Ideas win big at 2017 UAF Arctic Innovation Competition
The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management awarded $30,000 in cash prizes Saturday, Oct. 21, after the final round of presentations in the 2017 Arctic Innovation Competition.
The competition, now in its ninth year, invites innovators to propose new, feasible and potentially profitable ideas for solving real-life problems and challenges.
The top prize of $10,000 in the main division was awarded to Piper Wilder for 60Hertz Microgrids. The company is developing maintenance management software for microgrids, or small electricity networks, in remote Arctic communities.
With a record number of 55 junior division entries from youth ages 13 to 17 years old — up from only five submissions last year — the competition was fierce. Travis Brase took home the first prize of $1,000 for his idea, the Water Tank Depth Sensor, an ultrasonic sensor that uses sound waves to measure the amount of water in a holding tank.
In the cub division for youth ages 12 and under, Erin Wallace won first place and $500 for her idea, Easy Voter, a handheld device that allows U.S. citizens to vote from any location on Election Day.
Top prize and honorable mention winners in the three divisions came from communities across Alaska — Anchorage, Barrow, Cooper Landing, Fairbanks, Kenai, North Pole, Sitka, Soldotna, and Wasilla — and from as far away as Painesville, Ohio. A complete list of winners is available on the AIC website.
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