The award ceremony for the 10th annual Innovation World Cup® Series took place at MWC Barcelona this February, celebrating the IoT game changers of today. The jury selected 20 start-ups for the finals, out of more than 500 submissions from over 45 nations. A winner is selected for each of the five categories based on the most promising solution that shows a high degree of innovation, strong technological feasibility and proven market readiness.
The Innovation World Cup is often credited as being the most established open innovation platform worldwide. It acts as a catalyst for innovation as it connects the ingenuity of technology entrepreneurs with leading industry partners, like us. Connecting these techpreneurs with leading industry partners allows them to create powerful alliances capable of transforming budding ideas into global giants.
With over 45 leading regional ICT cluster partnerships, the Innovation World Cup Series provides a huge opportunity for start-ups to gain exposure and win prizes worth over $500,000 to boost their development and marketing. As such, it has established an impressive track record in introducing new breakthrough technologies and solutions in the market, building up new ecosystems and identifying and promoting the rising IoT stars. The awards aim to highlight the best emerging IoT solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems, demonstrating to potential investors the massive growth potential in these new industries.
For us, it’s a real honor to be a part of these awards and get the first look at where new IoT technology is going. To show you the significance of the winning ideas to the future of industry, we’ve picked out a few to explain how they work in more detail.
NOWI – Top IoT Innovator “Industrial”
Dutch semiconductor innovator firm NOWI was awarded first place for its work in solving the power bottleneck in smart devices. NOWI’s innovative solution continuously brings energy to your device in lieu of wires or batteries by using the energy that is already available around the device. This can be light, heat, movement or even radio waves. Taking a form of a small chip that can be used in IoT devices, this technology will enable the creation of products that are either completely batteryless or hybrid battery devices with a greatly extended lifetime.
For consumers, having this technology will save both monetary and environmental costs associated with charging your devices. With predictions that there will soon be over 30 billion connected devices in the world, the requirement for power is only going to soar, so technology like NOWI’s that can help make IoT devices more efficient is becoming ever more significant.
MJN Neuroservices with MJN-Seras – Top “Catalan IoT Innovator”
Catalonian health innovator MJN Neuroservices was another top performer this year. The company is putting AI to use in a wearable medical device that records the brain activity of epileptics and can detect their risk of having a seizure at any time. The device, which looks similar in shape and size to a hearing aid, registers different brain patterns, predicting when seizures might be about to occur. It is partnered to a smartphone app that can send a message of their geolocation to trusted contacts in users’ phones, in case of a seizure.
People who suffer from epilepsy can really struggle with managing its symptoms effectively. But, having the knowledge to anticipate a fit before it happens will allow epileptics to take the necessary safety precautions, minimizing the risks associated with falling to the ground or off something during a seizure. For many, this will result in a massive improvement to their quality of life. The MJN Seras prove that the power of AI technology in healthcare can be enormous and it will be interesting to watch how this develops further in the future.
Stenon – Top IoT Innovator “Agriculture”
German company Stenon was also crowned the winner of its category with its real-time soil analysis enabled through sensor fusion and AI. Currently, farmers must send samples of their soil to laboratories to have it analyzed before they can work out how to optimize their soil health and overall cultivation. This is an expensive process and it can take weeks before any results are known. However, with Stenon the process becomes a case of DIY.
With the sensor technology farmers can analyze their soil as often as they like and receive immediate results with laboratory precision. This technology has multiple advantages for farmers, one being that they can act immediately if there is a problem to improve the quality of their soil, minimizing any damage to their yield. Furthermore, farmers are able to take as many samples as they want, meaning they should also save on fertilizer costs, as more samples allow for a higher level of customization about where and how much fertilizer to apply. This, again, demonstrates the power of AI in reducing costs and maximizing efficiency in a sector where finding these efficiencies will be vital in the future as demand continues to increase.
Being part of the Innovation World Cup is always an enjoyable and inspiring experience. The ideas from this year’s event prove that the role of IoT technology in the future will not only transform society and industries but will be crucial in making our current processes work better.
We want to say a huge congratulations to the winners this year as the competition was particularly tough. We can’t wait to see what the competition will hold next year as our global IoT capabilities grow even stronger.
We’re also excited to be at Viva Technology Paris – one of the world’s biggest technology conferences dedicated to innovation and startups – taking place on May 16-18 this year, where we’ll be showcasing the partnership that we already have with a significant number of startups. In addition to hosting more than 30 startups, the Thales Innovation Lab will see a programme of over 50 conferences on a broad range of subjects, including autonomous rail transport, the future of space exploration, Artificial Intelligence and smart cities.
If you’re attending VivaTech, visit us at Hall 1 Stand D31 to see some of the IoT demos we have prepared for you or to speak to some of our experts.