BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a global partnership between major research universities and innovative corporations to develop leaders in innovation, today announced the five teams, who recently competed at the greater Seattle semi-final site, that are advancing to the final of the GIX Innovation Competition, which challenges competitors to create innovative technological solutions to social issues in a range of fields. The total prize pool is $160,000.

“The GIX Innovation Competition covers an interesting assortment of problem spaces including Internet of Things, wearable devices, intelligent hardware, VR, AR, ubiquitous computing, intelligent sensors, healthcare and identity fraud,” said Chun Yu, Ph.D., associate professor in research, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University. “We are really interested in projects that are original, technologically innovative and results in the actual development of software systems, mobile applications, intelligent hardware, sensors and other practical solutions.”

The competition offers groups that have been working on developing physical prototypes of their innovative ideas to compete for a prize to support the next stage of development of their real-world idea and develop further experience. Winning innovators are encouraged to continue the journey and achieve their goal of bringing a new product to the market.

Since its launch on March 28, 2018, the competition gathered much attention. Innovators from countries in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China signed up for the competition with projects spanning many fields including healthcare, education, environment, transportation and home, as well as the FinTech field. On May 31, 2018, over 100 teams were selected by the organizing committee of the competition to enter the semifinal. The Seattle branch of the semifinal was held on July 14, 2018. Each of the 16 competing teams presented their projects to the judging panel and participated in a follow-up Q&A session.

The winning semi-finalists were then chosen by the judging panel. The five teams advancing are:

VARISTA – a personalized supplement dispenser that adapts to people’s lifestyle, environment and disposition to provide people with the supplements they need.

AEGIS AI – an AI solution that detects guns seen in security camera feeds and notifies law enforcement and innocent bystanders, enabling a faster and more targeted response.

MIRA THERAPEUTICS – a digital therapeutic aid for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

ROBODOG – a mobile robotic animal for addressing problems connected to caring for the elderly, featuring biometric data monitoring, voice interaction, emotional recognition and personal assistance – without the care or maintenance typically required for a pet.

MIIRABELLA – a cutting-edge mobile solution designed to remedy the complexity of makeup application whilst helping users expand their potential beauty options.

The semifinal was judged by a panel consisting of a diverse range of experts from academia and industry:

BLAKE HANNAFORD, Ph.D., Professor of Electrical Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering and Surgery at the University of Washington;

PRAKASH SUNDARESAN, Founder and CTO of Trusted Key;

CHUN YU, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University;

LEE WENG, Founder of Tsinghua GIX Institute North America;

JOHN RAITI, Ph.D., Sr. Research Engineer at the University of Washington;

TIANQIANG LIU, Co-founder and VP of Engineering at Orbeus Inc.

“In this year’s competition, it was reinforced that today’s youth have smart and innovative ideas for providing solutions to ongoing social problems,” said Lee Weng, co-founder of Tsinghua GIX Institute North America. “We believe all of the solutions developed from the GIX Innovation Competition have a real opportunity to provide significant social impact in innovative ways.”

The winning semifinal teams travel to Beijing for the final round of the competition on Aug. 26, 2018, for a presentation of their ideas in front of the judging panel and to compete with teams from other semifinal sites for the prizes.


The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is a multi-culture education program co-created by two of the world’s leading universities, Tsinghua University and the University of Washington, with funding support from Microsoft. GIX is dedicated to the cultivation of leaders in innovation and extends far beyond the walls of its Seattle-area facilities, attracting participants and encouraging collaboration unlimited by geography or discipline. The annual GIX Innovation Competition involves teams from the Seattle area and around the world, with support from mentors in academia and industry, building innovative solutions in the themes of connected devices and financial technology.

For more information, visit

Tsinghua GIX Institute North America

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