Tech Museum Awards Finalists

“Reflecting the mission of The Tech Museum of Innovation, these awards recognize the innovators who use technology to improve people’s lives,” says Peter Giles, president and chief executive officer of The Tech. “Through these awards, The Tech inspires future scientists, technologists, and social entrepreneurs to harness the incredible power and promise of technology to solve the challenges that confront us at the dawn of the 21st Century.”

Martin Melendez "The Tech Museum Awards continue to attract the finest examples of technology creatively put to use for the benefit of people around the world," stated Jim Morgan, Chairman of presenting sponsor Applied Materials. "In the three years of the program we have brought greater awareness and recognition to the laureates and their world changing technologies, and we will continue to work to replicate and expand their work around the globe."

For more information on the awards and laureates, visit:

For Grupo Sofonías, it all began with a natural disaster…reconstruction after the Guatemalan earthquake of 1976. But, quickly it became clear that the real task was the permanent social disaster…poverty.

So, four visionaries, a Latin American and a European couple, decided in 1979 to form a work group and seek ways to confront this problem. They became Grupo Sofonias. They lived off their savings for more than a year until projects were approved. Then, things began to move, to grow, to evolve.

Their Leitmotiv has been “Small is Beautiful”. They have learned that through small and simple beginnings a wide-spread impact can be achieved.

That has been the case with the Micro-Concrete Roofing tile dissemination program. This Grupo Sofonias dissemination program is also included in the best practice list of U.N. Habitat (Dubai Award).

About The Tech Museum Awards
The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future at the Millennium report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Awards were inaugurated in 2001.

Judging for The Tech Museum Awards is independently conducted by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society, a global network of academic and industry experts dedicated to understanding and influencing how science and technology impact society. They assemble five panels of judges from around the world, recruited from research institutions, industry and the public sector, who judged the nominations on five set criteria.

The Tech Museum Awards Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Among Silicon Valley’s leaders supporting The Tech Museum Awards are presenting sponsor, Applied Materials, Inc. and Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society. Category sponsors are the NASDAQ Stock Market, Knight Ridder, Intel, and Accenture.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the innovator in everyone. For more information, visit or call (408) 294-TECH.

Media contact:

Grupo Sofonías Switzerland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gary Summers, The Tech Museum of Innovation, 925-284-7004
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Ryan Donovan, Ketchum Public Relations, 415-984-6138
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You are here: Home Past editions September 2003 (II) Tech Museum Awards Finalists


Pedro Seijo
Professor of Civil Engineering
Spanish, English
Teaching, ecomaterials workshop management, research (municipal waste)


EcoMateriales: Teja de MicroConcreto y Paneles de FerroCemento

The EcoSur network presents a short professional video on two major technologies, the Ferrocement panels and the Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles. Filmed in Nicaragua and Salvador, it shows production and application and gives a summary overview of those two materials that have a relatively small ecological footprint and have widely proven to be sustainable in the three classical dimensions ecology, economy and social acceptance.

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