As part of their work to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025, Cisco seeks to inspire and empower a generation of global problem solvers who will not only survive – but drive and thrive – in our increasingly digital economy. The aim of the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge is to recognize student entrepreneurs that promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies, products and services that drive economic development, innovation, and/or solve social or environmental problems.

This challenge was open to students or recent alumni from any college or university.  Students from more than 450 schools around the world submitted more than 1,100 entries.  

Submissions focused on:

  • local industry/economic development
  • critical human needs (food, water, shelter, and disaster relief)
  • healthcare
  • economic empowerment/financial inclusion
  • education
  • environment
  • connectivity

Digital Technologies that enable these innovations included:

  • connected/smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy)
  • connected transportation
  • wearables
  • big data
  • analytics
  • cloud computing

Today, Cisco announced the following winners:

projectvive1.png$100,000 Grand Prize Winner
Project Vive from Pennsylvania State University 

Voz Box: There are approximately 4.5 million people with cerebral palsy and ALS who cannot speak. The Voz Box is an affordable and wearable device that can give a voice to the voiceless.


dotlearn1-1.png$75,000 First Runner Up
Dot Learn from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Technology for creating low-bandwidth educational videos: We make video-based online learning work reliably and affordably on cheap smartphones and 2G connections, thereby expanding educational access for people that need it the most.


$10,000 People's Choice Award
ODA Systems from Instituto Technológico de Costa Rica

Amadeus: ODA has developed a service that efficiently measures lubricant oil quality in machines. Timely oil changes and failure prognosis decrease pollution and economic waste, while boosting productivity.

View all of the winners here.

The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge is proudly powered by Skild.

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