The Katerva Awards are given annually to excellent sustainability ideas and initiatives in 10 categories. Finalists are announced in September each year. A single winner in each category will be selected by a panel of experts in that category and announced in October each year. A grand prize winner will be selected among category winners and announced as the best new sustainability effort of the year.
In 2011 the global human population is expected to reach 7 billion. Now more than ever before, issues related to population density, poverty, peace, and security are on the minds of some of the planet’s biggest thinkers. This category covers all initiatives related to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all people despite the growing population.
Solarclave, 2011 Katerva Awards Human Development Winner
The Solarclave is a low-cost, solar-powered device used to safely and reliably sterilize surgical instruments in developing country clinics that lack the necessary infrastructure and tools to perform much-needed surgical procedures. An autoclave is defined as a vessel capable of holding high-pressure steam at 15psi and insulation to maintain the internal temperature at 121 degree Celsius. The solar autoclave uses a parabolic solar concentrator and a small boiler to collect solar energy to generate steam that is transferred to an insulated pressure vessel and an electronic sterilisation indicator. Development of the Solarclave began in 2008 when a group of students entered a business plan competition at the University of Dayton, winning a $10,000 prize for their proposal to develop solar-powered sterilizers.
HPTN 052 HIV Treatment as Prevention Study, runner up
HIV-infected individuals who undergo immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) significantly reduce the risk of infecting their sexual partners by 96%, according to a breakthrough clinical study by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). Known as HPTN 052, the study examined whether HIV-infected individuals who started immediate ART treatment versus those who delayed ART would reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their non-infected partners while also improving their own well-being. The study began in 2005 and involved 1,750 couples (97% heterosexual) from 13 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. In the six-and-half years since the study began, 27 HIV transmissions have occurred in the delayed ART group while only 1 transmission has occurred in the immediate ART group.
Satellite Sentinel, runner up
To stop war atrocities in Sudan, George Clooney and John Prendergast of Enough Project launched the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) to monitor the region for human rights violations. In January 2011, a referendum was held in southern Sudan, allowing southern Sudanese to vote for independence or remain part of the country. The tension between northern and southern Sudan has been the source of civil war, most notably in Darfur. Since 2003, several hundred thousands of people have been reportedly killed and 5 million affected by the conflict. In an effort to prevent further atrocities from occurring in Sudan, especially during the referendum, the Satellite Sentinel Project collaborated with Google to gain access to high-resolution satellite images of the region. With help from UNOSAT in collecting and analyzing the images and Trellon in creating a web platform, SSP posts images of Sudan (24-36 hours after they were taken) on its website to encourage public participation in policing the region.
Tsunami Detection, runner up
The massive destruction caused by the recent tsunami in Japan and the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean show the need for better tsunami detection methods that can provide early warnings to coastal residents and thereby save thousands of lives. Tony Song of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California found a way to use NASA’s existing global positioning system (GPS) networks to track ocean floor movements immediately after an earthquake and estimate the resulting tsunami’s size and magnitude within a few minutes. The tsunami would then be rated on a Richter-like scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most destructive) and coastal areas within the vicinity would be quickly notified and evacuated accordingly. Such a reliable system would reduce false alarms and the psychological and economic costs that accompany them. Already, the system has been used to successfully predict a minor tsunami in Chile.
Twin Sat Earthquake Detection, runner up
Developed by a team of British and Russian scientists, the TwinSat project hopes to accurately predict where and when earthquakes will occur. TwinSat was announced in early 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s journey as the first human being in outer space. The project is a collaboration between British and Russian scientists and institutions, which include Alan Smith, Director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London (UCL), Vitaly Chmyrev of the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Peter Sammonds, Professor of Geophysics at UCL. Slated to launch in 2015, the satellite will be comprised of two co-orbiting spacecraft—a 45kg microsatellite and a 2.5kg nanosatellite—known collectively as TwinSat. Each satellite will carry a suite of science instruments to measure coupling between the lithosphere, atmosphere and ionosphere (LAI). These LAI coupling events are associated with seismic activity and hence, are believed to be precursors to earthquakes.