Cisco launches global IoT challenge for young women

  • Working with companies in IoT space, local organisations and non-profits
  • Also announces winners of IoT Innovation and Security Grand Challenges

CISCO Inc said it is launching a worldwide Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge in concert with a global network of companies in the IoT (Internet of Things) space, local organisations and non-profits dedicated to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The IoTWF Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is a global open innovation competition, the company said in a statement.
Entrants will be asked to submit original ideas based on new opportunities and technologies that better people’s lives or increase efficiencies in the area of education, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, retail, transportation, or smart cities.

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The IoTWF Young Women’s Challenge will run in two phases from November 15 2014 through early 2015.
“Currently, only 18% of the computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees are being awarded to women and fewer are staying in those careers,” said Karen Horting of the Society of Women Engineers.
“Cisco’s efforts to engage young women and bring other technology organisations in to help increase these numbers are great,” she added.
Cisco launches global IoT challenge for young womenThe initiative was announced by Cisco chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior (pic) in her keynote address at the Internet of Things World Forum in Chicago.
She also announced the winners of three global Grand Challenges aimed at recognising, promoting and accelerating the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products that contribute to the growth and evolution of the IoT.
Earlier this year, Cisco launched two separate global IoT Grand Challenges in the areas of Security and Innovation, where it invited and encouraged startups, entrepreneurs and universities to submit their best solution ideas for the Internet of Things.
In addition to cash prizes of more than US$550,000 for the Innovation and Security Grand Challenges, Cisco intends to provide winners with mentoring, training and access to business expertise from Cisco and other supporting organisations.
They will be able to develop, test and pilot new technologies, plus have the opportunity for potential investment and partnering opportunities in the future.
Entrants and winners retain the intellectual property for any and all ideas submitted, Cisco said.
“The Internet of Things is real and happening today,” said Padmasree.
“This week at the IoT World Forum, we’ve seen evidence of broad deployments and worldwide adoption of IoT across organisations of many sizes and across many industries.
“The breakthrough technologies demonstrated by our IoT Grand Challenge finalists are further proof that IoT is already changing the way we live, work, play, and learn,” she added.
IoT Innovation Grand Challenge

Cisco launches global IoT challenge for young women

Cisco said it received more than 800 entries from 71 countries for the Innovation grand challenge, and six finalists were invited to participate in a live judging event at the IoT World Forum in Chicago. The following three teams were selected as winners:

  • 1st place (US$150,000): Relayr from Berlin, which is providing simple and inexpensive tools that will accelerate developers’ ability to take advantage of the IoT and start programming for the physical world.
  • 2nd place (US$75,000): from Dublin, California is connecting mobile devices to machinery and enabling developers to create mobile-enabled industrial applications.
  • 3rd place (US$25,000): Toymail from Gross Points, Michigan is changing how the world plays by bringing the IoT to toys and fostering communication between children and their families.

IoT Security Grand Challenge
The Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge fielded more than 100 online submissions from 33 countries, ultimately awarding US$300,000 to four winners (each team received US$75,000 in addition to exhibition space at IoT World Forum):

  • Excalibur is a startup focusing on redefining authentication, from creating the first authentication product that is compatible with the current password-based systems and yet seamless and secure at the same time. The Poprad, Slovakia based company’s solution is focused on enabling future authentication infrastructure for the IoT era where authentication will be omnipresent and passwords will no longer exist.
  • The Ithaca, New York and Houston, Texas-based team of Cornell Tech and Rice University are working together to create physical proof-of-presence protocols for transient connections in the IoT and operating in backwards-compatible mode with legacy standards.
  • The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Carnegie Mellon University team is creating a solution to control IoT privacy risks and trade-offs with Fog Mediation.
  • Aircloak and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, is developing a technology and service that provides highly accurate aggregate analytics over use data while strongly protecting user privacy.

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