Bell Labs Announces 2015 Prize Winners Demonstrating Disruptive Innovation

Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, today announced it has selected the three winners of the Second Annual Bell Labs Prize. Receiving a total of $150,000 in cash prizes, the winners will have the exclusive opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned Bell Labs researchers to further their ideas.

First prize ($100,000) was awarded to Brandon Lucia, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Subject: OIC: The Operating System for Intermittent Computing

Third prize ($25,000 each) was presented to two recipients:

Georg Böcherer, Senior Researcher at Technische Universität München (TUM), Patrick Schulte, Ph.D student at TUM and Fabian Steiner, Ph.D student at TUM.

Subject: Closing the Ultimate Gap to Shannon Capacity

Sotjan Radic, Professor at Qualcomm Institute.

Subject: Photon-Engine for Clouds

The Bell Labs Prize is a competition for innovators from participating countries around the globe that seek to recognize proposals that ‘change the game’ in the field of information and communications technologies by a factor of 10. First introduced by Bell Labs in 2014, the pre-eminent global research organization, which will maintain its iconic R&D powerhouse branding pending the Nokia acquisition, initiated the competition amongst academics in an effort to identify some of the next great leaders of our time in the field of information and communications technologies.

“From optics to MIMO systems, we received an impressive variety of innovative proposals, once again,” said Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs. “We are extremely pleased to see that the myriad of cutting-edge ideas continued into the second year of this unique competition. Our 2014 winners had great success with enhancing the commercial viability of their research due to the awarded opportunity to collaborate with Bell Labs and we are very excited for this year’s winners to have that same opportunity.”

Since the launch of the 2015 Bell Labs Prize in March, more than 250 applicants from 33 different countries submitted proposals for consideration. Of those applicants, 17 were selected to move on to the next stage and were given the chance to collaborate with Bell Labs research partners to strengthen their proposals. Out of those 12, seven were selected as finalists.

In addition to the three winners, finalists included:

Jan Hesselbarth, Professor at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Burhan Gülbahar, Professor at Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey and Gorken Memisoglu, External Research Assistant at Thin Film and Device Preparation/Characterization Laboratories of Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.

Salvatore Domenic Morgera, Professor at the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University.

Changho Suh, Professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Yuxin Chen, postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University.

All finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges, including Emmanuel Abbe, 2014 Bell Labs Prize winner and Assistant Professor at Princeton University; Al Aho, Lawrence Gussman professor at Columbia University; David Freeman, managing editor of The Huffington Post; Philippe Keryer, Chief Strategy and Innovation Office of Alcatel-Lucent; Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent; and Robert Wilson, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Bell Labs Prize is an annual competition rewarding 10x game-changing proposals in the field of information and communications technologies and related software systems and applications. The competition is open to anyone in one of the participating countries, who “owns” an idea and meets the eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the Bell Labs Prize website. No purchase or payment necessary to enter the competition. Void where prohibited.

Bell Labs has posted a blog (click here) with additional information and photos of the Second Annual Bell Labs Prize winners.

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