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Nigerian inventor wins ASME innovation award

A Nigerian is among three regional winners of the 2020 ASME Innovation Showcase.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) announced the winners in a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The invention from Nigeria is “Cipher” by Lagos-based Microfuse Technologies. It is a tool that allows its user to diagnose and detect cerebral malarial retinopathy with a smartphone while also capturing other individual patient data.

ASME said the tool would be of immense help in urban settings and remote areas where it can be a split-second decision to treat a child for malaria or consider other causes of illness that could be life-threatening as well.

Microfuse and two other Kenyan winners will share $30,000 grand prize in seed grants and receive technical support to help bring their design innovations to market.

MicroFuse Technologies (Lagos, Nigeria) for its “Cipher” technology — a tool that enables its user to diagnose and detect cerebral malarial retinopathy with a smartphone while also capturing other individual patient data.

One Kenyan winner Ecobora invented a “solar cooking boiler”, which stores solar energy in a repurposed oil tank with waste motor oil as carbon sink tank, eliminating need for firewood and allowing use to cook round the clock. Rural marginalised schools in Kenya are using money saved from not buying wood to equip science and computer labs.

The other winner Inteco invented a sanitary pad dispenser system called “Ari”.

It installs sanitary pad dispensers in schools where girls can easily get it to maintain menstrual hygiene.

“We are proud to offer a forum for engineering problem-solving that truly improves lives,” said ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile.

“We are continually impressed by the creative talent of ASME ISHOW participants and their passion for helping underserved communities around the world.”

A second Nigerian inventor won “Fan favourite”, a category for products with the most votes on social media with a prize of $1,000.

Port Harcourt-based Dunamis-Cognito presented “Ina Lite”– a sustainable, affordable, portable, light weight, thermoelectric generator that harnesses heat energy to generate electricity accessible from a USB power port.

Another finalist team, Kenya-based Burn, was recognized with a special “Research and Development Award” for its diligence in improving on a previous innovation and developing the next generation of hardware.

The team is behind “Kuniokoa TURBO Stove” — a forced draft biomass stove that is compatible with pay-as-you-go solar systems that decreases time to boil by ~60% , decreases the tending interval by 30%, and can burn wood fuel with up to 27% moisture content as clean as liquified petroleum gas.

Once launched, it will be the only production household cookstove in the world that achieves ISO/IWA “Tier 4” performance with agricultural waste briquettes.

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