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InterDigital and Calit2 Launch InterDigital Innovation Challenge

Proposals for engineering competition with $175,000 in cash prizes due on March 30, 2012


  • Tiffany Fox

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  • Tiffany Fox

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InterDigital (NASDAQ: IDCC) and the University of California, San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) today announced the launch of the InterDigital Innovation Challenge (I²C), an engineering competition that aims to discover breakthroughs in advanced wireless technologies.

The I²C is open to individuals or teams from any North American college or university. Participants are required to submit a proposal explaining the technical and commercial viability of their idea in the area of radio signal propagation and processing, radio modem innovations, radio network management and systems innovations, compression and data management techniques, energy improvement in radio processing and/or wireless and network virtualization.

The submissions will be evaluated by a seven-member judging panel from academia and industry, and $175,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top entries, including $100,000 for the winning team or individual.

“As a leader in the development of advanced wireless technologies, InterDigital is proud to work with Calit2 – widely recognized as one to the world’s premier academic research institutions – on creating a platform that will bring together some of the best and brightest in the field,” said William J. Merritt, InterDigital's President and Chief Executive Officer. “Given the strong support and leadership of Calit2, we are confident that the InterDigital Innovation Challenge will generate a number of technical breakthroughs and fresh thinking that will help shape the future of wireless.”

Ramesh Rao, Director of the UCSD division of Calit2 and I²C Challenge Chair, called the Challenge "a fresh approach to stimulating innovation in wireless."

"We have watched  agencies like DARPA adopt challenge awards as the means to stimulate creativity,” he said, “and we are delighted that InterDigital has chosen to provide resources to run a similar process focused on wireless. "

The judging panel consists of Brown University School of Engineering Dean Lawrence Larson; Rutgers School of Engineering Professor and WINLAB Director Dipankar Raychaudhuri; UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering Professor Jerry Gibson;  Stanford University Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami Paulraj; UC Irvine Engineering Professor and Director of the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing Hamid Jafarkhani; InterDigital Chief Technology Officer Naresh Soni and telecommunications entrepreneur and venture capitalist Martha Dennis.

Said Dennis: "This competition is right on the mark for stoking innovation in the telecommunications and IT sectors by accelerating the path from laboratory to consumer."

To underscore the importance of marketing their ‘big idea,’ participants will also be encouraged to harness the power of social media to compete for the competition’s Popular Vote. The individual or team who wins the Popular Vote in the first round will automatically become a finalist, with the winner of the Popular Vote in the final round receiving a $5,000 bonus.

Under its extensive university relations program, InterDigital plans to make a multi-year charitable donation to Calit2, funding the engineering contest. The I²C will enable Calit2 at UC San Diego to further its mission and strategic plan to extend its influence and reach into innovations in wireless technology in academia and industry.

The deadline for submitting proposals to the InterDigital Innovation Challenge is 5 p.m. March 30, 2012. To make your “bright idea the next big thing,” or to find out more about the competition, visit

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