The Vodafone Americas Foundation has announced the annual Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project for entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge mobile technology with the potential to have a global impact.

Proposals will be accepted until December 31st with winners announced in April 2012. Applicants compete for first, second and third-place prizes worth $300K, $200K, and $100K respectively.

In addition, the mHealth Alliance, an organization dedicated to enabling the delivery of quality healthcare to the furthest reaches of mobile networks, is announcing an award worth $50K, which includes networking support from the mHealth Alliance.

A panel of judges from the fields of mobile engineering, international development, social entrepreneurship, and business will evaluate the applications for their potential to solve issues in the fields of education, health, access to communication, economic development, and the environment. Projects should be global in scope and must be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period.

Details about eligibility and the application can be found at

Evaluation Criteria

(1) Significance of the Wireless Innovation

  • proposed project offers a significant advancement in wireless-related technology
  • research design demonstrates a thorough understanding of the technical issues being addressed
  • proposed project demonstrates how the innovation can be implemented beyond the lab

(2) Social Impact

  • proposed project presents a solution to a clearly defined social problem within the areas of education, health, access to communication, environment, or economic development
  • projects may also address issues of connectivity, energy, language or literacy hurdles, or ease os use
  • proposed solution has potential wide-scale social impact and scalability

(3) Interdisciplinary Involvement

  • project uses an interdisciplinary team to develop a comprehensive solution that addresses the technological issues and the social impact/international development issues
  • projects demonstrates knowledge of and capacity for partnership with US non-profit organizations, international NGOs, or businesses working in the field or other external partners needed to implement the project’s goals

(4) Market Knowledge and Use of Innovation

  • demonstrated need in the market for the product as evidenced by markets data, needs assessment, or involvement of local NGOs or social entrepreneurs
  • proposed project design demonstrates an understanding of the culture and conditions of the end-users and consideration of the impact of the proposed innovation

(5) Project Plan and Feasibility

  • proposal presents a well thought out business plan demonstrating its financial sustainability over time
  • proposal demonstrates that it has considered the feasibility of mass production, marketing and distribution

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