by May 17, 2013 0 comments

Dell announced today that a team of students from India received the $60,000 grand prize at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC 2013) for its project Solar Conduction Dryer. Shortlisted from more than 2,600 projects ideas that addressed issues impacting more than 110 countries, five finalists convened in Austin this week to compete for the cash prize as part of the DSIC.

The DSIC recognizes undergraduate and graduate students from around the world who envision, create and implement social innovation projects that help communities around the world.

The winning team comprising two Indian students, Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke from Mumbai, was adjudged the grand prize winner for its project Solar Conduction Dryer. The project aims at addressing the 20 to 30 percent food spoilage rate for poor rural Indian farmers via cost-effective dehydrators powered by solar conduction. The innovation will enable farmers to keep more of their crops and sell dehydrated fruits and vegetables as another income source.

The other four 2013 finalists included

Foot Soldiers: In second place, Foot Soldiers received $40,000 to sell affordable shoes for the 48 million Bangladeshi who cannot afford proper footwear and are thus at risk for various diseases associated with bare feet. The project will use rubber tires that are currently thrown away or burnt as Bangladesh’s car population rises.

Good-Benefits.com: In third place, Good-Benefits.com received $20,000 to create a “401k for charity” by helping people make payroll contributions to tax-exempt micro-foundation accounts from which they can give funds over time to nonprofits. The project will help companies run simple, engaging workplace giving campaigns.

The final two finalists, Semka Biomedical Technologies and Citizen Power/Sunriding, received $10,000 each to launch their ideas. Semka, from Mexico, is developing a device capable of performing non-invasive tumor biopsies through blood extraction. Citizen Power, a German team, is building a peer-to-peer online social platform for crowdsourcing urban solar installations.

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