International Committee of the Red Cross announces the winners of Enable Makeathon 2.0
Bangalore, 6 February 2018: Team Bleetech with their solution on low-cost encyclopaedia for hearing impaired emerged winners of the Enable Makeathon 2.0 organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and its partners winning USD 25,000. With this technology persons with hearing impairment can ask questions in sign language using their phones and receive responses. Team GameAble came second for gesture recognition-based control software that provides access to persons with disabilities enabling them to play video games like their peers, while Team Nonspec emerged third for developing a rapidly adjustable below the knee prosthetic system that is dynamic, affordable, lightweight. They won USD 15,000 and USD 10,000 respectively.
TeamBleetech speaking on their win commented, “This has been a very special day forus, having placed first in the Enable Makeathon 2.0. We are so honouredto have been able to develop a product that is at its core a social innovation.Working with ICRC and its partners through the Enable Makeathon process and nowentering the incubation period has been a very insightful journey. It hasbeen instrumental in giving us the opportunity to work with persons withdisabilities which inspired the entire team of Bleetech to scale up ourproducts and impact as many people as possible!”
A panel ofjudges including representatives from the National Institute of Design andinfluencers from the disability sector announced the three winners at anexciting ceremony in Delhi today. The teams underwent a rigorous competitiveprocess of over 60 days starting from their initial shortlisting to aco-creation camp for mentoring and developing their ideas and the final DemoDay.
SocialAlpha, an incubation cell, announced its three-month incubation support forfour Enable Makeathon teams – Amparo, Nonspec, Torchit and GameAble.
Afterreceiving almost 100 entries the ‘Demo Day’ of the ‘Enable Makeathon Challenge’saw nine teams from India and around the world demonstrating their innovativesolutions to address the needs of persons with disabilities in low resourceenvironments. The second edition of EM was held simultaneously in India and theUnited Kingdom in partnership with the Global Disability Innovation Hub,London.
Mr. RaoInderjit Singh, President Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) who delivered thekeynote address, said, “The government is committed to making social inclusiona reality. We have to ensure that we remove the stigma around persons withdisabilities and programmes such as the Enable Makeathon will help do this.”
JeremyEngland, Head of the Regional Delegation for India, Nepal, Bhutan and theMaldives in his welcome address, said, “We’re excited about what the teams havecome up with and we can see them really making a difference with theirinnovation solutions. Inclusion, collaboration and impact are at the heart ofthe Enable Makeathon. It is about looking for solutions withpersons with disabilities. Products based on listening to the needs ofPWDs will be the designs that can help us all. Collaborating with partners toget these finalised and delivered to people in need is the impact we aim for.”
Speaking atthe event, Tarun Sarwal, Head of Innovation, ICRC said, “Enable Makeathon is aunique social movement. It brings together a multidisciplinary team of expertswith persons with disability to find solutions for the real challenges thatthey would like to address. Through the Enable Makeathon Challenge, we wantedto provide a platform for innovators to use their expertise in buildingassistive locomotive devices that would help people with disabilities living inrural India. Just like the first edition of Enable Makeathon, the EnableMakeathon 2.0 has been a resounding success with talented teams across Indiaand the world participating and presenting different challenges that delivereffective, inclusive solutions that are much needed for persons withdisabilities.”
The EM2movement is an initiative of the ICRC in collaboration with GDI Hub and withthe support of several partners including V-Shesh, Applied Singularity,University College London, Global Shapers Bangalore, Global Humanitarian Lab,Project DEFY, The Association of People with Disability, Innovation Alchemy,Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, IKP Eden, Indian Institute ofManagement Bangalore, Formulate IP and the Indian Red Cross Society.
For the last60 days, teams comprising of persons with disabilities, technology and designexperts, the scientific and innovation community, and mentors have been workinground the clock to create affordable gadgets and assistive devices that aim tomake persons with disabilities more independent and self-reliant.
About theInternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
TheInternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent andnon-political organisation with a large scope of activities which it undertakesthrough its presence in most countries. Its existence and activities areuniversally recognised, and it regularly responds to the needs of peopleadversely affected by situations of humanitarian concern, in particular armedconflict and violence.
Usuallyworking in partnership with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,the ICRC provides humanitarian aid and expertise, most notably in these areas:emergency response, detention management, humanitarian forensics, internationalhumanitarian law, restoration of family links, orthopaedic services and waterand habitat.
The ICRC hasa proven record and long history in Asia and works by engaging withall parties concerned through a unique approach based on discretion,transparency and reliability in order to be able to reach and meet the needs ofvulnerable persons.