20090410-social-design-awardsNominations for The Tech Awards 2009 close today! Build Change represented the United States among the 2008 Laureates.

Awards programs like these are crucial to world-changing designers. The recognition from a university, nonprofit, or corporate award program can give a design startup the endorsement they need to win grant funding or justify government aid that helps distribute the new design to folks who cannot afford it.

Here’s a quick summary of development-related awards programs:

Program Tagline Dates Past winners
The Tech Awards Technology Benefitting Humanity Nominations due 4/10 Build Change
Google 10 to the 100th May those who help the most win Voting period coming soon; request reminder First annual, but Hippo Roller is featured in the YouTube animated video!
Microsoft Imagine Cup The world’s premier student technology competition Round 1 winners announced 4/20 to advance to Round 2. Team SOAK achieving sustainable agriculture with software and hardware.
$100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability Improving Lives through Sustainable Invention Submit nominations by October for the January 2010 award. Amy Smith was the first female winner of the Student prize in 2000
MIT IDEAS Competition Develop and implement projects that make a positive change in the world Final submissions due 4/15; Judging session at MIT 4/27.

If you know of others, please comment and let us know!

This post dedicated to Marc, who has encouraged me every day for the past six weeks to make time for blogging!

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We’re excited to see that Microsoft has chosen to focus its 2009 Imagine Cup theme around the Millennium Development Goals. The Imagine Cup challenges students around the world to solve world challenges in nine technology categories:

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Design // Short Film // Photography

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Robotics // IT Challenge // Mash Up

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Software // Embedded // Game

This year’s worldwide finals will be held in Cairo, Egypt in July. Last year’s winners, chosen from over 200,000 contestants, seemed mostly to focus on technogadgets to raise awareness of personal consumption patterns in the developed world, so we’re glad to see Microsoft encouraging all this brainpower to consider the bottom-of-pyramid developing world population. Winning 2008 teams will receive business and technology training as part of the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator program, to be held in Mountain View, CA in early April this year.

CbD will be watching the Design Invitational category most closely; entries to Round 1 are due March 1.