GIX Innovation Competition Announces Winners




GIX Innovation Competition Announces Winners

First Annual Competition Emphasized Projects for Connected Devices


Seattle, Wash., Nov. 23, 2016—The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a partnership between Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of Washington to develop thought leaders in innovation, today announced the winners of its first GIX Innovation Competition. The annual competition for university students was created to spur solutions to global challenges.

The top three winners invented solutions in molecular science, healthcare, and virtual reality. The top three winning teams and their projects are:

  • KOMRA – developed a portable multi-physical analyzer, a molecular sensor that gives a unique fingerprint for any material that is scanned (i.e. calories or allergens inside food, characteristics of soil, quality of fabrics and other materials, etc.), by Abed Bukhari and Leen Abu Bakr, BlindSense Ltd and An-Najah National University,
  • The Next Generationcreated a mobile air filtration system for air pollution which provides adjustable assisted inhalation. “AirEx” is a self-contained breathing apparatus which is an effective solution for breathing pure air without wearing a mask, by Nicholas Baker, WANG Zetai, YANG Yu, WANG Ruolin, Tsinghua University and University of Washington.
  • PCG-1 – invented MagicGlove, an easy-to-use and low-cost hand-tracking device which will serve as a wearable user input device for 3D manipulation in virtual reality, by YAN Yukang, YANG Zhican, GU Yizheng, Tsinghua University.

Other winners included projects that detect children’s posture while studying, an “e-guide dog” to assist those who are visually impaired, enhanced education tools for interactive learning experiences, and a platform using real-time analytics to interpret tests for common infectious diseases.

In all, $190,000 in prize money was awarded to the winners, with $30,000 going to each of the top three teams, $20,000 for the next three teams, and $10,000 for the next four teams. The finalists were selected from nearly 300 entries from China, the United States, Britain, France, Australia and other countries.

“The winners of this first annual GIX Innovation Competition came up with some exciting and interesting solutions to global challenges in healthcare, education, and the environment,” said Vikram Jandhyala, Co-Executive Director of GIX and Vice President for Innovation Strategy at UW CoMotion. “The ingenuity of the students as well as their determination to think outside the box, take risks, and learn from failure was inspiring.”

The GIX Innovation Competition is aimed at current students and recent graduates. This year’s theme was “Connected Devices, Innovation and Change.” The participating teams each submitted an original “connected device” project that addressed global challenges and opportunities in healthcare, consumer behavior, or entertainment.

To enter, teams first submitted an online application in late September. From that pool, fifty teams were invited to present their ideas in a virtual roadshow. Twenty teams were selected to develop a prototype, and last week those teams traveled to Tsinghua University in Beijing to present that prototype to a panel of judges. The principle evaluation criteria were the innovativeness of the technology, and the potential impact of the proposed solution.

In addition to the prize money, some outstanding projects will receive incubation services from TusStar, a globally famous incubator based in Beijing.

About the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is a global partnership between major research universities and innovative corporations to develop thought leaders in innovation. The University of Washington and Tsinghua University are the first two academic partners, with initial support from Microsoft. GIX pioneers new forms of teaching and learning by connecting world-class learners and faculty with research-led companies and non-profits to collaborate on solutions to global challenges. GIX is located in Bellevue’s Spring District, a new urban development east of Seattle, and is scheduled to open in September 2017.


Donna O’Neill
Marketing & Communications CoMotion at University of Washington and GIX
p: 206.685.9972
f: 206.543.0586


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