McKnight’s SEED project selected as finalist in Vodafone Americas Foundation wireless innovation competition
McKnight’s SEED project selected as finalist in Vodafone Americas Foundation wireless innovation competitionApril 15, 2009Margaret Costello Spillettmcostell@syr.edu
Syracuse University School of Information Studies professor Lee McKnight’s Wireless Grids SEED project was selected as one of nine finalists in the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project Competition. McKnight’s project, Syracuse Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development (SEED), uses wireless grid technologies to manage an innovative urban farm-a high-tech greenhouse.
McKnight’s project was selected from nearly 100 applicants from U.S. universities and nonprofit organizations for their multi-disciplinary approach using an innovation in wireless-related technology to address a critical global issue in the areas of education, health, economic development, the environment or access to communication.
He was among the nine finalists chosen to give in-person presentations to an expert panel of judges that included Andrew Dunnett, director of Vodafone Group Foundation; Melanie Edwards, founder and CEO of Mobile Metrix; William (Bill) L. Keever, Vodafone Americas Foundation director and retired president Vodafone Asia Pacific; Jane Wales, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and the Global Philanthropy Forum; and Michael Walker, director of Vodafone Group Research and Development. The SEED project is featured on the Wireless Innovation Project website (http://project.vodafone-us.com).
McKnight’s project centers around the problem and opportunity of socially managing neighborhood greenhouses using a variety of new innovations-new biomass heating system, new sensor systems, new materials-all coordinated by a new wireless grid application to maximize community benefits.
Among the new technologies used in the project is Innovaticus. This new award-winning wireless grids software (Top 10 Best New Product, Network World, October 2008) manages shared information technology resources and is being developed by McKnight’s Wireless Grids Corp. It is undergoing beta testing on the SU campus. The development of this software initially received funding from the National Science Foundation.
This project-which McKnight is leading with Edward Lipson, professor of physics in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences; Craig Watters, assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice in the Whitman School of Management; and Kevin Lair, assistant professor in the SU School of Architecture-also received a $150,000 Syracuse University Chancellor’s Leadership Project Grant in March.
The Wireless Innovation Project builds on the success of Vodafone Americas Foundation’s local grant-making strategies and aligns with other Vodafone global philanthropic initiatives, such as Vodafone’s partnership with the U.N. Foundation to use technology for humanitarian projects, disaster relief and local social investments through 24 foundations worldwide.