What makes a new product innovative? According to innovation company accelerator Connect, groundbreaking products reflect the intellect and drive that elevate San Diego’s innovation ecosystem. On Nov. 30, Connect shined a spotlight on 10 during the 30th annual Most Innovative New Product Awards.
“The Most Innovative New Product Awards event is San Diego’s most exciting night in innovation because it provides a peek into the future of the next big thing,” said CEO Greg McKee. “Connect is proud to highlight all our finalist and winner companies. We know they will go on, as many MIP winners before them have, to do great things.”
The fierce competition began this spring. The products, which were required to have been introduced no earlier than Jan. 1, 2015, were narrowed down to 33 finalists who pitched their products to a panel of experts. The field was then slashed again to winners in 10 categories.
Among them are a device derived from stem cells that allows medications to be tested for heart toxicity, technology that gives robots the ability to perceive their environment, and a cellular signal booster that gets rid of dead zones.
“At Connect, we believe San Diego entrepreneurs are disrupting the world,” McKee said.
During the award ceremony at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, Illumina’s Executive Chairman Jay Flatley was inducted into Connect’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Also honored were Dick Atkinson, president emeritus of the University of California and professor emeritus of cognitive science and psychology at UC San Diego; Illumina cofounder Larry Bock; former President of The Scripps Research Institute and professor of cell and molecular biology Dr. Richard Lerner; and Joe Markee, managing director at Express Ventures.
The winners in each product category are…
Cleantech, Sustainability, and Energy:
Amionx’s SafeCore, which prevents a lithium-ion battery from being the source of fire or an explosion.
Defense, Aerospace, and Transportation:
Fuse Integration’s CORE, a miniaturized IP networking system with embedded encryption and advanced cybersecurity.
Information Communication Technologies:
Nextivity’s Cel-Fi GO, which improves cell service by eliminating dead zones and dropped calls.
Life Science Diagnostics and Research Tools:
StemoniX’s microHeart, a biologically accurate beating micro-organ derived from stem cells used by pharmaceutical companies to screen drugs for toxicity and efficacy.
Life Science Products, Clinical Stage:
ViaCyte’s PEC-Direct, a treatment for high-risk type 1 diabetes.
TereoPneuna’s ReDe Mask, which provides a visual signal of a patient’s exhalation and respiratory rate.
NotesFirst App, a mobile platform for capturing and improving the quality of health data for lower-middle income regions around the world.
Robotics and Unmanned Vehicles:
Brain Corp’s BrainOS, which uses AI technology, off-the-shelf hardware, and sensors to enable robots to perceive their environment, control their motion, and navigate.
Software & Digital Media:
Sourcify, a platform that connects companies with factories and walks them through the product development cycle.
Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies:
Levitate Technologies Airframe, a wearable exoskeleton designed to provide ergonomic support to workers who repetitively raise their arms, thus reducing muscle fatigue.