Vodafone Launches 10th Annual Wireless Innovation Project

(3BL Media/Justmeans) -  Wireless social tech wizards have a new chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes from the Vodafone Americas Foundation. The organization recently announced the 10th edition of its annual Wireless Innovation Project (WIP) in the context of SOCAP17 in San Francisco. The competition’s goal is to encourage the development of connected innovations for social good.

The organizers are already accepting online applications. The competition is open to entrepreneurs, startups, non-government organizations (NGOs), nonprofits and university projects aimed at solving critical issues faced by the global community.

The three top winners will receive $300,000, $200,000, and $100,000 in awards. In the 10 years of its existence, WIP has awarded $5.5 million to competition winners. Vodafone estimates that WIP-supported innovations have had a direct impact on more than 40 million people in 40 different countries.

In order to qualify, projects must be at a late stage of research, advanced prototype or field/market test. Applications, which will be assessed by a multidisciplinary team, must have the potential to solve issues in fields such as education, health, environment/disaster relief, and others.

The top award last year went to PathVis, a Purdue University smartphone-based detection platform that can detect and track infectious diseases affecting more than 250 million people across the world. The novel method can produce results in less than 30 minutes, which can provide vital and timely insights to aid organizations on likely disease outbreaks. The award enabled PathVis to speed up the development of the platform and launch its official field-testing in Haiti.

“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Wireless Innovation Project, we’re looking forward to welcoming the latest technologies with potential to drive true social impact,” June Sugiyama, director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, said in a statement. “The Wireless Innovation Project has helped propel many early stage ideas into real-world, life-changing innovations since the competition first launched in 2009, and this year we expect to see more impressive connected solutions and wireless technologies.”

Online applications will be accepted until March 2018, and winners will be announced in June 2018.

Image credit: Vodafone Americas Foundation