CLEVELAND, OH - February 9, 2012 - NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, today announced that it recently helped LAUNCH to identify and select ten entrepreneurial organizations whose breakthrough technologies will potentially transform how energy is delivered to developed and developing countries around the globe.

In developing countries where a large number of the rural poor do not have access to an electric grid, there is a critical need to create low-cost and accessible sources of electricity. Without electricity, citizens must use kerosene lanterns, which are expensive to fuel, generate indoor pollution, and are too dim to allow them to run a business or study after dark. Technologies that can give them access to other sources of light can lead to dramatic improvements in their lives. NineSigma and LAUNCH found creative solutions to this problem from companies such as Gram Power, which provides prepaid electric storage units to rural families in India. These types of solutions help reduce poverty and improve the health of rural populations. 

LAUNCH, a joint initiative of NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and NIKE, works to address large, sustainability-related challenges that no single government or commercial entity can solve alone. NineSigma has a unique approach to Open Innovation (OI) that enables solution seekers, like LAUNCH, to find solutions and partners beyond their industry, technical discipline and existing networks.

LAUNCH chose NineSigma to help with its LAUNCH: Energy Challenge, entitled Innovative Energy Technologies and Deployment Models for Sustainable Development, focused on finding solutions for transforming the generation and delivery of electricity. NineSigma’s proprietary process helps organizations define and focus complex problems and connect them with innovative solution providers through its open, global network. Using its core expertise, NineSigma helped NASA, USAID, the US Department of State, and NIKE draft an effective Need Statement, and distributed a Technology Brief to a broad spectrum of energy innovators, including companies, inventors and nonprofit organizations. Within just three months, NineSigma helped LAUNCH identify and review over 160 game-changing solutions.

“As the world’s population reaches record levels, and demands on the environment increase, the need for sustainable energy sources has never been more urgent. NineSigma shares this sense of urgency, and has the scientific acumen and large global network to streamline the process of finding solutions. NineSigma was integral to our process of identifying transformative technologies, and we are now beginning the important work of accelerating them forward into the world,” said Victor Friedberg, LAUNCH’s Executive Director.

“As citizens of the world, we are committed to using open innovation to tackle the problems that affect us all. The transformation of the world’s energy system is a challenge that is close to our hearts. We were pleased to work with LAUNCH to find many new technologically based solutions that hold tremendous promise,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma.

About LAUNCH

LAUNCH is a global initiative to identify and support the innovative work poised to contribute to a sustainable future and accelerate solutions to meet urgent challenges facing our society.
NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums. LAUNCH searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society. Learn more at www.launch.org.