Joshua Schuler

Wanted: World Changing Inventors (At Least One Reference Required): The $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation, is a call to action

Are you or someone you know an inventor who is developing technological inventions to address challenges in developing countries?

Perhaps someone like Ashok Gadgil, the 2012 winner of the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation? His fuel efficient cook stove, the Berkeley-Darfur Stove, is saving women’s lives in Darfur. Meanwhile his UV Waterworks invention is making safe drinking water affordable in more than five countries. If you know someone who is building a better way of life for people in need, then we want to honor them with the 2013 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.

The Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation recognizes individuals whose technological inventions improve the lives of impoverished people in the developing world. Recipients of the award are outstanding technology-focused innovators who have improved the health, shelter, energy, agriculture, air quality, water, soil, education, or ecosystem management in developing nations and have disseminated technology that is scalable or replicable. Candidates may be individuals or a team of two collaborating inventors, and they must be nominated by one of their peers. Patents are not required for this award, since, in some cases, a key to sustainable impact may require not patenting a technology; However, the caliber of the technology should be such that it could be patented.

Eligible individuals are those who:

  • are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or foreign nationals currently working legally in the United States;

  • have created a product, process or material; made a technology more affordable; redesigned a system; or otherwise demonstrated remarkable technological inventiveness in addressing issues that affect the developing world

  • provide evidence that their inventions have been adopted for practical use with demonstrated outcomes

  • have an economic social and cultural model that is sustainable for the long term

  • work in an area that ultimately improves quality of life (e.g., health, energy quality of air, water or soil, agriculture, shelter, education, biodiversity or ecosystem management)

  • serve as an inspiration to young people, through their creativity, outreach or mentoring activities

This award also helps create inventor role models who can inspire young people to solve problems in the developing world through invention. The media recognition of Award winners elevates their inventions and increases public awareness of international development challenges.

Please watch the video below of Gadgil, who is chair professor of Safe Water and Sanitation at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at to learn more about his work.

Other recent winners include:

  • Elizabeth Hausler, CEO and founder of Build Change, for her engineering accomplishments in creating a model that establishes sustainable earthquake-resistant housing in developing countries.

  • BP Agrawal, founder of Sustainable Innovations, for his creation of a community-driven rainwater harvesting system and mobile health clinics to improve access to clean water and the quality of health care in rural India.

  • Joel Selanikio, co-founder of DataDyne for his innovations in utilizing mobile technologies for public health data collection.

  • Martin Fisher, CEO of KickStart, for his invention of a low-cost irrigation pump for small scale farmers in rural Africa.

If you have ideas of people who should be nominated or want to nominate someone yourself, please contact me at or visit our nomination registration page and submit your nominee today.

Support your fellow inventors!