Midland, Michigan -- Dow Chemical has won the 2014 da Vinci Award in Prosthetics/Orthotics/Controls for work with the NGO Bhagwan Mahveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) to develop a polyurethane limb.
Called the Jaipur Foot, it is 20% lighter, 25% cheaper and much faster to produce than the hand-made vulcanised rubber predecessor, said Dow. The company says that over 36,000 amputees have been rehabilitated with Dow's direct support. Dow India provides technical expertise to BMVSS and employees volunteer with the organisation, Dow said.
Dow India has also donated a mobile workshop which enables BMVSS to reach very remote areas to provide limbs to those who are in need of the product on-the-spot, the company said.
“It takes local knowledge, local relationships and local implementation to really change people’s lives in lasting ways, " said Sudhir Shenoy, commercial director for Dow Polyurethanes in Asia Pacific.
The da Vinci Awards were created in Michigan by the local branch of the US Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society in 2001. The awards are designed to recognise achievements and spur innovation to benefit people who are disabled.