The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has announced the regional winners of the 2021 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW). ISHOW is an international accelerator of hardware-led social innovation.
This year, 8 finalist teams of social innovators from Kenya, Ghana and Uganda presented their design prototypes in a virtual event. Three entrepreneurs emerged as regional winners. They will share Ksh. 3,234,000 ($30,000) in seed grants and receive technical support to help bring their design innovations to market. They winning teams were announced in a virtual awards ceremony that featured keynote remarks by Patrick Obonyo of the IKEA Foundation.
Listed below are the 2021 ASME ISHOW winners.
1. Aqualoo Technologies (Kenya) – for its Concrete Foam Generator, a device that makes Air Crete, a mixture of cement, water and foam used to create robust building materials that are lightweight, non-toxic, inexpensive, fireproof, insect proof and unharmed by moisture
2. MeDevice Kenya (Kenya) – for its AfriVent solution, a fully featured, lower cost ventilator, pulse oximeter, and other accessory devices with telemetry for remote access, as well as connectivity for data collection capability, to treat respiratory illnesses including COVID-19.
3. Tech Era (Ghana) – for its Watre.io, a digital water distribution ecosystem manager that acts as a network orchestrator between users of water and private water distributors in urban areas. This works by using data from its water level tracking sensor and software to ensure customers do not run out of water by prompting them to order water at the appropriate time.
In addition to the 3 grand prize winners, the product with the most votes in social media for each regional event is named the Fan Favorite, and receives Ksh. 107,750 ($1,000). The fan favorite prize is made possible and in memory of Byron G. Schieber Jr. M.S., PE, Professor Emeritus QCCNY, and Ruth L. Schieber.
The 2021 ISHOW Kenya Fan Favorite winner was Solakilimo Solutions from Kenya, for its Solar-powered Cold Rooms, providing sustainable, lower cost cold storage for fish, fruit, and vegetable farmers. This is on a pay-as-you-preserve model to help reduce post-harvest losses.
The global hardware accelerator is open to individuals and organizations taking physical products that will have a positive social and or environmental impact and that improve the quality of life worldwide. To date, ISHOW has enabled over 160 startups from more than 28 countries to solve critical quality-of-life challenges for people in underserved communities worldwide.
ISHOW alumni have developed affordable devices to address issues including clean combustion, crop threshing, fetal health, food waste prevention, health diagnostics and safe drinking water. All these address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.