At the fourth NetExplorateur Forum, the Grand Prix NetExplorateur 2011 was awarded to m-Pedigree. The Ghana-based project uses the mobile phone as a weapon against pharmaceutical counterfeiting with the aim of saving lives.
At UNESCO headquarters, Paris, Eric Besson, French Minister for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy awarded the Grand Prix NetExplorateur to Bright Simons, founder of m-Pedigree, at a ceremony that also recognised nine winners of NetExplorateur of the Year awards. Every year, the Grand Prix NetExplorateur goes to the world’s best digital innovation.
m-Pedigree: saving lives with just a text message
Created in Ghana and successfully piloted in six African countries to date, the m-Pedigree platform is supported by technological partners such as Hewlett-Packard for IT infrastructure, pharmaceutical laboratories and government bodies. It makes instant authentication of drugs possible. Anyone can send a free text message to m-Pedigree quoting the code on the medicine’s packaging. The system sends back a message saying whether the product is genuine.
Fake medicine kills an estimated 2,000 people a day worldwide, chiefly in Africa and Southeast Asia. In some developing countries, fake medicine accounts for up to 25% of the market according to the WHO.
The NetExplorateur Forum: exclusive insight into the digital revolution
As the culmination of a year’s observation and analysis of the changes in digital society on a global scale, the NetExplorateur Forum was created in 2008. It has become an unmissable event at which 1,500 senior figures from business, politics and the media can grasp the most significant emerging initiatives and the most promising breakthroughs.
Thierry Happe, founder of the NetExplorateur Observatory, commented: “The Grand Prix NetExplorateur 2011 is an exemplary African initiative that delivers an exportable model, because fake medicine is now a global problem.”
The 9 NetExplorateurs of the Year 2011 (in addition to the Grand Prix)
CENSO 2010 (Brazil) The first fully digital national census of almost 200 million people.
HAL (Japan) A robot suit that enhances the muscle strength of people with reduced mobility and helps the human body in the hardest physical tasks.
FLATTR (Sweden) The first voluntary micropayment platform for rewarding the creators of digital content, with no amount too small.
E-SKIN (USA) A synthetic skin that gives robots a sense of touch.
LEWATMANA (Indonesia) A collaborative platform for beating the traffic in Jakarta.
OBAMI (South Africa) Creating a dedicated portal for schools through the social network concept.
NATURAL SECURITY (France) A biometric authentication system making electronic payment easier and safer.
MYTOWN (USA) Turning the real world into a Monopoly board where players can buy their favourite places to win points and deals.
DATASIFT (UK) A system that analyses messages from social media in real time.