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SunNight Solar and InnoCentive Announce
Malaria Challenge Winners

Winning solution was selected from 18 proposals to leverage the power of the sun to prevent or limit the spread of malaria

InnoCentive, Inc. Press Release - 2/12/2009
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WALTHAM, Ma. - InnoCentive, Inc., the global innovation marketplace, and SunNight Solar, a company dedicated to delivering products that solve problems plaguing the developing world, today announced the conclusion of a Challenge posted last spring that sought the design of an affordable solar-powered device to prevent or limit the spread of malaria.

The World Health Organization estimates that each year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur, and more than one million people die from the disease, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa. To date the most effective preventions against malaria have been physical barriers, such as insecticide-treated bed nets, and other residual insecticides. While these solutions are highly effective at reducing the spread of malaria, there are disadvantages. Among them are the potential dangers of human poisoning, the environmental impact of using insecticides, and the fact that mosquitoes can quickly build resistance to the treatment within a few, short generations -- making their eradication an increasingly costly endeavor.

The winning solution was selected from among 18 highly qualified proposals that offered ways to leverage the power of the sun to prevent or limit the spread of malaria. InnoCentive Solver Tom Kruer was awarded $40,000 for his solution, which brings an elegantly low-tech approach to a problem that has thus far challenged the most sophisticated techniques available to mankind.

News Highlights:

-- The solution comprises a small, cone-shaped mosquito trap that incorporates inexpensive paraffin wax and human sweat as the main ingredients. During the day a container of wax absorbs solar energy as it melts -- eliminating the need for costly photvoltaic cells and storage batteries -- and then is brought into the house at night where the heat is released at approximately the temperature of the human body as the wax re-solidifies. Combined with a water based attractant derived from human sweat collected from a simple wrist band, the ingenious trap mimics the scent, moisture, and temperature profile of a sleeping body, attracting mosquitoes to the cone where they are trapped and can be easily disposed of.

-- The product is designed to be produced for under $10, making it affordable to communities throughout the developing world, and will be delivered through commercial and non-profit channels, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

-- Pilot production of the solution is slated to begin in early February with full deployment targeted for May 2009 -- bringing the proposal from concept to production within a matter of months. Field testing will be conducted in University laboratories in addition to malaria-prone communities throughout Africa, beginning with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

-- This is the second time SunNight Solar has successfully tapped the InnoCentive Solver community -- which acts ostensibly as the company's research and development team -- to create products. In 2008, SunNight Solar produced a dual-purpose solar light to serve as both a lamp and a flashlight, based on a solution from an InnoCentive Solver in New Zealand. The device is being used in African villages, Gaza Strip, and other areas without electricity, providing sufficient light for security at night, enabling children to study and allowing family members to safely walk outdoors after dark.

-- Tom Kruer is one of InnoCentive's Top Solvers, having solved four other Challenges, including a machine to grind grain in India, an inexpensive machine to produce bricks in Pakistan, and a design for valves having dimensions measured in microns.

-- The Challenge is being supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, an InnoCentive partner, as part of its Accelerating Innovation for Development Initiative, which supports the application of new innovation models to solve challenges facing poor or vulnerable populations around the world.


Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, Inc.

"The effects of Malaria are devastating, with statistics citing a child's death every 30 seconds. For all the technology advancements the world has to offer, an effective, low-cost solution for malaria continues to be a problem. SunNight Solar has played a critical role in helping the world's less fortunate, from providing light in off-the-grid areas to combating deadly diseases, and we are proud to be part of this most recent, and incredibly important initiative."

Mark Bent, Founder of SunNight Solar

"What's powerful about our partnership with InnoCentive and The Rockefeller Foundation is that we have created an entirely new way to deliver products -- faster and more cost-effectively than could ever be done in a traditional business environment. We each contribute a supporting leg of the solution: InnoCentive provides the vehicle to take advantage of open innovation; The Rockefeller Foundation offers critical financial support; and we bring the necessary entrepreneurship. This model breaks the mold for how businesses can innovate and grow."

Tom Kruer, InnoCentive Solver

"It's extremely rewarding to have the chance to apply my expertise to solve Challenges with InnoCentive. Beyond the financial benefit, which is wonderful, I have a unique opportunity to 'give back' in a way that takes advantage of my skills and background. I also enjoy interacting with a community of like-minded inventors through the InnoCentive network and look forward to taking on more Challenges as my time permits."

Tara Acharya, Associate Director, The Rockefeller Foundation

"InnoCentive's open innovation approach has brought to light a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against malaria, a disease that still causes 1.5 million deaths worldwide every year. Such new models of innovation clearly enhance the innovative capacity of organizations and enterprises such as SunNight Solar that are working on the needs of poor people globally."

About SunNight Solar

SunNight Solar is leading a new movement in delivering products to the consumer, focusing on what is being called a 'triple bottom line' or a 3P approach -- people, planet and profits. All of its operations and programs have all three of these elements. SunNight Solar integrates social and environmental benefits into every aspect of the company, while earning the profits needed to grow, develop new products and provide a return to its employees and investors.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation was established by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., in 1913, and works around the world to ensure that globalization's benefits and opportunities are spread more fully in more communities. Since 2005, The Rockefeller Foundation has launched major efforts to bolster local resilience to the global climate crisis, mobilize an agricultural revolution in Africa, rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, shape smarter, more sustainable transportation policies in the United States and shape new policy proposals and financial products that promote and protect savings, access to health care, and secure retirements.

About InnoCentive

Founded in 2001, InnoCentive built the first global web community for open innovation, enabling scientists, engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs to collaborate to deliver breakthrough solutions for R&D-driven organizations. InnoCentive Seekers, who collectively spend billions of dollars on R&D, submit complex problems to the InnoCentive Marketplace where more than 160,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business people, and research organizations in more than 175 countries are invited to solve them. Solvers who deliver the most innovative solutions receive financial awards ranging up to US$1,000,000. InnoCentive's Seekers include commercial, government and non-profit organizations such as Avery Dennison, Procter & Gamble, Pendulum, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay, SAP and The Rockefeller Foundation.

About Tom Kruer

Tom is an experienced Product Development Engineer consulting with organizations around the world from his home office in midwest, USA. In addition to being a member of Engineers without Borders and The Union of Concerned Scientists, he has developed and started a number of entrepreneurial companies focused on producing products using "appropriate" technologies to solve all sorts of problems.

For more information on InnoCentive, go to:

InnoCentive and InnoCentive Challenge are registered trademarks of InnoCentive, Inc. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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