IIoT Startup Spark Microsystems Wins Nokia Open Innovation Challenge

Montreal based IoT startup SPARK Microsystems, which is developing a low-power wireless transceiver for the industrial IoT deployments, has been named the winner of the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge 2018 (NOIC). To help bring its innovative solution to the marketplace, Nokia will provide SPARK Microsystems with $100,000 as well as access to resources across Nokia and Bell Labs to further explore and develop their solution.

AOMS Technologies and Razor Secure were tied for second place and will split a $75,000 prize, with each startup also given the opportunity to work with Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs to investigate how their solutions can integrate with, and enable, the Future X network.

Marcus Weldon, President of Nokia Bell Labs and CTO of Nokia, said, “This year’s NOIC brought together many innovative start-ups with impressive products, technologies and solutions that will shape the world of industrial automation. While competition was tight, SPARK Microsystems was selected as the winner for its low power wireless transceiver chipset that has the potential to help ‘spark’ the next industrial revolution.”

Fares Mubarak, CEO of SPARK Microsystems, said, “SPARK is honored to be selected as the winner of this year’s prestigious award. Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs are networking, communications and wireless technologies leaders, and we look forward to collaborating on delivering innovative solutions for edge devices, sensors and wearable applications. These applications are a great fit for our ultra-low power and ultra-short latency groundbreaking wireless technology and are aligned with Nokia’s vision of the future.”

SPARK Microsystems, based in Montreal, came out on top of more than 300 start-up companies from the around the world that submitted entries to the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge. This year’s competition was launched in July and focused on products and solutions for the industrial automation and industrial Internet of Things.

The entrants went through two assessment rounds, with 6 finalists invited to pitch and demonstrate their ideas to an international selection jury at an event held today at the iconic headquarters of Nokia Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J. The selection jury was led by Weldon and was comprised of leaders from across Nokia, Nokia Bell Labs and NGP Capital.

The three other competition finalists that participated in today’s event included INVOLI, NKN, and XXII, with novel approaches to drone air traffic information systems, a novel internet overlay network, and xR and video analytics solutions for industrials, respectively.

This year’s winners will join a growing list of companies with access to Nokia’s resources to help grow their businesses. Last year’s Nokia Open Innovation Challenge winners included smart clothing developer Continuum Technologies as well as Snaptivity, which enhances live sport fan experiences through AI-powered robotic cameras.

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