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Enhancing Lives and Breaking Down Barriers

Enhancing Lives and Breaking Down Barriers

By Henry Tirri, EVP Technology Advisor to the CEO of Nokia.

I strongly believe that technology offers tremendous opportunity to tap into new information and new discoveries that can enhance our lives, whether by improving health outcomes, or surpassing communication barriers worldwide.  

But in order to achieve these advances in technology, Silicon Valley—and the world—needs to continue to foster an environment centered on open innovation. It’s in that spirit of knowledge flow and collaboration that we chose to sponsor the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, a global competition in partnership with XPRIZE that welcomes entrepreneurs and developers interested in improving healthcare. The finalists in last year’s Competition #1 presented game-changing devices, sensors and chips to both detect disease pathogens and to facilitate the integration of health records into medical systems for swifter action.

Questions surrounding health continue to be top of mind for the global community. The recent Ebola outbreak, for example, created a renewed sense of urgency to capture health data that can help track the outbreak and potentially contain the disease. Coming off last year’s Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE success—and with the pressing health issues troubling society today— we are eager to see what this year’s finalists have to offer, and look forward to announcing the winners on November 10.

Last month, we announced the 11 teams that made it to the final stage to compete for the $2.25 million. While this is a competition, we envision the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE more as an opportunity. It’s a global platform for those who have innovative ideas and solutions to speak up and potentially enhance the standard of living on a global scale. This open setting promotes collaboration and idea generation where individuals can both inspire and be inspired.

Part of what attracts young talent to Silicon Valley and the technology industry is the notion that risk-taking and creative thinking are encouraged and valued within the community. We are proud that this comes to life during the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and that creative thinkers are pushed to their limits as they break through boundaries and envision the next frontier.

Perhaps most importantly, the impact of these ideas and inventions expands far beyond healthcare. The competition provides a stage for those who know their ideas have the capability to change the world.

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