Prudence Foundation and AVPN Announce Winners of Inaugural Disaster Tech Innovation Competition

June 27, 2019 - 08:01
Prudence Foundation and AVPN Announce Winners of Inaugural Disaster Tech Innovation Competition

Providing launchpad for technologies that help protect and save lives


SINGAPOREand HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 27 June 2019-  Prudence Foundation, thecommunity investment arm of Prudential in Asia, and AVPN, a Singapore-basedfunders' network committed to building a high-impact social investmentcommunity across Asia Pacific, have announced the winners of their inaugural Disaster Tech Innovation Competition . The competition is at the core of the Disaster Tech InnovationProgramme, which seeks to reinforce the importance of innovative technologies inprotecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disasters (or"Disaster Tech").

Following a worldwide callfor applicants earlier this year, the competition culminated in a Live PitchEvent in Singapore where five finalists [1] fromacross the world, comprising both for-profit and non-profit social purposeorganisations (SPOs), went head to head in front of a panel of expert judges [2] . With operations covering markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal,Bangladesh, the Philippines and Taiwan, the finalists demonstrated how theywould leverage technology solutions for disaster prevention and recoveryefforts in the region.

FieldSight took home the First Prize with its mobile platform which supportsdisaster reconstruction activities, securing a grant of US$100,000 to supportthe implementation and scaling up of its Disaster Tech solution.

"The frequency and scale of disasters around the world are unfortunatelygrowing, but Disaster Tech solutions are in a unique position to helpcommunities better respond to and recover from these destructive events," said MrJustin Henceroth, Director, FieldSight. "We first launched our platform inNepal following the devastating earthquakes of 2015 but have since implementedit at 60,000 sites in 16 markets to monitor and supervise the quality assuranceprocesses of humanitarian and post-disaster infrastructure activities. TheDisaster Tech Innovation Competition has further connected us to a widernetwork of contacts, technical expertise and financial support that we did notpreviously have, which will be critical to FieldSight's efforts to minimise theimpact of natural disasters in Asia-Pacific and globally."

The Winners

  • FieldSight: CompetitionWinner -- US$100,000
  • SeismicAI: FirstRunner-up -- US$30,000; in recognition of its Artificial-Intelligence-poweredearly warning system that detects seismic activity within two seconds
  • Runner-up -- US$20,000; in recognition of its free web-based platformthat produces megacity-scale visualisations of disasters using bothcrowd-sourced reporting and real-time statistics

The Other Finalists:

  • OpenAerialMap; inrecognition of its drone imagery platform for rapid sharing during disasters
  • People in Need; inrecognition of its early warning system for floods using Internet of Things-basedsensors

The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the most at risk from naturaldisasters. Over one billion people in developing countries across Asia areviewed to be at risk from multiple hazards[3],including tropical cyclones, floods, earthquakes and more. It is also estimatedthat 200 million children each year will have their lives severely disrupted bynatural disasters in coming decades.[4]

"Technology advancement is not only increasing the connection among communities,it is also serving a higher purpose of protecting and saving lives. We areconfident the ground-breaking technologies from our finalists will make adifference in helping communities in Asia be better prepared and recover fasterfrom the devastation of natural disasters. We are grateful to all our partnerswho supported the competition and look forward to working with more organisationsto make our communities safer, more secure and more resilient," said Mr DonaldKanak, Chairman of Prudence Foundation.

In addition, as part of the Disaster Tech Innovation Programme tosupport Disaster Tech SPOs, the finalists were invited to showcase theirsolutions and seek further partnerships at the annual AVPN Conference from 26to 28 June 2019 in Singapore, the largest gathering of social impact fundersand resource providers in Asia.

"AVPN is pleased to partner with Prudence Foundation to bringtogether collaborators to develop and realise innovative solutions to limitthe adverse impact of natural disasters," said Mr Kevin Teo, ChiefOperating Officer of AVPN. "At AVPN, our mission is to move more capitaltowards impact, so initiatives like these are ideal because they both directlymobilise funding for high impact organisations as well as expose theseorganisations to the broader AVPN community to inspire even more action."

Building on the ongoing efforts of Prudence Foundation to promotedisaster preparedness and recovery across Asia since 2013, the Disaster TechInnovation Programme aims to encourage more organisations to contribute in thisarea. Similar to other Prudence Foundation initiatives focused on disaster riskreduction, SAFE STEPS and Safe Schools, the programme supports UN SustainableDevelopment Goals; specifically Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)and 13 (Climate Action).

