Ideas Win Big at Eleventh UAF Arctic Innovation Competition
Todd Krieg of North Pole took First Prize at UAF’s 11th annual Arctic Innovation Competition for his Fish Wheel Salmon Selector.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management awarded $30,000 in cash prizes after the 2019 Arctic Innovation Competition’s final presentations.
The competition, now in its eleventh 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, for ages eighteen and up, was awarded to Todd Krieg for Fish Wheel Salmon Selector. The selector improves on the classic fish wheel by safely returning coho and chinook salmon to the river to continue spawning while allowing other, more abundant species to be harvested. The process will allow Interior Alaska fishermen much longer fishing times and larger harvest numbers while still satisfying responsible management practices.
In the junior division for youth ages thirteen to seventeen years old, James Price took home the first prize of $1,000 for Plug-Hug, a faceplate for electrical outlets. The device’s snugly fitting shield makes accidental unplugging and weather damage less likely.
In the cub division for youth ages twelve and under, Aila Standlee-Strom won first place and $500 for Here Kitty Cat, a cat harness with a locator connected to an app. The app gives walking directions for owners to find their cats.
Top prize and honorable mention winners in the three divisions came from communities across Alaska—Anchorage, Auke Bay, Ester, Fairbanks, North Pole, and Unalakleet—and from as far away as Hays, Kansas, and Hershey, Pennsylvania. A complete list of winners is available on the AIC website.
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.