Insect Inspired Innovation

May32013

The award-winning entry was inspired by the Namib Desert Beetle, but other teams used solar-powered hot plates, conifer bark filters, and reverse osmosis in their projects engineered to provide “Clean Water for All” as part of the Applied Materials Clean Tech Competition.

On a recent Saturday, ten finalist teams from the San Francisco Bay Area – along with their families, teachers, and Applied Materials employee mentors – gathered at Applied’s Silicon Valley facility for a day of lively discussions, hands-on activities, and, most importantly, presentations of their projects to a panel of judges from industry and academia.

The student teams had spent the last several months designing a technological solution to a real world problem – access to clean water.  As they researched the issue in differing geographies, explored technology, and grappled with application of their theories, they perfected their “pitches” – explaining with confidence and poise how their solution would positively impact lives and guarantee safe, potable water for the world.

The Applied Materials Clean Tech Competition, currently held in the San Francisco Bay Area, Singapore, and Xi’an, China — three centers of innovation where Applied has facilities — is designed to inspire the next generation of innovators.  But, based on the creative projects from the ten student teams who shared $10,000 in cash awards, the day ended up inspiring all of us who attended.

Check out a selection of our favorite photos below.