Entries open for disaster preparedness awards


Tuesday, 21 February, 2023

Entries open for disaster preparedness awards

Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential plc, has launched 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 Prudence Foundation aims to create a better future for communities by making them safer and more resilient to life’s risks,” said Jolene Chen, Chair of Prudence Foundation.

“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 non-profits 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, including 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 program 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.

“The IFRC supports national societies to continually improve their local preparedness and response capacity, ultimately preventing and reducing the impacts of disasters on communities,” said Robert Laprade, Head of Strategic Engagement and Partnerships for IFRC Asia Pacific. “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.”

Samuel Harris, Public Sector Startup Lead, Asia Pacific and Japan at AWS, added, “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.”

Thaddeus Koh, founder of e27, concluded, “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, non-profits and technology organisations, we can drive progress in technology tackling real-world disasters and create a more resilient and prepared future for all.”

Any startup, existing company or organisation, whether it is for-profit or non-profit, from across the world can apply. Startups and non-profits across Asia Pacific have the opportunity to access grants including 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 competition is open for entries until 15 March 2023. For more information and to apply, visit https://safesteps.com/d-tech/.

Image credit: iStock.com/alengo

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