Awards encourage and support the development of technology that can save lives from natural disasters
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 7 February 2023 – Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential Plc today launches the third edition of the SAFE STEPS Disaster Tech (D-Tech) Awards. The Awards aim to find, fund, and support technology solutions that save lives before, during or after natural disaster events.
The increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters as a result of climate change has magnified the importance of disaster preparedness. In 2021, natural disasters affected more than 104 million people and caused US$252 billion in economic losses[i].
The SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards was created by Prudence Foundation in 2019 to highlight the significant role that technology can play in improving disaster preparedness, recovery, and resilience.
Jolene Chen, Chair of Prudence Foundation said, “The Prudence Foundation aims to create a better future for communities by making them safer and more resilient to life’s risks. With SAFE STEPS D-Tech, we want to encourage and support innovation that fulfils this ambition. Importantly, we want to create a platform that brings together startups and nonprofits across the private and public sectors to help reduce the threat and impact of natural disasters.”
This year’s awards are supported by a number of collaborators, which include the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), and e27, a tech media platform that supports entrepreneurs and startups. IFRC will provide expertise for the judging panel. AWS will provide shortlisted participants with cloud credits and mentoring support through the AWS Startup Ramp, a programme that helps early-stage public sector-focused technology startups to build innovative solutions on AWS. Finally, e27 will leverage its tech ecosystem to promote the Awards and the winners.
Startups and nonprofits across Asia Pacific participating in the Awards have the opportunity to access grants from more than US$200,000 that includes AWS Cloud credits and cash awards provided by Prudence Foundation. Semi-finalists will have access to expert coaching and mentoring and finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges at the upcoming Singapore Echelon Summit 2023 taking place in May.
The Echelon Summit is a leading tech event organised by e27 that brings together tech startups and entrepreneurs, social enterprise developers, humanitarian and government representatives, venture capital fund managers, investors, researchers, and academia.
“Preparing for disasters saves countless lives, speeds up people’s recovery and saves money. The IFRC supports National Societies to continually improve their local preparedness and response capacity, ultimately preventing and reducing the impacts of disasters on communities. The world is facing increasingly frequent and complex humanitarian and development issues. To address them, we need coordinated action from a diverse range of actors, including the private sector,” said Robert Laprade, Head of Strategic Engagement and Partnerships for IFRC Asia Pacific.
Samuel Harris, Public Sector Startup Lead, Asia Pacific and Japan at AWS, said, “AWS is committed to providing startups with the tools, technical training, and mentorship to scale and build solutions addressing real-world social challenges. We are excited to be supporting the D-TECH Awards for the first time, to help organisations leverage cloud technology to create safe, more resilient communities in the region so they can better prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters and public safety emergencies.”
“Technology addressing man-made and natural disasters provides innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our communities today. By fostering collaboration among startups, nonprofits, and technology organisations, we can drive progress in technology tackling real-world disasters, and create a more resilient and prepared future for all,” said Thaddeus Koh, Founder of e27.
The competition is open for entries until 15 March 2023. Both startups and non-profit organisations are welcome to apply. Details of the application criteria, timeline and other relevant information can be found here.
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About the SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards
The SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards looks to find, fund and support technology solutions which protects and saves lives before, during or after natural disaster events. The SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards were created out of the belief that technological innovation has a significant role to play in improving disaster preparedness, recovery and resilience. This need is especially magnified in Asia Pacific where half of the world’s natural disaster events occur.
Now in its third edition, the Awards look to continue the work in catalysing a network of support, raising awareness of the sector, and helping the remarkable companies that operate in this space grow and scale.
The 2023 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards are created by Prudence Foundation and supported by humanitarian partner: the IFRC, technology partner: AWS, and strategic partner: e27.
About Prudence Foundation
Prudence Foundation is the community investment arm of Prudential plc in Asia and Africa. Its mission is to create a better future for communities by making them safer and more resilient to life’s risks. 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: www.prudencefoundation.com
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives, build community resilience, strengthen localization and promote dignity around the world.
For more information, please visit: Homepage | IFRC and twitter.com/IFRCAsiaPacific
Founded in 2007, e27 has a strong mandate to give all entrepreneurs a winning chance to succeed; providing them with relevant tools and resources to build and scale their companies in Asia’s tech ecosystem. e27 provides a go-to platform for connections, insights, funding, and more. Everything you would need to build a billion-dollar company.
For more information, please visit: https://e27.co/