(EnergyAsia, October 1 2012, Monday) — Germany’s engineering and infrastructure giant Siemens has launched a global competition, “Empower people. Award” to reward the best solutions to urban challenges in cities.

The company is encouraging people across the world to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to address the pressing problems faced by developing countries.

The competition, which is open to all individuals, teams, organisations and enterprises, is initiated by Siemens Stiftung, a foundation set up by Siemens AG to encourage global citizenry in social causes. Through global initiatives like these, the company said it hopes to promote individual responsibility, initiative and social entrepreneurship.

All applicants are expected to address a problem in one of the categories mentioned below and are encouraged to collaborate online with others with similar types of solutions. The categories for innovations are:

Water & Waste Water: Entries should enable individuals or communities to create, maintain and manage their water supply.

Energy: Entries could vary from a simple energy supply for a single machine to energy supply for households or the entire community.

Food & Agriculture: Entries should help people maximise soil utility and, at the same time, save on resources. Food processing and distribution are important factors to be considered.

Waste Management & Recycling: Entries should be long lasting solutions to improve solid waste management; ranging from solutions for composting and anaerobic digestion to various recycling approaches.

Housing & Construction: Entries should include materials and methods for construction, the heating and cooling of houses in urban and rural zones, products for cooking and/or devices for everyday life.

Healthcare: Entries could be sanitation infrastructure or simple instruments for medical use. E-solutions or technologies to educate individuals or communities on health and nutrition are a requirement.

Information & Communication Technology: Entries should help build up communities, implement alerts, improve the market overview, and support communication in rural regions.

Siemensa said that solutions provided must be easily implemented with the resources available in their regions. Submissions will be evaluated according to technical feasibility, job creation, sustainability in terms of financial aspects and the potential impact of the solution in solving the problem.

Siemens said the final evaluation and award decision will be made by a panel of jury who are independent and renowned individuals from technology, politics and developmental fields of work.

At the close of the competition, Siemens said the inventions will be showcased in a central database on the website to allow developmental organisations to identify appropriate solutions to be implemented.

Entries must be submitted to www.empowering-people-award.siemens-stiftung.org by December 31 2012.