Entrepreneurs from the U.S. and Germany Selected as Regional Winners by Hardware-led Social Innovation Accelerator


Innovations in Medical Treatment, Sustainable Ice Production, and Wildlife Conservation Win $30,000(USD) and Technical Support at 2021 ASME ISHOW USA Virtual Event


NEW YORK (July 21, 2021) – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has announced the regional winners of the 2021 ASME Innovation Showcase ( ISHOW), the prestigious international accelerator of hardware-led social innovation. Eight finalist teams of social innovators from North America, Europe, and Africa presented their design prototypes in a virtual event held July 13-15. Three entrepreneurs emerged as regional winners who will share $30,000(USD) in seed grants and receive technical support to help bring their design innovations to market. They were announced earlier today in a virtual awards ceremony that featured keynote remarks by Lisa Burton O'Toole, vice president of HearstLab and 2020 recipient of the prestigious ASME Kate Gleason Award.

The 2021 ASME ISHOW USA winners are:

  • Conservation X Labs (Washington, D.C., U.S.) for “ The Sentinel”—a hardware and software platform to retrofit existing devices used in wildlife conservation, such as trail cameras and acoustic recorders, enhancing how conservationists use advanced tools, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning models, and act on important events.
  • JK Engineering , part of SelfChill cooperation (Stuttgart, Germany) for its “ SolarIce Maker 50”—which produces 50 kg of ice blocks daily, combining solar power with innovative control and efficient operation; The product is engineered to work in tropical climates and designed to be manufactured with local material using SelfChill technology and natural refrigerant, assembled and maintained in the target countries with the help of trained staff. With a PAYG option, customers with limited finances can make monthly mobile payments for ice blocks as-a-service.
  • Project Prana (Cambridge, Mass., U.S.) for its “ iSAVE (Individualized System for Augmenting Ventilator Efficacy)”—a low-cost ventilator multiplexor that repurposes existing medical flow valves to allow a single ventilator to provide personalized support to at least two patients with independent control of volume and pressure for each patient and safety measures to accommodate sudden patient deterioration and prevent cross-contamination.

“Social enterprises, now more than ever, need the support of the global impact community,” says Iana Aranda, director of ASME’s Engineering Global Development sector that houses ISHOW. “Social entrepreneurs across the world, including many ISHOW ventures, are on the frontlines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and advancement of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. We are fiercely focused on providing these innovators with accessible platforms for capacity building, expert engagement and co-design of scaling strategies suited for the new normal. Ensuring their success through this global crisis is of paramount importance.”


In addition to the three grand prize winners, the product with the most votes in social media for each regional event is named the “Fan Favorite,’’ and receives $1,000 (USD). The fan favorite prize is made possible and in memory of Byron G. Schieber Jr. M.S., PE, Professor Emeritus QCCNY, and Ruth L. Schieber. The 2021 ISHOW Kenya “Fan Favorite” winner is JK Engineering, part of SelfChill cooperation (Stuttgart, Germany) for its “ SolarIce Maker 50.

More information on the ISHOW USA 2021 finalists can be found on the ASME ISHOW website. A virtual ISHOW for finalists in India was held in May and an event for finalists in Africa (ISHOW Kenya) took place in June. 

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