Every year, the Tech Museum's Tech Awards honor people and organizations that use technology to change the world in positive ways. In the past, Tech Award laureates have included Fast Company favorites like the Solar Ear and Cows to Kilowatts. This year brought a new set of 15 innovators to watch out for.
It's hard to pick favorites from a group culled out of 1,011 nominations in 54 countries, but there are a few winners that stand out. ToughStuff, a company that offers solar power for the developing world, took one of the Intel Environment Awards, for its modular set of low-cost (everything is under $13), durable solar power products, including personal-sized panels, LED lights, cell phone connectors, and rechargeable battery packs. Since its inception eight months ago, ToughStuff has sold over 200,000 units. The company hopes to reach 30 million people in the next five years.
Another highlight from this year's awards is PharmaJet, a company that delivers vaccines and drugs through the skin—no needle required. The FDA-cleared technology uses jet injection technology to deliver liquid medication into the arm, abdomen or thigh. PharmaJet's product has a few important advantages over needles: it's single use, so there's no risk of contamination, and it doesn't waste any medication, reducing the amount of vaccine needed for a single dose by up to 80%.
Want to check out the rest of the laureates? Find them here—we can almost guarantee that you'll find something that inspires you.