The empowering people.Award is an international competition launched by the Siemens Foundation in 2013. The aim of the award is to promote social entrepreneurs with promising low-tech solutions in developing regions. Proposals for simple, smart solutions from different areas of basic needs are submitted from different countries. This term can be understood in a broader sense, as proposals are possible on very different topics such as energy, water, waste, health and financial solutions, learning and ICT. Submissions should have innovation as well as business potential. The empowering people.Award was launched for the third time in 2018.
AT-Verband was contracted to assess the submissions for the empowering people.Award with regard to technology aspects, among other things. The best submissions were then compiled in a shortlist. The shortlist submissions were evaluated by another team of experts for their economic viability. In addition to the award, the Siemens Foundation also introduced an empowering people.database, which presents selected "Good Practice Solutions. Thereby AT-Verband was involved in the selection of suitable solutions.
IGNIS – Income generation & climate protection by valorization of municipal solid waste in a sustainable way in emerging mega-cities.
IGNIS is a completed research project (project duration 2008-2013) which was funded within the "Future Megacities Programme" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The aim of this project was
to examine whether and to what extent the valorisation of solid municipal waste
can contribute to improved environmental protection, in particular to the
reduction of greenhouse gases and other emissions, and to the creation of jobs.
The project city with or in which the project was realised was Ethiopia's
capital Addis Ababa. However, the results generated by the project are not only
tailored to the context of Addis Ababa, but are also intended to serve as a
model and blueprint for other cities.
scientific basis of IGNIS were practical pilot projects, i.e. smaller projects
for waste recycling such as composting, fermentation, recycling and improved
These pilot projects were initiated, continuously technically and organisationally optimised and scientifically accompanied and analysed with regard to emissions, e.g. greenhouse gases, but also with regard to occupational safety, health and environmental aspects. The pilot projects were carried out by youth groups, women's groups or interested persons with the aim of establishing economically viable micro-enterprises. An essential aspect of IGNIS was also the creation of a reliable inhabitant related waste data base for different urban areas, which on the one hand enables a decentralised scaling of pilot projects for a resource-efficient waste management at district level, but on the other hand can also be used for the calculation of scenarios and material flows at city level in order to show optimised possibilities of waste treatment with regard to environment and employment.
IGNIS was carried out in close cooperation with local universities, authorities and above all ENDA as a local well networked NGO. The overall project coordination was in the hands of AT-Verband.
MODULAARE - Integrated modules for highly efficient wastewater treatment, waste treatment and regenerative energy generation in tourism resorts
MODULAARE was funded within the framework of the BMBF program "Decentralised Water Supply and Disposal Systems".
The aim of MODULAARE was to examine exemplary disposal technologies that contribute to encouraging environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism. Within the project, an anaerobic treatment plant for organic hotel waste was combined with a membrane technology for wastewater treatment as a decentralized disposal unit. The project period was 2005-2007.
This decentralized system, consisting of a biogas module and a wastewater membrane treatment module, was installed in the Resort Hotel Sarigerme Park (Turkey). Both modules were designed in Germany and technically modified for the specific application in a holiday hotel. In the hotel itself, a separate collection of organic waste was organised and introduced in the various kitchen areas. The organic waste was then fermented as substrate in the biogas module. The residues and sludges from the wastewater treatment module were also fed to the fermentation plant.
The biogas produced from both substrates was intended as an energy source for the energy-intensive membrane module.
Within the framework of MODULAARE, various tests were carried out to increase the efficiency of the biogas yield, to model the biogas module and to transfer the concept to other locations. In this context, in addition to the transfer of the MODULAARE concept to other tourism areas (e.g. Mainau Island/ Germany)), the possible implementation in the municipal area of developing countries (e.g. Arequipa Province / Peru) was also analysed. For the transferability of the concept, corresponding technical planning parameters were compiled and the relevant costs estimated. As a result, it can be stated that technical and ecological advantages arise in particular when there is no local wastewater treatment or recycling of separately collected biogenic waste. The results have shown that economic advantages of the system are quite realistic for year-round operation and the realisation of revenues from the digestate.
The project was realised with great support of the resort hotel Sarigerme Park. The overall project coordination was with the AT-Verband.