Since 1976 the National Center for Appropriate Technology has been serving economically disadvantaged people by providing information and access to appropriate technologies that can help improve their lives. During the organization’s rich and varied history, NCAT projects have ranged from low-tech to high-tech, addressing complex issues of housing, economics, and environmental quality. Weatherizing houses, training farmers, monitoring energy use, demonstrating renewable energy technology, testing new products and providing information on building construction are just a few of the many ways that NCAT has contributed to fostering healthy quality of life for everyone.
NCAT has contributed substantially to the development of appropriate and sustainable technologies and to helping improve the lives of low-income families since 1976. During its first decade, its hands-on training and field demonstrations impacted thousands of communities and its how-to publications were read by hundreds of thousands. During its second decade, toll-free information services were accessed by over a million people. Now, during NCAT’s third decade, the impact of its Internet information services is worldwide and these services have the potential to reach millions, or possibly billions, of people. And, since technology plays such a critical role in American development, and the poor almost by definition have been denied access to these technologies, the need for technical solutions to help eliminate poverty and its impact has never been greater. NCAT has never been better prepared to meet that need than it is today, with a diverse and experienced staff covering the fields of sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy, and sustainable communities.