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The Tech Awards Gala 2008

On November 12, 2008, over 1400 esteemed innovators in the technology industry gathered to celebrate the power of technology to address global challenges and benefit humanity. At the eighth annual black tie gala in San Jose, Calif., The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials and a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, honored 25 technologists, educators, scientists and entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve our world. The 25 Laureates were chosen from hundreds of nominations representing 68 countries.

The Tech Awards Gala 2008 - November 12, 2008 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center

2008 Laureates
2008 Laureates

The Tech Award Trophy
The Tech Award Trophy

Laureate Projects
Cellist Marston Smith and stilt walkers

Emcee Lisa Kim
Emcee Lisa Kim, Anchor of NBC Bay Area Evening News

Laureate Showcase

Laureate Showcase

Global Humanitarian Award - Professor Muhammad Yunus

The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials, honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are helping to address humanity's greatest challenges.


At the Gala, Professor Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank, was the recipient of the 2008 Global Humanitarian Award. Often referred to as "the world's banker to the poor," Yunus developed a benchmark microcredit application through his Grameen Bank which allows the rural poor access to micro-loans for entrepreneurial enterprises such as purchasing livestock and procuring weaving materials. Yunus' vision of a world without poverty has been the inspiration for his life's work. Yunus and Grameen Bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their significant contributions in the field of microcredit.

Read the press release announcing the 2008 Global Humanitarian Award recipient.

Category Awards

Five of the 25 Laureates honored by The Tech Awards 2008 were also awarded a $50,000 cash prize. The cash prize recipients-one from each category-hailed from the United States, Namibia, the United Kingdom and India. Each developed or adapted technology in creative ways to solve global problems. The recipients were:

Craig R. Barrett
Environment Award
Craig R. Barrett
Chairman, Intel
Dr. Laurie Marker
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)

David B. Rich
Economic Development Award
David B. Rich
Managing Partner, Accenture
Hari Sharan
DESI Power: Decentralised Energy Systems India

Dan'l Lewin
Education Award
Dan'l Lewin
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
Randolph Wang
Digital StudyHall

Judy Swanson
Fogarty Institute for Innovation
Health Award
Dr. Thomas Fogarty
Founder, Fogarty Institute for Innovation
Robin Bullock
K1 'Auto Disable' Syringe, Marc Koska, Star Syringe, Ltd.

Irwin Federman
Katherine M. Swanson
Equality Award
Judy Swanson
Founder, Swanson Foundation
Dr. Elizabeth Hausler
Build Change

Global Humanitarian
Global Humanitarian Award
Peter Friess
President, The Tech Museum,
Professor Muhammad Yunus
Founder, Grameen Bank
Michael Splinter
President and CEO, Applied Materials, Inc.

Read more about the $50,000 cash prize recipients.

2008 marked the 8th year of The Tech Awards. Since it was founded, The Awards Program has honored 200 innovators from around the world and has awarded a total of $2,000,000 in cash prizes to encourage continued innovations and to honor the contributions Laureates are making in applying technology to solve global challenges.

Learn more about all 25 of the 2008 Laureates, or search our entire library of Laureate profiles, which include links to each Laureate's web site (if available).

Join us for The Tech Awards 2009 Gala!

The Tech Museum Awards
The Tech Museum Awards The Tech Museum of Innovation