As technology continues to evolve and offer more ground-breakingsolutions that can help prevent and enable communities to recover from theimpact of natural disasters, Prudence Foundation plans to continue building theawareness and supporting Disaster Tech organisations with a view to discoveringand maximising the collective impact of technologies available. To find out moreabout the Disaster Tech Innovation Programme, visit .


The Disaster Tech Innovation Competition was judged by an esteemed panelof professionals from both the profit and non-profit sectors, who donated theirtime and expertise to the programme.

The final panel was composed of the following experts:

Andrea Hajdu-Howe, Partner, Head of Global Capital: Antler

Birger Stamperdahl, Chief Executive Officer: Give2Asia

Kevin Gibson, Chief Investment Officer, Equities: Eastspring Investments

Marija Ralic, Head of APAC:

Sylvia Cadena, Head of Tech Programmes: APNIC Foundation

Xavier Castellanos, Regional Director, Asia Pacific: InternationalFederation of Red Cross

For the full list of competition judges and partners, visit .

High-resolution images are available for download here:

(From left to right) Naina Batra - CEO of AVPN,Donald Kanak -- Chairman of Prudence Foundation, Jan Gelfand of IFRC, Jared Thamof Give2Asia, Justin Henceroth of FieldSight, Amir Diner of SeismicAI, AdhityaYusuf of, Nate Smith of OpenAerialMap, and Sylvia Cadena of APNICFoundation.

FieldSight is a tech platform with a mobile app for monitoring thatworks offline and in the most remote locations paired with a web app forviewing, analysing, and reviewing data. 

An engineer uses FieldSight to monitor the construction of a school inSarlahi, Nepal. 
Credit:John Wray.


Winners and Finalists ofthe Disaster Tech Innovation Competition (by alphabetical order)

About FieldSight

Following the devastingNepal Earthquake of 2015, FieldSight was founded as a Humanitarian digitalplatform for remote project supervision and monitoring, as well asinfrastructure quality assurance. Developed in partnership with UNOPS,FieldSight is built to work on mobile devices and in remote and difficult-to-accesslocations, creating actionable data and interfaces that help partners deliverhigher-quality, lower-risk recovery projects.

About OpenAerialMap

Founded by HumanitarianOpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in Washington, D.C., OpenAerialMap (OAM) is a set oftools for searching, sharing, and using, openly licensed satellite and droneimagery. The open source platform provides search and access to this imagery,which ultimately helps decrease loss time in time-sensitive decision making byproviding disaster managers and responders with up-to-date, high-qualityimagery data.

About People in Need

Headquartered in Prague,Czech Republic, People in Need (PIN) co-developed and piloted the use ofautomated water gauges in Cambodia following the 2013 floods, which havesubstantially improved the responsiveness of Cambodia's Early Warning System.The solar-powered water gauges continuously record water levels and transmitdata for immediate evaluation. Where it is deemed that threshold levels havebeen reached, a pre-recorded audio message is sent to registered users inaffected areas using Interactive voice response technology.


First founded inIndonesia in 2013,  is a freeweb-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualisations of disastersusing both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations in realtime. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instantmessaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates fromstreet level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time-consumingdata processing.

About SeismicAI

Currently underdevelopment, the Israel-based company SeismicAI looks to provide its customers witha commercial-grade Earthquake Early Warning system that can detect seismicactivity within two seconds, reducing the amount of time to send out warningmessages. The company's goal is to replace outdated seismic models with uniquephysics and machine learning systems with their more cost-efficient model.

[1] Referto the Appendix for details of the finalists.

[2] Refer to the Notes to Editors section for details of the judges.

[3] GlobalRisk Hotspots Analysis 2015, UN ESCAP.

[4] DisasterImpacts on Education in the Asia Pacific Region in 2015, Save the Children.

About Prudence Foundation

Prudence Foundation is the community investment arm of Prudential inAsia. Its mission is to secure the future of communities by enhancingeducation, health and safety. The Foundation runs regional programmes as wellas local programmes in partnership with NGOs, governments and the privatesector in order to maximise the impact of its efforts. Prudence Foundationleverages Prudential's long-term mindset and geographical scale to makecommunities safer, more secure and more resilient. The Foundation is a HongKong registered charitable entity.

For more information, please visit Prudence Foundation.

About AVPN

As the only comprehensive funders' network in Asia, AVPN is a leadingecosystem builder for the social investment sector with 500+ members across 32countries. AVPN's mission is to catalyse the movement toward a more strategic,collaborative and outcome focused approach to social investing, ensuring that resourcesare deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges facingAsia today and in the future.

For more information, please visit AVPN.