Global Innovation Past Winners


2020 GIA Winner
Winner – E-Wall by Aldeatron Robotix of the Canary Islands, Spain

E-Wall is a low cost, lightweight, eco-friendly building block made from recycled cardboard and Fountain grass, which is an invasive species in the Canary Islands. This solution, which can be manufactured locally, takes the place of conventional blocks and insulation, offering temperature regulation and noise reduction.

Runner-up - REST: Roof Evaluating Strain Tool by 8 To Automate of Dublin, Ohio, USA​

Runner-Up - Polar Play by QuickBots of Dayton, Ohio, USA​


Team FrancoDroid
Winner – CosmoCup by FrancoDroid of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Although a woman’s menstrual cycle can go uninterrupted in space, there are not a lot of waste-disposal systems aboard a spacecraft that are set up to handle a female period. This results in female astronauts choosing to take contraceptives to skip their periods instead. CosmoCup creates a functional cleaning process that consists of a menstrual collector with a membrane on top, which would prevent the blood from dissipating.

Runner-up - AstroTube Clipper by Chaos Crew of Fresno, CA, USA

Runner-Up - WEMIT by iDB-Tech-No-Logic of Verona, Italy


Winner – The HYDROBALL by FSINGENIUM of Pamplona, Spain

FSINGENIUM team comes from a region in Spain that is an agricultural zone. The team’s innovative solution, the HYDROBALL is a tennis-ball sized water conservation tool that gets buried in the soil and precisely measures how much water is available for crops. It provides the user with real-time data via smartphone.

Runner-Up - UVeggie by LEGO Legion of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Runner-Up - PLASTICKER by Team D++ of Tel Aviv, Israel



Winner - The H20 Post by The Hydrators of Oakville, Ontario, Canada

The H20 Post (Horses Hydrating Outside) is an automated water post which monitors the amount of water horses drink. The post and trough monitor water consumption by using detectable tags worn on a horse’s halter. The data is collected through a REFI reader and is sent to the horse owner through an App. Learn more on the team's website.

Runner-Up - FISH: 3.D. by Team Phoenix of Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

Runner-Up - Vfly by Team Gryffindor of Chappaqua, New York, USA 


Winner - Styro-Filter by The Incredibots of Gahanna, Ohio
The Styro-Filter is a device in which Styrofoam waste is successfully converted into activated carbon that can be used to purify water. Using a low temperature, enclosed process to carbonize Styrofoam and etch it using chemical reagents, the process produces activated carbon with a surface area of over 100 square meters per gram. The activated carbon is then placed into the Styro-Filter, producing purified water. The patent-pending Styro-Filter process has the potential to reduce the nearly two billion pounds of non-recyclable Styrofoam that is thrown away each year in the United States.

Update Fall 2017 – The win at the Global Innovation Award catapulted the Styro-Filter to wide acclaim in other national STEM Award competitions.  First, they were a finalist for the 2016 Google Science Fair under the headline Fighting Foam Waste with Recycled Filters and took home the Scientific American Inventor Award. In April, they were finalists for the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award, and received the Gemini Award from the U.S. Navy and were named Conrad Scholars for the Energy & Environment category.   In May, the Styro-Filter advanced as finalists for the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair and received a Sigma Xi Award.  In June, team spokesperson Ashton Cofer was interviewed by the CEO of Conservation International on the stage of the Points of Light Conference to discuss the importance of climate change. Ashton now has over 1 million views of his TED talk about the team’s experience building the Styro-Filter.  

The Incredibots

Runner-Up - Water Soluble 6-Pack Rings by Cyber Tigers of Austin, Texas

Runner-Up - Chipsulation by Robostallions of Stuart, Florida


Winner - ROY G. BIV Math SystemTM by Team Storm of Terre Haute, Indiana
Since winning the Global Innovation Award in 2015, Team Storm has been busy continuing to pursue their App, which helps dyslexic students learn math.  {See their blog post from February 2016 here.} Weekly, Team Storm has met with students from a local technical college who are helping them with programming.  They now have the first iteration of their working prototype, have made modifications based on user-testing results, and just confirmed the college has committed to another year of support for their App.  Always aware of the importance of intellectual property, Team Storm has been meeting with patent attorneys towards filing their full utility patent this year.  We are also thankful they gave advice to the FIRST community at a 2016 Championship Conference workshop on how they apply the engineering design process when creating a new innovative solution.  In their spare time, members of Team Storm competed in the TRASH TREKSM season and were chosen as a 2016 Global Innovation Award Semi-Finalist for their invention Eco Snappy TipsTM (judging is blind so they had no idea the invention came from a past winning team), which proves that once you learn how to think innovatively, it is a skill that can continue to be applied to new problems year after year.

Team Storm

Runner-Up - Haptic App Platform for Visually Impaired by the LEGO Lions of Austin, Texas

Runner-Up - Insta-BrailleTM by the Braille Boys & Annie of Cumming, Georgia


Winner - Balloon Based Notification Sign by The Brain Busters of Sherborn, Massachusetts
Long-range notification sign that can be used to indicate where to find aid after a natural disaster.

The Brain Busters

Runner-Up - Tsunami Evacuation System by Robotec of Santiago, Chile

Runner-Up - Cyclone Survivor Board Game by Robotic Raiders of Williamsburg, Iowa


Winner - The Gramma-Jamma by NeXT GEN of Oakland, Maryland
An innovative grabber to provide renewed independence to seniors with limited mobility.


Runner-Up - The Buddy by Lucky Is Our Dog of Columbus, Ohio

Runner-Up - The MPA: Magnetic Plug Adaptor by the Rockford Christian Royal Narwhals of Rockford, Illinois


Co-Winner - Smart Sticker by S.I.S Robotics Revolution of Shelton, Connecticut
Sticker changes color when refrigerated items reach unsafe temperatures.

Co-Winner - Erasable Barcode by Moderately Confused of Dublin, Ohio

Runner-Up - FreezeStick by Seven World Wonders of Yeruham, Israel

Seven World Wonders

After the FreezeStick made international news, members of the Seven World Wonders were able to demonstrate their invention to and met the 9th Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Runner-Up - Smart Milk Pitcher by MATobot of New York, New York


Winner - BOB-1 Hand Device by The Flying Monkeys of Ames, Iowa
Low-cost and easy to put on and off prosthetic device that enables the user to hold, grip, stabilize, or secure any item they otherwise may not have been able to manipulate.
President Obama and Flying Monkeys

The Flying Monkeys

The Flying Monkeys represented FIRST at the White House Science Fair and met President Obama.  On June 16, 2015 the Flying Monkeys were presented with U.S. Patent No. 8,840,157 for their Global Innovation Award winning invention by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee.

Runner-Up - A Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring System by The 4th Motor of East Troy, Wisconsin

Runner-Up - Unfurling Stent for Growing Children by Blue Gear Ticks of Lincoln, Massachusetts

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