Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Midland, Michigan, has received the 2014 da Vinci Award in the prosthetics/orthotics/controls category. The award was given for Dow’s support of the Jaipur Foot Initiative, the company’s corporate citizenship program in India.
Dow Chemical International Private Limited (Dow India), Mumbai, India, began working with nongovernmental organization (NGO) Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, in 2005. BMVSS provides free prosthetic devices to individuals with amputations. Dow is using its science and technology resources to help develop the Jaipur Foot, a nonarticulated foot made of low-cost, durable polyurethane that provides mobility in all three planes of motion, and can be used with or without shoes. The Jaipur Foot is 20 percent lighter and 25 percent less expensive to produce than its handmade, vulcanized rubber predecessor.
“Applying our materials and polymer science to a technology that truly helps people to triumph over disabilities is a part of Dow’s DNA,” said Mike Witt, Dow’s global director for toxicology, environmental research, and consulting, and the management sponsor of Dow’s Disability Employee Network (DEN). “It is a very proud moment for Dow and DEN to be recognized for our work with the Jaipur Foot, and we celebrate this recognition with humble gratitude.”
The da Vinci Awards are an international awards program presented by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Michigan chapter to recognize and celebrate the world’s most innovative adaptive and assistive technologies that enable equal access and opportunity for all people, regardless of ability.
The winners in each category were announced April 10 at the Ford Conference and Event Center, Dearborn, Michigan. Other award categories include communication/educational aids, environmental adaptation/daily living or work aids, transportation and mobility, and recreation and leisure.