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Prudence Foundation and AVPN Announce Winners of Inaugural Disaster Tech Innovation Competition

Providing launchpad for technologies that help protect and save lives

 

SINGAPORE
and HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 27 June 2019
-  Prudence Foundation, the
community investment arm of Prudential in Asia, and AVPN, a Singapore-based
funders' network committed to building a high-impact social investment
community across Asia Pacific, have announced the winners of their inaugural Disaster Tech Innovation Competition . The competition is at the core of the Disaster Tech Innovation
Programme, which seeks to reinforce the importance of innovative technologies in
protecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disasters (or
"Disaster Tech").


Following a worldwide call
for applicants earlier this year, the competition culminated in a Live Pitch
Event in Singapore where five finalists [1] from
across the world, comprising both for-profit and non-profit social purpose
organisations (SPOs), went head to head in front of a panel of expert judges [2] .
With operations covering markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal,
Bangladesh, the Philippines and Taiwan, the finalists demonstrated how they
would leverage technology solutions for disaster prevention and recovery
efforts in the region.


FieldSight took home the First Prize with its mobile platform which supports
disaster reconstruction activities, securing a grant of US$100,000 to support
the implementation and scaling up of its Disaster Tech solution.


"The frequency and scale of disasters around the world are unfortunately
growing, but Disaster Tech solutions are in a unique position to help
communities better respond to and recover from these destructive events," said Mr
Justin Henceroth, Director, FieldSight. "We first launched our platform in
Nepal following the devastating earthquakes of 2015 but have since implemented
it at 60,000 sites in 16 markets to monitor and supervise the quality assurance
processes of humanitarian and post-disaster infrastructure activities. The
Disaster Tech Innovation Competition has further connected us to a wider
network of contacts, technical expertise and financial support that we did not
previously have, which will be critical to FieldSight's efforts to minimise the
impact of natural disasters in Asia-Pacific and globally."


The Winners

  • FieldSight: Competition
    Winner -- US$100,000
  • SeismicAI: First
    Runner-up -- US$30,000; in recognition of its Artificial-Intelligence-powered
    early warning system that detects seismic activity within two seconds
  • PetaBencana.id:
    Second Runner-up -- US$20,000; in recognition of its free web-based platform
    that produces megacity-scale visualisations of disasters using both
    crowd-sourced reporting and real-time statistics


The Other Finalists:

  • OpenAerialMap; in
    recognition of its drone imagery platform for rapid sharing during disasters
  • People in Need; in
    recognition of its early warning system for floods using Internet of Things-based
    sensors

The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the most at risk from natural
disasters. Over one billion people in developing countries across Asia are
viewed to be at risk from multiple hazards[3],
including tropical cyclones, floods, earthquakes and more. It is also estimated
that 200 million children each year will have their lives severely disrupted by
natural disasters in coming decades.[4]

"Technology advancement is not only increasing the connection among communities,
it is also serving a higher purpose of protecting and saving lives. We are
confident the ground-breaking technologies from our finalists will make a
difference in helping communities in Asia be better prepared and recover faster
from the devastation of natural disasters. We are grateful to all our partners
who supported the competition and look forward to working with more organisations
to make our communities safer, more secure and more resilient," said Mr Donald
Kanak, Chairman of Prudence Foundation.


In addition, as part of the Disaster Tech Innovation Programme to
support Disaster Tech SPOs, the finalists were invited to showcase their
solutions and seek further partnerships at the annual AVPN Conference from 26
to 28 June 2019 in Singapore, the largest gathering of social impact funders
and resource providers in Asia.


"AVPN is pleased to partner with Prudence Foundation to bring
together collaborators to develop and realise innovative solutions to limit
the adverse impact of natural disasters," said Mr Kevin Teo, Chief
Operating Officer of AVPN. "At AVPN, our mission is to move more capital
towards impact, so initiatives like these are ideal because they both directly
mobilise funding for high impact organisations as well as expose these
organisations to the broader AVPN community to inspire even more action."


Building on the ongoing efforts of Prudence Foundation to promote
disaster preparedness and recovery across Asia since 2013, the Disaster Tech
Innovation Programme aims to encourage more organisations to contribute in this
area. Similar to other Prudence Foundation initiatives focused on disaster risk
reduction, SAFE STEPS and Safe Schools, the programme supports UN Sustainable
Development Goals; specifically Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)
and 13 (Climate Action).


As technology continues to evolve and offer more ground-breaking
solutions that can help prevent and enable communities to recover from the
impact of natural disasters, Prudence Foundation plans to continue building the
awareness and supporting Disaster Tech organisations with a view to discovering
and maximising the collective impact of technologies available. To find out more
about the Disaster Tech Innovation Programme, visit https://avpn.asia/disaster-tech/ .

