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Engineering seniors Sade Oba, Alfredo Muniz, William Duckworth and Aaron Goldstein are the winners of this year's President's Innovation Prize. 

Credit: Julio Sosa

Engineering seniors Sade Oba, Alfredo Muniz, William Duckworth and Wharton senior Aaron Goldstein are the inaugural President’s Innovation Prize recipients, President Amy Gutmann announced Tuesday.

The President’s Innovation Prize is similar to the President’s Engagement Prize in that seniors are eligible to submit projects, but the Innovation Prize accepts submissions that are commercial ventures, rather than projects based solely based in community engagement.

Oba and Muniz received the award for a project called XEED. XEED is a network of wearable devices that tracks the movement of limbs and transmits that information to a smartphone. The project is designed to help patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and their families to keep tabs on their well being.

Duckworth and Goldstein also won the prize for a health-care related project, called Fever Smart. Fever Smart is a device that monitors core body temperature over time and sends the information to a cloud system, which then allows the patient and doctors to monitor the patient’s body temperature over time.

Gutmann said that while she initially planned to only pick one project, she couldn’t decide between the two winners.

“I was hoping, planning and expecting to pick one,” she said, but added, “There was no way of choosing between them.”

Although both of the winning projects are health-related, Gutmann stressed that it wasn’t a commonality among the 21 projects that were submitted.

“They just came to the top out of a very broad group which ranged quite widely,” she said.

The 21 Innovation Prize projects that were in the running exceeds the number of Engagement Prize applications this year, at 18, even though the Engagement Prize is in its second year and this is only the first for the Innovation Prize.

Each of the President’s Innovation Prize teams will receive $100,000 to implement their projects and a $50,000 living stipend per team member, the same dollar amount as the Engagement Prize. The winners will also receive dedicated workspace in the Pennovation Center and mentorship from the Penn Center for Innovation.

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