Since 2005 the not-for-profit organisation INDEX has hosted the INDEX:Award for design that improves the lives of people worldwide.

The 2011 finalists were recently announced at a press conference in Copenhagen, the home of INDEX. Five winners will be chosen from this group and announced in September.

Four dominant trends in the work of the finalists were identified. The first was in design to improve life within education. Following this trend, the Green School in Bali, founded in 2006, aims to educate students to be responsible global citizens.

Apps to support remote medicine and medical care were popular - such as Sana software that provides assessment of medical illnesses and support for medical personnel, supplemented by an online educational course.

Online services, for uniting refugees, crowd sourcing and information services were on the increase. Refugees United is a global database that provides information on separated families.

The need for advanced biotech and sanitation systems were also seen as important issues needing attention in the nominations. Lung-on-a-chip is the size of a computer memory stick. It mimics the structure and breathing functions of the living human lung, and provides an alternative to animal testing.

A sum of 500 000 Euro will be awarded to the 5 INDEX winners in 5 categories – Body, Work, Home Play and Community,  in September.

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