Announcing a Collaboration with California State University

Posted on by bmiller


December 6, 2011 (Chicago, IL) – California State University and the Center for Applied Innovation, a Chicago based 501(C)3 non-profit organization, announced today a collaboration to address water transportation challenges in the developing world as part of the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair.

Invent for Humanity is a community, a marketplace and an event focused on harnessing technology for social good. Taking place in concert with the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) Global Technology Impact Forum, Invent for Humanity will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on January 23-25, 2012, and will showcase the work of over 130 Cal State students who have volunteered to study and develop innovative solutions to rural water transportation challenges found in villages around the world.

The Cal State students, under the direction of student leader, Thomas Hurst and faculty advisor, Dr. Samuel E. Landsberger, are working to support multiple Invent for Humanity Campaigns (a need for technology matched with a proposed solution) related to water transport technology developed in South Africa, focusing on the Q Drum.

In the developing world, women and children are charged with the responsibility of providing water for household use. As a result of large amounts of water being carried on their heads over long distances, women and children are often affected by lifelong spinal or neck injuries. Furthermore, children often attend school late or miss classes to undertake their responsibility, affecting education levels in the country.

The Q Drum, developed by Piet Hendrikse, is a durable, donut-shaped plastic container which when full holds 50 liters of water. The uniqueness of the technology lies in the design of the longitudinal shaft, or central hole, through which a rope is tied, to pull or roll the drum along all terrain types.

Q Drums are currently manufactured using linear low-density polyethylene. Due to the location of current manufacturing, the cost associated with shipping Q Drums to villages outside of Africa is actually higher than the production costs. Efforts are underway, spearheaded by the Licensing Executives Society and the Center for Applied Innovation, to identify production facilitates in the Philippines and Mexico in order to address this problem.

In preparation for the upcoming event in Geneva, the Cal State students are focused on two concurrent development paths:

1. Identification of lower-cost methods/materials for manufacturing the Q Drum in Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa.

2. Alternative design variations on the basic idea of a rolling water transporter with the ability to be made locally from sustainable materials to keep costs to an absolute minimum, provide local employment, and enable local repairs.

The Q Drum Manufacturing Campaign is anticipated to be funded during the Invent for Humanity event in Geneva this coming January. Invent for Humanity Campaigns will be funded through private donations prior to and during the event.

To contribute to the Q Drum Manufacturing Campaign or other Invent for Humanity Campaigns, visit

Invent for Humanity and the LESI Global Technology Impact Forum are open to the public; register by December 15 at the Early Bird rate of $1495. To register, visit:

Follow @Invent4Humanity on Twitter, Like Invent for Humanity on Facebook, or check out Invent for Humanity videos on YouTube.

About the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair

Organized by the Center for Applied Innovation, the Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Exchange Fair will take place in tandem with the LESI Global Technology Impact Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 24-25, 2012. Invent for Humanity showcases field-ready sustainable innovations – Appropriate Technologies – and leverages the experience of professionals in IP and licensing in order to effectively match and structure the transfer of such technology to meet the needs of organizations working to benefit developing economies. The two day Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Exchange Fair event is open to the media and the public.

About the Center for Applied Innovation (CAI)

The Center for Applied Innovation is an Illinois non-profit corporation created to manage education, public policy outreach and related economic activity around Applied Technology and intellectual property (IP) rights in the State of Illinois and around the world. Applied Technology is defined as proven IP or technology that is in use or was developed for a specific purpose and protected by patents and/or patent applications (as well as other forms of intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights). CAI will examine the current environment and identify opportunities for IP to be utilized both in the State of Illinois and across the world to stimulate economic growth. The Center will create a critical mass of available resources and focus on redeploying existing IP, but will also encourage continued technology development.

About the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI)

Founded in 1972, the mission of the LESI is to function as a non-profit professional organization supporting LES member societies in: setting and maintaining global professional standards for licensing executives; facilitating professional networking between members of LES societies; providing quality educational content for member societies; and serving as liaison between leading global organizations and policy forums concerning the significance and importance of licensing and other transfer of technology and intellectual property rights. LESI represents more than 8,000 individual members in over 90 countries. Visit for more information.

Media Contact:
Kristi Stathis