Prolific inventor, tech visionary Dean Kamen honored with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award at The Tech Awards 2013

Ten international innovators recognized for using technology to benefit humanity at renowned annual Silicon Valley gala

SAN JOSE, CA – November 14, 2013 – Dean Kamen, who is responsible for breakthrough inventions in medicine and clean energy and is widely hailed as a mentor to hundreds of thousands of youth around the world as founder of FIRST®, received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award before more than 1,400 Silicon Valley technorati Thursday at the 13th annual The Tech Awards Gala. 

“Technology and innovation only mean something if they have an impact on people’s lives,” Kamen said. “I strive to inspire the younger generations to continue innovating.”

Kamen’s DEKA Research & Development Corporation is responsible for several pioneering inventions including a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT – a  motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Kamen also led teams in the development of devices such as the Segway® Human Transporter, an insulin pump for diabetics, portable energy and water purification devices for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers. 

While an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable infusion device to deliver drug treatments that previously required round-the-clock hospital care.

Founded in 1989 by Kamen, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology. This year FIRST will serve more than 300,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 60 countries around the globe.

Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., the global humanitarian award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating humanity’s greatest problems.

Kamen joins an impressive roster of past award recipients of the global humanitarian award that includes Infosys founder N.R Narayana Murthy, social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, education and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied Materials’ Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award a decade ago.

“Dean Kamen personifies the spirit of a global humanitarian,” said Mike Splinter, Executive Chairman of Applied Materials. “He is a gifted inventor, who at a young age was encouraged to explore and think beyond limits, a quality he now instills in students all around the world. I congratulate Dean and all the laureates honored tonight for using technology to make a positive difference.”

Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards has recognized 267 laureates since its inception in 2001. The pioneering work of these laureates has included building a “solar suitcase” to provide emergency lighting and power for medical procedures, developing an eco-techniques toolkit that improves the living conditions in rural communities and the creation of a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to ensure people receive potent immunizations.

The Tech Awards Gala also included awards recognition for 10 laureates whose life-changing work impacts people in nearly every corner of the globe. For their commitment to applying technology in practical ways to resolve some of the world’s most challenging issues, the laureates were given a week filled with unique Silicon Valley business experiences and training and an unrestricted cash award up to  $75,000. Judging for The Tech Awards is conducted by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society (CSTS). The CSTS acts as an independent party that organizes and convenes expert judges representing academia and the public and private sectors.

The Tech Museum of Innovation President Tim Ritchie challenged the night’s attendees to discover “what problem do you care so much about that you are willing to dedicate your life to solving. It’s a privilege to live in a community that both wants to, and believes it can, change the world,” Ritchie said. “I look forward to seeing the wonderful things we can do together. I look forward to taking on big problems with the kind of gritty optimism that characterizes this valley.”

Hosted by stage actor and Santa Clara University professor Aldo Billingslea, the gala unfolded against the backdrop of an exhibition specially curated for The Tech Awards that included some of the world’s most iconic photos projected on towering screens. The night’s special highlights included the reading of an original poem written for The Tech Awards by the nation’s fifth presidential inaugural poet, Richard Blanco; a presentation on Leonardo DaVinci, one of the world’s foremost innovators, by Fritjof Capra, author, physicist and systems theorist, and a moving solo vocalist performance by Broadway-bound Archbishop Mitty senior Myha’la Herrold.


Intel Environment Award

Antrix Corp./ISRO: Sujala Project




Microsoft Education Award

Globaloria: Invent. Build. Share.

United States

Enova: Learning and Innovation Network


Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award



OPI: Yo Propongo


Nokia Health Award

D-Rev: Brilliance


Nazava Water Filters


Flextronics Economic Development Award

Kilimo Salama: Syngenta Foundation

Kenya, Rwanda

Potential Energy


Key sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Applied Materials, Inc., Flextronics, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Nokia, Swanson Foundation, Polycom, Qatalyst, Ann and John Doerr, Seagate, Accenture, NASDAQ OMX, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, GoDaddy, Google, KPMG, The Sathaye Family Foundation, Charmaine and Dan Warmenhoven, Wells Fargo, Xilinx, Advocate Creative, Aramark, Bain & Company, Radha Basu – Frugal Innovation Lab, Berrett-Koehler, Blackbird Tavern, Ryan Campbell – PureMatter, Dazian, Forbes, Brienne Ghafourifar – Entefy, Gerry Hansen –  Coaching and Consulting, Elizabeth Hausler – Build Change, Hayward Quartz Technology, Jamieson Ranch Vineyard, Kay Kleinerman – Voice Matters, KQED, San Jose Marriott Hotel, McCune Audio Visual, Karen Mullarkey, NBC Bay Area, Ruder Finn, Tom Seres –,, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, SunEdison, TIME, Silicon Valley Business Journal, and Susie Wise – Institute of Design at Stanford.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech —located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. Learn more at
Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart