Katerva Awards Launched at the UN on the 2nd of July


Hello, I am Felix Dodds former Chair of the United Nations Department for Public Inormation 64th NGO Conference Sustainable Communities - Responsive Citizens (2011) and now helping Katerva with their Sustainability Awards this year.

I would like to thank the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs for their support for this event to be hosted this year at the UN Annual Ministerial Review and also thank the President of the UN Economic and Social Council Ambassador Nestor Osorio (Colombia) for agreeing to present these awards. Colombia play a critical role in the Rio+20 Conference last year promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and continues to give leadership.



Ambassador Osoiro: 

"It is a great pleasure for me to be present here today for 2012 Katerva Awards Ceremony.  Thank you for inviting me to present the Awards and I would like to offer my thanks to the organizers for choosing to the occasion of the Ministerial Session of the Council to make these presentations.  

First, I would like to congratulate the two winners, Mr. Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Bioneedle Technology Group and Ms. Chris Crowstaff, Trustee and Founder of Safe World Women for their outstanding achievement.
 Innovation plays a pivotal and catalytic role in helping to bring about change in just about every aspect of our lives. Its impact on policy can be far-reaching and is a powerful tool for dealing with the many pressing challenges of today’s world. Katerva’s two award recipients have contributed to this in a very big you’re your innovations are a concrete demonstration of the integrated approach to solving problems, addressing their social, economic and environmental dimensions.
 As you know, at this high-level segment, ECOSOC will, over the next few days, consider ways in which science, technology and innovation (or STI) can help create more jobs, reduce poverty and address the numerous challenges of sustainable development. While we recognize the important role that STI can play in improving our lives, there is no doubt that a well functioning STI ecosystem must include, inter alia, political stability and well-functioning institutions, an educated workforce, sound research and education infrastructure, to name but a few.
 In addition, a strong linkage between public and private innovation actors is critical. It is through partnerships that the true benefits of innovation can be scaled up. The collaboration of the private sector and other civil society actors is vital if we are make strides in furthering the Millennium Development Goals. This is paramount too as we begin to put in place a strategy for the post 2015 development agenda, and in looking for ways to successfully integrate the three pillars of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. In closing, allow me to once again congratulate Ms. van de Wijdeven and Ms. Crowstaff for your hard work.  The advances you have helped to create are of critical importance and deserve high recognition.
             I would also like to take this opportunity to offer congratulations to Katerva as well.  Awards and prizes are an important way to incentivize innovation and small investments can have a big impact.  By offering these awards, you are making an important contribution to sustainable development.   I look forward to Katerva becoming part of the ECOSOC Family in the future.


Id like to thank Victoria Kamsler for her work on the videos we will show.
We’d now like to tell you about each of our 10 category winners for the 2012 Katerva Awards. Our 10 categories are Behavioral Change, Economy, Ecosystem Conservation, Energy &Power,   Food Security, Gender Equality,  Human Development,  Materials & Resources,  Transportation and Urban Design.

We begin with the Behavioral Change category. This category covers initiatives that educate people, raise awareness, and work towards more sustainable practices at a global level. Our 2012 winner is Foldit, an extraordinary advance in crowdsourcing answers to complex scientific problems, using massively  multiplayer online games.  Foldit players, who are members of the public with no previous special expertise in biochemistry, successfully decoded an AIDS protein structure that had defeated the professional  AIDS research community for 15 years. And they did it in just 3 weeks.

Next is our Economy Category. This category includes efforts to enhance transparency, remove barriers, and internalize costs to make economic development more widely accessible. Our 2012 Winner is Water.org’s Watercredit, a pioneering solution that brings microfinance resources to bear on water distribution and access.

Our next category is Ecosystem Conservation.  This category covers programs to protect and regenerate forests, oceans, and other limited environments as well as initiatives to create sustainable land use processes. Our 2012 Winner is Reef Check, a highly successful citizen science initiative that brings local community members into a network of coordinated efforts to monitor and protect the health of their local reef ecosystems.

Our Energy and Power category covers new technologies and innovations in energy production, storage, and delivery. It also includes technologies and initiatives focused on energy efficiency and cleaning up current power systems. Our 2012 winner is the Center for Rice Husk Energy Technology, creators of gasifier stoves and equipment that use widely available rice husk waste to provide clean energy in developing communities.

