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2017 - Human Development - Category Winner


Today there are around 110 million landmines affecting an estimated 70 countries around the world, affecting the lives and livelihoods of 1.5 billion people (World Bak Annual Report, 2011). Landmines have been in use since the 13th century as a way to stop enemy armies, but today instead, landmines are strategically planted around wells, fields and roads and 90% of the victims are civilians (UNICEF, 2015). Removing landmines is a slow, difficult and expensive process, as no method is 100% accurate you have to combine at least two of them. Despite having a market currently worth 5 billion USD, little has really changed on the ground since World War II, and hand-held instruments such as metal detectors and Ground Penetrating Radars are still the most preferred detection technologies. At Bibak, we believe, there must be a better solution, that’s why we created CANNY. CANNY is a modular pod of sensors that contains a metal detector, a georadar and a sensor for vapors from explosives. As simple as this may sound, this is a breakthrough combination in the detection field, able to locate even plastic and wooden landmines. CANNY also includes a landmine marker, a first-aid kit that meets international demining regulations and water to fight the number one problem of deminers: dehydration. CANNY is versatile enough to be attached to pretty much anything at hand, like a stick, a shovel and even a tractor. The current market is monopolized by expensive technology that competitors have used for over 50 years now (GIHDC, 2015). This technology is very simple per se, and the price of the devices does not reflect their actual cost (around from up to $18,000 for a metal detector plus a GPR). Being made from off-the-shelf parts, CANNY is 20 times less expensive than the competition. But Bibak is not just about technology. Bibak means “brave” in Persian, and we empower communities to take brave steps, from landmines to land security. Current demining is actually carried out by third parties with no community involvement in the process: as a matter of fact, NGOs and companies hire people at a central location and move them around the country. They have little to no links to the communities they serve and, because of this, communities often don’t trust the process. This, in turn, results in up to 50% of cleared land remaining unused just because communities don’t trust the process, despite all the millions of dollars spent on demining every single year ($460m in 2013 alone, according to the Landmine Monitor Annual Report). Bibak instead trains and assists communities to deploy the sensors themselves, teaching technical skills, first aid and leadership, in the process. Once demining is done, Bibak trains communities to upcycle the sensors and microcontroller that binds them together, reprogramming them to generate energy, regulate water flow for agriculture or for hydroponics. CANNY reaches communities in post-conflict areas through a microfinance scheme, with loans being repaid through income generated from cleared land. Thanks to its holistic approach, Bibak helps communities rebuild their social and economic fabric in 3 years instead of the 15-20 generally needed in post-conflict areas.
The Victoria Hand Project (VHP) aims to produce low-cost, highly functional, printed prosthetics using 3D printing, 3D laser scanning, and 3D software, and develop supply chains throughout the world to helps people regain the ability to do home or work-related tasks, and improve their quality of life.
2019 - Human Development - Category Winner


Many poor people loose their voice after throat cancer surgery because they cannot afford a replacement prosthetic voice box at a cost of US$1000. For example, in India the poor often earn less than $2 a day. AUM, a $1 ultra low-cost voice prosthesis device invented in 2015, comes with a curved knife that helps the puncturing of windpipe and food pipe with relative ease using a fisheye technique; Shishruth is an extremely inexpensive handheld wooden devise that helps to insert the prosthesis into the throat in less than two minutes. A training module supports clinicians and physicians with the procedure, and maintaining the prosthesis.
2011 - Human Development - Category Winner

Solar Autoclave

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.
2013 - Human Development - Category Winner

Solar Ear

Based in Brazil, Solar Ear produces solar-powered hearing aids, relying on a dedicated workforce of deaf people. The devices’ batteries are rechargeable and they last for up to three years.

Human Development

Humanity is just a work in progress.

Tennessee Williams, Playwright
In 2026 the global human population is expected to reach 8 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 top thinkers. This category covers all initiatives related to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all people despite the growing population.

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