NOTES TO EDITORS


The Disaster Tech Innovation Competition was judged by an esteemed panel
of professionals from both the profit and non-profit sectors, who donated their
time and expertise to the programme.


The final panel was composed of the following experts:


Andrea Hajdu-Howe, Partner, Head of Global Capital: Antler

Birger Stamperdahl, Chief Executive Officer: Give2Asia

Kevin Gibson, Chief Investment Officer, Equities: Eastspring Investments

Marija Ralic, Head of APAC: Google.org

Sylvia Cadena, Head of Tech Programmes: APNIC Foundation

Xavier Castellanos, Regional Director, Asia Pacific: International
Federation of Red Cross

For the full list of competition judges and partners, visit https://avpn.asia/disaster-tech/ .

High-resolution images are available for download here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tlzv2vg0w3iq2p9/AABpOg8QGcw5QN9L9rIrWgaoa?dl=0


(From left to right) Naina Batra - CEO of AVPN,
Donald Kanak -- Chairman of Prudence Foundation, Jan Gelfand of IFRC, Jared Tham
of Give2Asia, Justin Henceroth of FieldSight, Amir Diner of SeismicAI, Adhitya
Yusuf of PetaBencana.id, Nate Smith of OpenAerialMap, and Sylvia Cadena of APNIC
Foundation.

FieldSight is a tech platform with a mobile app for monitoring that
works offline and in the most remote locations paired with a web app for
viewing, analysing, and reviewing data. 

An engineer uses FieldSight to monitor the construction of a school in
Sarlahi, Nepal. 
Credit:
John Wray.


APPENDIX

Winners and Finalists of
the Disaster Tech Innovation Competition (by alphabetical order)

About FieldSight

Following the devasting
Nepal Earthquake of 2015, FieldSight was founded as a Humanitarian digital
platform for remote project supervision and monitoring, as well as
infrastructure quality assurance. Developed in partnership with UNOPS,
FieldSight is built to work on mobile devices and in remote and difficult-to-access
locations, creating actionable data and interfaces that help partners deliver
higher-quality, lower-risk recovery projects.

About OpenAerialMap

Founded by Humanitarian
OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in Washington, D.C., OpenAerialMap (OAM) is a set of
tools for searching, sharing, and using, openly licensed satellite and drone
imagery. The open source platform provides search and access to this imagery,
which ultimately helps decrease loss time in time-sensitive decision making by
providing disaster managers and responders with up-to-date, high-quality
imagery data.

About People in Need

Headquartered in Prague,
Czech Republic, People in Need (PIN) co-developed and piloted the use of
automated water gauges in Cambodia following the 2013 floods, which have
substantially improved the responsiveness of Cambodia's Early Warning System.
The solar-powered water gauges continuously record water levels and transmit
data for immediate evaluation. Where it is deemed that threshold levels have
been reached, a pre-recorded audio message is sent to registered users in
affected areas using Interactive voice response technology.

About PetaBencana.id

First founded in
Indonesia in 2013, PetaBencana.id  is a free
web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualisations of disasters
using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations in real
time. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instant
messaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates from
street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time-consuming
data processing.

About SeismicAI

Currently under
development, the Israel-based company SeismicAI looks to provide its customers with
a commercial-grade Earthquake Early Warning system that can detect seismic
activity within two seconds, reducing the amount of time to send out warning
messages. The company's goal is to replace outdated seismic models with unique
physics and machine learning systems with their more cost-efficient model.


[1] Refer
to the Appendix for details of the finalists.

[2]
Refer to the Notes to Editors section for details of the judges.

[3] Global
Risk Hotspots Analysis 2015, UN ESCAP.

[4] Disaster
Impacts on Education in the Asia Pacific Region in 2015, Save the Children.

About Prudence Foundation

Prudence Foundation is the community investment arm of Prudential in
Asia. Its mission is to secure the future of communities by enhancing
education, health and safety. The Foundation runs regional programmes as well
as local programmes in partnership with NGOs, governments and the private
sector in order to maximise the impact of its efforts. Prudence Foundation
leverages Prudential's long-term mindset and geographical scale to make
communities safer, more secure and more resilient. The Foundation is a Hong
Kong registered charitable entity.


For more information, please visit Prudence Foundation.


About AVPN

As the only comprehensive funders' network in Asia, AVPN is a leading
ecosystem builder for the social investment sector with 500+ members across 32
countries. AVPN's mission is to catalyse the movement toward a more strategic,
collaborative and outcome focused approach to social investing, ensuring that resources
are deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges facing
Asia today and in the future.


For more information, please visit AVPN.

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