Katerva’s Food security category recognizes improvements in sustainable output and efficiency of farmland and fisheries,  the reduction of their effects on environmental systems, and the development of safe and healthy alternative food supplies. Our 2012 Winner, Backpack Farm, provides the affordable access to the highest quality highly productive organic farming inputs at the right scale for small scale farmers . Backpack Farm provides specially designed backpacks with all the seeds, organic inputs and drip irrigation materials needed for farms of an acre or less.

Our Materials and Resources category covers advances in sustainable man-made materials, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. Our 2012 Winner, Pasteurization Technology Group, provides a ‘2 for one’ solution to wastewater treatment and clean energy needs, by combining wastewater disinfection with the generation of renewable energy. Utilizing biogas, typically wasted exhaust heat is used to pasteurize waste water, in a process that is over 90% energy-efficient and cost-effective.

Our Transportation category recognizes innovations for safe and accessible, low- or zero-carbon transportation and efforts to improve current methods of mass transportation. Our 2012 Winner  Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System for Shipping is an ingenious way to reduce the skin-friction resistance on the hull of a ship by sending air to the bottom of the hull, creating a layer of air bubbles between the hull and seawater. This significantly reduces drag and enhances fuel efficiency in a clean and environmentally safe way.

Our Urban Design category covers innovation in energy efficient and sustainable buildings and housing systems, and amenities for sustainable  living. Our 2012 Winner AguaClara started out as a research project at Cornell University, producing engineering designs for reliable and sustainable municipal-scale water treatment plants. AguaClara systems are high-performing low-cost gravity-based systems that don’t depend on expensive hi-tech inputs. They are produced and maintained locally with local materials and labor.

This year, for the first time, Katerva held the People's Choice Award. Our People’s Choice Award was chosen from among our 50 Katerva Award finalists by open public online voting, in a close race with over 3,500 votes cast. We are now proud to recognize our top two People’s Choice Award winners.

Our People’s Choice Honorable MentionAward Winner is Urban Design Finalist, ¡Échale! a tu casa.  (pronunciation: Eh Cha Lay ah too CaaSaa.) ¡Échale! a tu casa means ‘put your heart into your home. It is an assisted self-build program that provides sustainable community development through social housing production.

This year, our Katerva People’s Choice Award Winner is also our Gender Equality Category Winner, Safe World for Women. Our Gender Equality category recognizes initiatives to improve the wellbeing of women, provide them with more opportunities, and defend their right to equal treatment alongside men. Our People’s Choice Award Winner won the most public votes of all of our 50 finalists. In 2012, Safe World for Women has won both of these awards.  Safe World is a women-led NGO working with grassroots groups to promote women's empowerment and sustainable development, tackle the root causes of poverty and oppression, and bring positive social and economic change at a global level.

And finally, it is an honor to introduce our Human Development Category Winner, and the 2012 Katerva Award Grand Prize Winner,  Bioneedle.  Our Human Development Category recognizes innovations that  maintain and improve the health, safety and quality of life for all people. Our Grand Prize Award is selected from among our 10 category winners by eminent members of our Awards Council, including former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson;  Craig Venter, sequencer of the human genome; Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency; Dr. Yuan Tse Lee, President of the International Council for Science, and other luminaries.

This year, our Awards Council has recognized Bioneedle as a true breakthrough in vaccine delivery. Bioneedles can replace the expensive, dangerous and energy dependent syringe/needle vaccination system, with its risky and unreliable requirement for cold chain storage and refrigeration. Bioneedle is a safe, cheap, accessible way to supercede all of that.

Recognized by the World  Health Organization as a breakthrough medical technology, Bioneedles, or “tiny, biodegradable mini-implants,” come pre-filled and contain vaccines in a thermally stable environment.  They are administered via sub-dermal application and quickly absorbed into the body within minutes.  This virtually painless process leaves almost no waste and allows one person to vaccinate over 16 times more people per hour than by the Syringe/Needle Method.  Bioneedle has the potential to revolutionize the way that vaccines are administered all over the world.



 Chris and  Gijsbert 

The Katerva team in Geneva Ebba, Felix and Juan



 Press Conference with Ambassador Martin Sajdik, Vice President of EcoSoc, Felix Dodds, Mr. Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Bioneedle Technology Group and Ms. Chris Crowstaff, Trustee and Founder of Safe World Women 

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