Prudence Foundation announces winners of the 2021 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards
LavonHort874068 6-07-2021, 14:05

Innovative oil spill recovery and dam water level monitoring solutions receive a US$75,000 grant each to help save lives from natural disasters

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 6 July 2021 - Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential in Asia and Africa, together with Humanitarian Partner International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Technology Partner Lenovo, have announced the winners of the 2021 SAFE STEPS Disaster Tech (D-Tech) Awards. The Awards recognise the essential role that technology plays in protecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disaster events.

Singapore-based EcoWorth Tech and the Stimson Center from the United States are the winners of this year's Awards. They were selected from among close to 60 entries around the world, and form part of eight finalists that took part in a virtual live pitch to a judging panel.

Mr Donald Kanak, Chairman of Prudence Foundation, said Prudence Foundation has been focusing on disaster preparedness and relief since 2011.

Asia is the world's most disaster-affected region. More than 50 per cent of global natural disasters took place in Asia, including China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.



The SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards were judged by an esteemed panel of experts from both the profit and non-profit sectors, who donated their time and expertise to the programme. The final panel was composed of the following experts:

  • Alexander Matheou, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, the IFRC
  • Bjorn Lindfors, Technology Partner, Antler
  • Birger Stamperdahl, CEO, Give2Asia
  • Jess Letch, Manager, Emergency Operations Coordination from the Disaster, Climate and Crisis Unit, the IFRC
  • John Sharp, Managing Partner, Hatcher+
  • Michael Woolley, Director, Head of Sustainability and Client Portfolio Manager, Eastspring Investments
  • Sumir Bhatia, President, Asia Pacific, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Lenovo

For the full list of competition judges and partners, visit


Visual assets available here:

Video about the 2021 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards:

Prudence Foundation announces winners of the 2021 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards

Videos about the Finalists:

For-Profit category and
Non-Profit category

High-resolution images of the finalists' solutions:




Winners of the 2021 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards  

Company (For-Profit)


EcoWorth Tech (Winner)


FloodMapp (Runner-up)



Company (Non-Profit)


The Stimson Center (Winner)


Fields Data (Runner-up)



EcoWorth Tech Pte. Ltd (Singapore)

Singapore-based startup EcoWorth transforms local cellulosic waste (e.g. wood, fibres/husks, used paper) into a super-absorbent material for oil spill clean-up and used in water treatment filters to efficiently remove oil from the water. The material allows for the absorbed oil to be recuperated and recycled.


FloodMapp (Australia)

FloodMapp is specialises in rapid real-time flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping to provide greater warning time that can potentially save lives and reduce damage and associated financial losses. The technology supports all three stages of the disaster management process, before, during and after a flood.


The Stimson Center (United States of America)

The Stimson Center operates the Mekong Dam Monitor, which provides near real-time monitoring of water levels in dams in the Mekong through satellite data and modelling, helping communities prepare in advance of upstream dam operations that may result in flooding or water supply disruption. The Monitor is a partnership between the Stimson Center and Eyes on Earth, and is currently deployed in Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Thailand, and China.

Link to the Mekong Dam Monitor


Fields Data (Norway)

Fields Data collects and share ground-level information about humanitarian and international development organisations in the form of 4W maps - who does what, where and when. Through these operational presence maps, Fields Data facilitates partnerships, give visibility accessibility to organisations working hard in the field and help organisations improve efficiencies. The solution is active in Burundi and Ghana with plans to expand to India.


*Lenovo's support to the SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards includes a total of US$50,000 cash prizes for the for-profit and non-profit runners up, as well as in-kind support for the winners and runners-up in both categories.

Finalists of the 2021 SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards


Kacific Broadband Satellite Ltd (Singapore)

A next-generation broadband satellite operator that provides high-speed, low-cost, ultra-reliable broadband to rural and suburban areas of the Pacific and South East Asia.


Project OWL (United States of America)

Operates hybrid hardware and software solution that provides rapidly deployable sensor and communications networks on ground, water, or in the air from dense urban locations to rural environments hit by disaster.



Bike Scouts (Philippines)

A web and mobile app that gives users the tools for documenting disaster impact in real time and for activating and coordinating a community-driven, highly-scalable, and localised network of support to gather and deliver aid through social teamwork.


Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Indonesia)

Yayasan Plan International Indonesia has developed a simple flood early warning tool made from local materials, such as small plastic pipes, small-sized loudspeakers, cables, and tennis balls.

[1] Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. (2020). Human cost of disasters: An overview of the last 20 years 2000-2019. Page 9.

[2] World Health Organization. (15 June 2021). "Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 15 June 2021".

[3] S&P Global Ratings. (26 June 2020). "Economic research: Asia-Pacific losses bear $3 trillion as balance sheet recession looms".