Award,” said David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance. “With over 5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, over two-thirds of which are in emerging economies, the use of mobile devices for health purposes can revolutionize the ability of governments, corporations, NGOs and citizens to deliver, access and use health information to promote well being, combat disease, and respond to medical emergencies.”

Applicants for the Wireless Innovation Project™ must be nonprofits, educational institutions or social entrepreneurs based in the United States. Awards will be given to the wireless projects demonstrating exceptional promise to solve a critical global issue in the following fields: education; health; access to communication; the environment; or economic development.  Moreover, the innovation may also represent a significant advancement in wireless related technology to help solve issues such as connectivity, language barriers and energy use.  Projects must be at a stage of development where an advanced prototype or field test can occur during the award period.
 
“Winning the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Award has helped us to realize the potential of our innovation and enabled us to leverage further funds; we have received over $2 million in additional support,” said Gil Zussman, Columbia University of EnHANTs Project, 2009 Wireless Innovation Project™ winner.
 
Through its foundations, Vodafone has long recognized that wireless technology has the potential to make the significant impacts in the world – particularly in developing countries.  Vodafone Americas Foundation™ launched the Wireless Innovation Project™ in 2008 to foster creativity and fund the most promising innovations with the potential to solve pressing issues around the globe.  In addition to the Wireless Innovation Project™, Vodafone and its global network of 27 foundations are helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world lead better, fuller lives through more than $60,000,000 in grants and contributions.
 
Complete detailed information about eligibility and an application can be found at http://www.project.vodafone-us.com/.  More information about the mHealth Alliance and its programs can be found at www.mhealthalliance.org.

The 2010 winners included:
First Place - 100 Million Stoves
With the potential to improve health, air quality, reduce greenhouse gases and save lives, 100 Million Stoves is a simple wireless stove use monitoring system (SUMS) that can be attached to the millions of new low-emission stoves being used in developing regions. Being developed at the University of California at Berkeley for initial application in India, this groundbreaking wireless technology will help assess the impact of household energy programs, enable feedback from users, and provide transparent verification of carbon credits.

Second Place - FrontlineSMS: Credit
An open source software, FrontlineSMS:Credit has the potential to open up financial services and micro-financing to millions of people in the developing world.  The application leverages mobile payment systems and core banking software to bring financial services – such as savings, credit, insurance and payroll – to the entrepreneurial poor, eliminating geographic and time barriers and turning mobile payment systems into platforms for mobile banking.

Third Place & mHealth Alliance Award -  Sana
Sana is a multidisciplinary group based out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to revolutionize healthcare delivery in rural and underserved areas.  Sana has developed an innovative open source platform that allows mobile phones to capture and send data for an electronic medical record and links community health workers with physicians for real-time decision support.

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About the Vodafone Americas Foundation™
Vodafone Americas Foundation™ is part of Vodafone’s global network 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.

About the mHealth Alliance
The mHealth Alliance is dedicated to enabling the delivery of quality healthcare to the farthest reaches of wireless networks.  It is building a public-private coalition of organizations working together to address the health needs of emerging economies across the world. These organizations are developing new ways for mHealth to increase the availability, accessibility, and effectiveness of health information and services. Created by the United Nations Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Vodafone Group Foundation, and joined by PEPFAR and the GSM Association as founding partners, the Alliance’s mission is to be a catalyst and accelerant.  More information is available at www.mHealthAlliance.org.

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Contact: Denise Lamott, (415) 381-8793, Denise@DeniseLamottPR.com

 
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