Safe Agua Peru Students Awarded NCIIA E-Team Grants

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August 30, 2012

Safe Agua Peru projects GiraDora and Balde a Balde were recently awarded E-Team grants from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You, joined by Designmatters Director Elisa Ruffino, discuss GiraDora at the NCIIA Open Minds Conference.

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in universities and colleges to create experiential learning opportunities for students and successful, socially beneficial businesses.

NCIIA’s Advanced E-Team Grants provide student inventors with the support they need to bring an innovative product or technology from idea to prototype, and eventually to market.

Designs that are awarded E-Team grants  must demonstrate  technical feasibility, social value, and potential for commercialization.

The grantees will also receive venture development mentoring through the NCIIA’s VentureLab Workshops. These workshops provide the E-Teams with the tools to help accelerate their business model and take their projects to the next level.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such a great team. These are products that don’t just solve a problem, but take into account the entire environmental, social, and economic context in which these products will be used.”

– Jonathan Beckhardt, MBA Candidate 2013, USC Marshall School of Business

Balde a Balde, “Bucket to Bucket” (designed by Kim Chow – Product Design) allows for running water from any bucket, to maximize cleanliness while optimizing water use.
GiraDora (designed by Alex Cabunoc – Product Design and Ji A You – Environmental Design) is a human-powered washing/spin-dryer that increases the efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes.

“Co-creation is at the heart of the Safe Agua projects – it’s the driving force that pushes them forward. These are products that are born from a collaboration between designers and the communities that will be using them. I believe these are important projects because they represent solutions that are not based on charity models, but rather on sustainable consumer-based business systems”

– Mariana Prieto, Student, Product Design

Mariana Prieto, Lead Innovator: Co-Creation Design Research, tests the Balde a Balde prototype in Cerro Verde.

GiraDora and Balde a Balde are outcomes of the Safe Agua Peru studio.  Designmatters’ students partnered with the Latin American NGO, Un Techo para mi Pais and its Innovation Center to co-create innovative design solutions to overcome water poverty with families living in Cerro Verde, a 30,000-person slum [asentamientos] perched on the hillsides surrounding Lima, Peru. The project began with an immersive ten-day field research trip in Peru which allowed the students to work directly with the team of Un Techo para mi Pais, Peru and families living without access to basic services.

“While I am very excited about what may happen over the next year, with the E-Team grant there is a whole new level of responsibility. Given this opportunity we are now responsible to the community of Cerro Verde to create the best outcome that we can in order to provide the kind of impact that we set out to some 11 months ago at the start of the Safe Agua Peru class.”

– Alex Cabunoc, Student, Product Design