Winner: BT Ingenious Award 2014
Mobile phones connect people across the world. They’re also the biggest contributor to economic growth in off-grid rural populations, and the only device that has reached the most remote, rural and low-income regions of the world. A charged phone provides a connection to employment and economic opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them, and means that they can engage in commerce with people outside of their local community as well as on the other side of the world.
But keeping a phone charged requires people to travel large distances, pay for the world’s most expensive electricity, and lose their phones for half a day while they charge. Twice a week.
BuffaloGrid recognised the need for a reliable and affordable way to deliver power to remote areas, and to make sure this vital connection wasn’t lost. The phones and network infrastructure already existed – what was needed was a way to power them. BuffaloGrid’s solar powered Hubs solved this problem, and in 2014 they took home the BT Ingenious Award for this innovative solution.
Daniel Becerra, Managing Director, says winning the Award increased BuffaloGrid’s profile:
“After we won we secured a deal with the Indian government, and are now part of ‘Karnataka Mobile One’, an effort to give people in the state of Karnataka access to government services using their mobile phone.”
Since winning the BT Ingenious Award, BuffaloGrid have gone on to be named as one of the 2014 Nominet Trust 100 – a global list of 100 inspiring innovators that are using technology to drive social change around the world. They have also been selected to attend the Clean and Cool Mission San Francisco, and are very close in securing new deployments in Malawi and Ethiopia.
“Our services can really enable a Smartphone revolution in these low income and remote regions of the world.”
Entry for Tech4Good Awards 2015 is now open, so if you believe that BuffaloGrid deserve to win again this year, make sure you let us know by completing the nomination form.