Innovative Saline Bag Wins Open Innovation Contest for its Life-Saving Potential
A revolutionary IV saline bag with the potential to save millions of lives wins a Philips open innovation contest. Maji can be transported without water and once onsite can convert local water, even dirty water to a sterile solution using Forward Osmosis technology.
Fosmo Med Inc., United States
Nobody knows when and where the next brilliant idea is going to come from - the product that will make our lives easier and disrupt a market, or the solution to a technical challenge that's holding a company back. However, they can be coaxed into the spotlight, and one of the best ways to do that is through an open innovation or innovation contest. Like moths to a flame, they are attractive to inventive and creative minds.
The Next Big Thing
In 2013, the Dutch multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate Philips hosted its first ever Philips Innovation Fellows Competition, a global search for ‘the next big thing’ that will transform our lives for the better.
“Philips is always looking for the ‘next big thing’ and we want to broaden our reach and celebrate great ideas that have the potential to revolutionize the way we live,” said Greg Sebasky, Chairman, and Philips North America, on occasion of the competition’s launch. “We invite all innovators to share their ideas and to help us in our search.”
Inventions with a Purpose
Innovators were invited to come up with ideas in three broad categories: ‘Living Well, Being Healthy and Enjoying Life.’ These were determined by Philips’s own consumer research into people’s attitudes about technology. They discovered that Americans want future innovations to have a purpose and not just be gadgets created for technology’s sake.
Global crowdfunding platform indiegogo was a partner in the competition and participants were invited to promote and gain support for their ideas on the indiegogo site.
Revolutionary Hydration System Wins
Among the criteria that submitted ideas were judged on were the feasibility of the concept, the plans to bring it to market and how it will meet an unmet need and make a significant impact on people’s lives.
The Grand Prize Winner was Fosmo Med Inc., for Maji, a hydration system for IV use. IV saline bags are 99.1% water, making them heavy and expensive to ship round the world. They also have a short shelf life and are prone to leakage.
Maji has been developed to save lives. For example, millions of people around the world die every year from dehydration caused by diseases such as diarrhea. Fosmo’s IV bags can be transported without water and are filled once on site - even with dirty water. Forward Osmosis technology then does the rest, converting it to a sterile solution without electricity. Over the course of a few hours dirty water is drawn through the FO membrane to the clean side of the bag. What’s left is clean water.
Fosmo Med was awarded a prize of $60,000 and invited to Philips’ US headquarters for a mentoring session with executives to help bring their idea to life. Four runners up were awarded $10,000 each.
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