Miner Safety Team Wins 2013 Intel Global Challenge

A Chilean team that designed wearable sensors to collect and transmit industrial workers’ biomedical data won the grand prize at the ninth annual Intel Global Challenge on Oct. 9.

With members from engineering and research company SoluNova, Chilean mining company Coldeco, and the University of Chile, Mobile Monitoring Station was motivated by the lack of existing data on industrial workers’ exposure to health risks. The team, which expects its sensors to reduce dangers facing miners in particular, received a $50,000 grand prize from the Intel Foundation.

The competition showcases business opportunities with the greatest potential for a positive impact on society. This year it brought 29 teams from 20 countries to UC Berkeley, where participants interacted with and were judged by representatives of leading venture capital firms.

“The Intel Foundation helps us bring the best computing-focused startup teams from around the world to UC Berkeley,” says Andre Marquis, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, which hosts the annual event. “These are amazing, disruptive entrepreneurs.”

Representing the U.S. in the competition was the Berkeley team and social media award winner Eventable, which developed a marketing platform to help brands and retailers convert online visitors into in-store shoppers.

Other top-placing teams, each of which received a $10,000 award, include :

  • Gameleon of Bulgaria, which developed a cloud-based platform for creating, playing, and monetizing Web games (First Place in the Internet, Mobile, and Software Computing category, plus Best Presentation).
  • Karmashop of Mexico, which created a cloud-based fundraising management tool allowing users to customize how they receive donations (First Place in Computing for Social Innovation, plus Best Poster).
  • Tensive of Italy, which invented implantable biomaterials for the reconstruction of bone and tissue (First Place in Computing and Hardware).