Get to Know Keysight > Corporate Social Responsibility

Keysight’s IoT Innovation Challenge winners showcase ideas to change the world

2019-10-19  |  6 min read 

We have transformed the world with our ideas for millennia, from the invention of the wheel to Archimedes’ screw, through to the steam engine and the Internet. These innovations have brought prosperity, health, and knowledge to our societies. But rapid urbanization has also contributed to many of today’s biggest global challenges, including climate change, environmental pollution, and depletion of natural resources.

By 2050, over two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities and be exposed daily to unhealthy conditions, while more than five billion people will suffer from water stress. We urgently need new ideas and innovative solutions to help address these problems, and slow or halt the damage already done.

This is why we launched the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge in April of this year, inviting students worldwide to develop their ideas for low-power IoT networks to tackle real environmental issues, both on land and in water. The response was overwhelming, with over 8,000 registrants and nearly 300 entries from around the world. Our judging panel whittled the entries down to six finalists, with three teams each in the ‘Smart Water’ and ‘Smart Land’ categories. In September, we flew all six finalists to New York City to compete live at the Convene before a panel of seven judges. During the final event, live streamed around the world, the finalists each pitched their design concepts and presented their prototypes.

Choosing the winners wasn’t easy: every one of the finalists’ presentations demonstrated real innovation, in-depth engineering skills, and a passion for problem solving. But after much discussion, and compiling scores from the judges, the winning teams were: 

  • Grand Prize Winner: Stanford University in the U.S., with students Anand Lalwani, Max Holiday, and Valmik Lakhlani. Their entry, Immersible Internet-of-Things (IoT) Sensors for Cloud-based Water Quality Monitoring secured $50,000 USD in cash for the team, and $50,000 USD of Keysight test equipment for use by their university.  
  • Winner in the Smart Land category: Massey University in New Zealand, with students Tyrel Glass, Baden Parr, Darryn Wells, and Madhav Kruthiventy. Their CAIRNet (Climate Air Information Real-time Network) solution won the team $25,000 USD in cash and $25,000 USD of Keysight test equipment for their university.
  • Winner in the Smart Water category: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Malaysia with students Lim Wen Qing, Yap Sheng Yao, Tan Kai Siang, Au Jin Cheng, and Khor Jun Bin. Their IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability won $25,000 USD in cash for the team plus $25,000 USD of Keysight test equipment for their university.
  • Winner of the Keysight Diversity in Tech Award: MIT, with students Nikhil Murthy, Sunny Tran, Gabriella Garcia, and Irin Ghosh. Their Smart Land entry, berrySmart won a $25,000 USD cash prize and $25,000 USD of Keysight test equipment for their university, to honor the team’s diversity.

Anand Lalwani of the Grand Prize-winning Stanford team said, "Keysight and this competition helped shape my graduate research work and pushed us extensively in the world of IoT. Keysight has been incredibly supportive of cutting-edge research and promoting innovation across countries."

We were inspired by the response to our challenge from across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and by the enthusiasm and innovative thinking that each of the finalists put into designing, building, and testing their solutions. It’s truly rewarding to see how education initiatives such as the IoT Innovation Challenge are helping to solve some of the most pressing environmental issues we face.

Education is one of the four key impact goals in our Corporate Social Responsibility program, and our latest 2018 CSR Report shows we are making strong progress towards our targets. By the end of fiscal year 2020, our aim is to engage upwards of 570,000 students and future engineers through a mixture of education strategies. By the end of 2018, we had already engaged 444,800, so we are over three-quarters of the way to our goal. 

Just one idea can change the world for the better. With our global education programs, we’re helping to nurture the next generation of innovators who will strengthen the worldwide engineering community and solve the problems of the future. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge, and to our panel of judges. Here’s to the next challenge!