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Vodafone Americas Foundation Announces Winners of 2013 Wireless Innovation Project Competition

The Vodafone Americas Foundation has awarded prizes worth $600,000 to the creators of three mobile solutions designed to improve lives. The winner of the first prize was ColdTrace, a low-cost wireless sensor which has the potential to protect thousands of lives by remotely monitoring the temperature of vaccines and transferring data to a global database.

Nexleaf Analytics was recognized with the award of $300,000 at the Wireless Innovation Project Competition TM presentation at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Silicon Valley.

"We are celebrating the fifth year of the Wireless Innovation Project with a total investment of $3 million. The Competition has enabled our winners to advance their innovative projects to the next stage of development, with some previous winners attracting VC funding" said Fay Arjomandi, Chair of the Vodafone Americas Foundation and Head of Vodafone xone in Silicon Valley. "Mobile technology has the potential to significantly improve people's lives and we are delighted to support emerging new talent in developing ideas which can have a transformational impact on society."

The Vodafone Americas Foundation 2013 Wireless Innovation Project Competition TM winners are:

1stPlace ($300,000)-ColdTrace, from Nexleaf Analytics
ColdTrace is a low-cost wireless sensor designed to improve access to vaccines which protect thousands of children against diseases such as tuberculosis and polio. The sensor remotely monitors the temperature of vaccines. It also provides a better understanding of the vaccine cold storage, transportation and distribution infrastructures, particularly in areas where regular records are not maintained. Nithya Ramanathan, Nexleaf's President and Founder, and Martin Lukac PhD, Nexleaf's Chief Technology Officer, accepted the award.

2ndPlace ($200,000)-MoboSens, from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MoboSens is a smartphone-based water sensor which enables anyone to test the quality of water and utilizes social media to empower people to become active participants in their environmental communities. This low-cost and simple to use device currently detects nitrate concentrations accurately and looks to expand to measure heavy metal, carcinogens, and bacteria in water. The nanotechnology-enabled sensor allows 'citizen scientists' to use smartphones to collect, share and post data regarding stream quality and drinking water safety on social media. MoboSens was developed by Logan Liu , Assistant Professor, Tristan Wietsma, Ph.D. Candidate Informatics, and Manas Gartia, PhD. Candidate.

3rdPlace ($100,000)-G-Fresnel Cell-phone Spectrometer, from Penn State
This high performance optical spectrometer, integrated with a cellular phone, can make optical spectroscopy accessible to everyone whereas the traditional optical spectrometers, used to measure the spectra of light, are usually bulky and expensive. The G-Fresnel Cell-phone Spectrometer is compact and affordable. Optical spectrometers have broad ranges of applications, such as breast cancer detection, monitoring surgical wounds and color analysis for assisting people with color blindness. G-Fresnel was developed by Zhiwen Liu, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Perry Edwards , PhD. Candidate, and Chuan Yang, PhD. Candidate.

Partnership with Indiegogo
The Vodafone Americas Foundation has partnered with the largest global crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo to enable each of the winners to raise further funds for their projects. Each winner will have a campaign on a Vodafone partner page on Indiegogo The project which receives the most unique visitors on its Indiegogo campaign by midnight on April 21, 2013 will receive an additional $5,000 from the Vodafone Americas Foundation. The Foundation will also match donations up to $1,000 for each winner during the crowdfunding campaign.

The Wireless Innovation Project's winning campaigns are available at:


About Wireless Innovation Project
Open to non-governmental organizations, universities, non-profit and mHealth organizations, the Wireless Innovation ProjectCompetition TM attracts numerous submissions from across the world. By providing both financial support and access to its vast resources throughout the world, the Vodafone America Foundation helps its winners advance their projects to the next level of development. To date, the Vodafone Americas Foundation has awarded $3 million to winners of the competition. Past Wireless Innovation Project Competition TM success stories include 2009 second place winner CellScope from UC Berkeley, a compact optical microscope which fits onto a camera-enabled cellular phone to enable remote diagnosis. Members of the team have been to Vietnam to work with the country's national TB program on a study on implementing mobile microscopy for remote TB screening. This innovation has received further VC funding and is now close to the market. They are also exploring an initial focus on applications for ear infection and skin examinations from home. For further details about this annual competition, photos from this year's awards ceremony and past winners visit


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