Innovation Transcends National Borders

Innovation Transcends National Borders

The languages were different but the lessons learned were similar. Finding innovative solutions to complex problems requires creatively, experimentation, and teamwork. And, the process of converting a concept – as clever, timely, and intriguing as it may be – to a prototype for public display can be overwhelming. Sometimes a brilliant idea is helped by a ready supply of duct tape, late night calls to mentors, last minute tweaks to wiring systems, and a presentation that includes a bit of theatrical magic!

During these last two weeks, pre-college student teams in California and China competed in the final judging round of the inaugural Clean Tech Competition sponsored by Applied Materials. Invited to design a solar solution to a basic human need in the aftermath of a natural disaster, students engaged in the common challenge to highlight the role that science, technology and innovation play in addressing problems that transcend national boundaries.

Airships, amphibious solar tents, and water purification systems relied upon aluminum foil, an inflatable pillow, and an umbrella during presentations. Solar-powered “relief kits”, a portable x-ray machine, and a flood mitigation system involved a dramatic unveiling, a skeleton, and a rock and roll video introduction.

The Clean Tech Competition projects presented in either English or Chinese -- and sometimes in a combination of the languages – in two different countries highlighted shared interests between the students, reflected the creativity of the next generation’s innovators, and underscored the value of collaboration in solving humanitarian issues. The judging events also demonstrated the importance of utilizing available resources for greatest impact and the benefit of having a roll of tape available for final fixes.

The Competition aligns with Applied’s dedication to technological innovation and scaling clean tech solutions to complex problems, while demonstrating Applied’s commitment to making a positive contribution in the communities where our employees work and live

Visit the Clean Tech Competition web site to check out the full listing of the 20 projects – 10 from each location – to learn more about the participating teams, their projects, and the competition results that earned each team a cash prize for their award winning innovations and presentations.

Congratulations to all the finalists and the grand prize winning teams!

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