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OBG hosts university students at SPARK Innovation Competition in Central New York

Think-tank style competition promotes innovation through STEM-related problem statements

Students from Syracuse University, Clarkson University, and University of Rochester recently took part in an innovation competition that aims to add some spark to the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, environment, and water.

As part of OBG’s 11th SPARK Innovation Competition, more than 50 university students worked with OBG experts and industry partners—including Bausch + Lomb, Bristol Myers Squibb, Mohawk Valley Edge, National Grid, and Quantifly—to solve real-time problems facing industry today. In this 24-hour, think-tank style event, teams worked to brainstorm, problem solve, and find an innovative solution to various challenges, such as developing a way to secure high-resolution imagery of urban areas captured from unmanned aircraft, or drones.

The ideas were evaluated by a panel of judges, including OBG CEO Jim Fox; OBG’s Director of Corporate Growth Neil Webb; The Tech Garden’s Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Rick Clonan and Director of GENIUS NY Jon Parry; and Syracuse Center of Excellence Executive Director Edward Bogucz. Awards were provided to the top teams. For students, it was a great way to gain real-life training in solving issues with innovative solutions. For OBG and its partners, it provides a chance to gain fresh perspective and meet top talent.

As part of the competition, OBG donated to the Syracuse City School District, St. Lawrence County School Districts, and Rochester City School District. These contributions represent a shared commitment to fostering STEM education in our local communities and inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists.

This year's competition was held at the Syracuse Center of Excellence on April 13, 2018.

View photos from the event

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Started in 2013, SPARK has since been scaled to competitions held across the U.S., comprised of multiple universities and Fortune 50 companies. As part of each competition, diverse, cross-discipline student teams are provided problem statements and given just under 24 hours to come up with a solution. Guided by subject matter experts from OBG and industry partners, the teams ideate, develop concepts, and pitch their solutions to a panel of academic and private sector judges to win a cash prize. For more information, visit www.obg.com/innovation.

Advanced Manufacturing
EnergyEnvironmentWater. For more than 70 years, OBG has specialized in engineering and problem solving, but the Company’s greatest strength is creating comprehensive, integrated solutions for its clients. OBG – There’s a way. For more information, visit www.obg.com.

Media Contact:
Kristin Halpin
(315) 729-8847