Arrow Electronics and We Care Solar Cooperate on Innovative Solar Suitcase Technology

Project wins 2019 Edison Gold Award
Apr 11, 2019 10:00 AM ET
Press Release

April 11, 2019 /3BL Media/ Arrow Electronics and nonprofit We Care Solar won the 2019 Edison Award for Social Innovation for its joint development of Solar Suitcase 3.0, a portable and durable power system that provides sustainable energy for around-the-clock, effective obstetric care in remote and off-grid maternal health facilities around the world.

The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors the world’s best innovators and innovations. This year marks the 32nd year the Edison Universe organization has recognized technology innovation in categories ranging from medical advancements to building materials.

The Solar Suitcase was selected over other finalists in the category of Humanitarian Technology.

Worldwide, more than one billion people live without electricity – and 300,000 women die in childbirth, often turned away from health centers that lack power.

We Care Solar is a nonprofit that has teamed with Arrow to ensure women have access to safe childbirth in well-lit health facilities and equip medical providers with the power to save lives.

Arrow offered to help improve the Solar Suitcase, a sun-powered, waterproof, compact system that includes medical-quality lighting, a fetal monitor, rechargeable headlamps, and cell phone charging for remote health workers to make emergency referrals.

To optimize We Care Solar’s lifesaving technology solution, Arrow helped create a lower cost, more powerful design that is now easier to manufacture at scale, install and operate. Each unit is expected to work for at least five years before requiring a simple battery replacement. Extensive field testing is continuing in Uganda, and expanded manufacturing in the United States is planned for 2019.

“Having the light changed the lives of the health workers and the patients. It changed everything,” said Maimuna Muye, a Nigerian midwife.

All nominations were reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee and the final ballot sent to an independent judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.

The Edison Award winners were announced at a ceremony in New York on April 4, 2019.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 200,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2018 sales of $30 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at fiveyearsout.com.

About We Care Solar

We Care Solar is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that promotes safe motherhood and reduces maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and medical devices using solar electricity. We Care Solar has equipped 3,500 health centers and emergency response teams in 27 countries with Solar Suitcases, serving 1.8 million mothers and their infants. Learn more at www.wecaresolar.org.

About Edison Awards

Established in 1987, the Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. For more information about the Edison Awards, please visit www.edisonawards.com