In The Evolution of Physics, Albert Einstein says: “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”
There was creative imagination and real advances in science aplenty among the 950 entries from a record-setting 65 countries of the 2012 Create the Future Design Contest. But, nowhere was it more evident than among the winners who were feted at a dinner reception at the Russian Tea Room in New York on January 18. Emcee Joseph Pramberger, Tech Briefs Media Group Publisher, and contest sponsors Svante Littmarck, CEO of the COMSOL Group, Bernt Nilsson, COMSOL’s Senior VP of Marketing, and Michael Vidal, Director of Quality at Nordson EFD, lauded the winning designers and their products.
A special treat was a presentation by Daniel Lockney, the Technology Transfer Program Executive from the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters. He explained that nearly 2,000 recorded NASA spinoffs influence our lives in a variety of ways, making us safer, healthier, and more efficient, including lighter weight air tanks and breathing apparatus for firefighters; supercomputer simulation of fluid flow through rocket engines used to develop a heart pump; and a flexible thermoplastic resin developed for aircraft coats leads for cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. Even NASA’s early work on active pixel sensors, which formed the basis of cell-phone cameras, is now used in tele-health applications.
The Grand Prize winner, Sensorcon, who created the Sensordrone, which packs a dozen environmental sensors into a key-fob-sized device, collecting highly localized data and relaying the information to any Android device via Bluetooth, proudly explained that the device is now in production and available.
Medical Category winner Dave King was unable to attend, but his brother-in-law Craig Bruns explained that Dave’s father, whose leg was amputated after contracting MRSA, was the inspiration for his unique approach to a less painful Prosthetic Leg Connector.
Over the contest’s 10 years, more than 9,000 concepts for exciting new products that improve our health, security, environment, and economy were submitted. And now it’s your turn. The 2013 contest opened on March 1 and will remain open for entries until July 1. The Grand Prize is $20,000. Winners of each of the seven categories receive a new HP workstation computer. To find out more, and to submit your entry, visit http://www.createthefuture2013.com .
Beth G. Sisk