Sproxil CEO & Founder Ashifi Gogo Wins Inaugural Global Humanitarian Engineering Award
October 22, 2013
Ashifi Gogo Th'10, CEO & Founder of Sproxil—a leading provider of world-class brand protection for emerging markets—was presented with the inaugural Global Humanitarian Engineer of the Year Award on October 22nd at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. He was honored for his long-standing dedication to humanitarian engineering and ability to act on issues of social injustice.
Under Gogo’s leadership, Sproxil has developed the Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™) solution that allows consumers to verify products are genuine by using a mobile phone and a free (SMS) text message. While the solution can be used for any tangible product, the MPA solution’s first application is addressing the need to combat counterfeit medication.
Upon purchasing medication, consumers scratch a label revealing a one-time use code, then text the code to a secure number provided on the package. As part of the MPA technology, the text message is processed to determine the drug’s genuineness. Within seconds, the end user is notified, via text, of the result. Alternatively, consumers can call a consumer support desk to get results in their local language. The solution is deployed in developing regions of Africa and Asia; it is offered in Nigeria, India, Kenya, and Ghana.
The MPA solution is based on Gogo’s research at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering where he was the first Ph.D. Innovation Program graduate. His motivation to create a simple, inexpensive way to identify counterfeit products was driven by the 700,000 deaths each year due to fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs. The MPA solution has been used for over 5 million product verifications in less than 5 years.
The Global Humanitarian Engineering awards have been developed to fill a global gap in celebrating the valuable contribution that engineers make towards improving the lives of those less fortunate. In addition, they serve to recognize outstanding achievement, provide role models, and demonstrate less popularly known roles of engineering in society.
This year’s awards were judged by prominent leaders in the field of humanitarian engineering including: Simon Trace - CEO of Practical Action, Petter Matthews - Executive Director at Engineers Against Poverty, and Cathy Leslie - Executive Director of Engineers Without Borders USA.