“IDEAS” to change the world

Ten MIT student teams developing innovations to improve the lives of people around the world split awards totaling $95,000 — including a top prize for an app that tackles the U.S. opioid epidemic — at the annual IDEAS Global Challenge showcase and awards ceremony.

Throughout Saturday afternoon, 40 teams showcased innovations in the MIT Media Lab in eight categories: water and sanitation, education and training, agriculture and food, health and medical, emergency and disaster relief, housing and transportation, energy and environment, mobile devices and communication, and finance and entrepreneurship.

Among the many innovative projects were drones that deliver disaster relief packages or capture images of villages for planning purposes; robotics and analytics technology that mines sewers for health data; a braille e-reader for the blind; novel solar-powered desalination technology; apps that track personal carbon emissions or help dairy farmers track milk production; and medical devices that analyze nutritional content of breast milk or simplify medication dosing for illiterate caregivers.

A team of judges, which included local investors and entrepreneurs, selected 10 winners to receive a top $15,000 award, five $10,000 awards, and four $7,500 awards.

Five of the winning teams included students from DUSP, including: Nesterly ($7,500), Joro (the $7,500 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award), Pukuni Community House ($7,500), Kumej ($7,500), and Biobot Labs ($10,000).

[From an article by Rob Matheson on the MIT News; image: Dominick Reuter]