SPARK Innovation Competition Winners

SAMSUNG CSCOn Friday, February 13th, O’Brien & Gere worked with Villanova University in order to host the SPARK Innovation Competition. The organizations of Brandywine Realty Trust, Keystone Foods, Merck, and the Philadelphia Water Department participated in the event. Because very developed and well-known organizations were involved, the students who participated were able to gain a lot of experience and insight on issues that industries are currently facing. Each group of students worked with subject matter experts, one from O’Brien and Gere, one from Villanova, and another from that industry.

Each of the four companies focused on a different topic for the improvement of an issue in their industry: Brandywine Realty Trust focused on Energy Efficient Lighting, Keystone Foods focused on Health and Safety, Merck focused on Sustainable Waste Management, and the Philadelphia Water Department focused on Stormwater. Each of the groups had outstanding ideas. One thing that really caught my eye was the layout of an office and the lighting associated with it created by a graduate student in the Brandywine Realty Trust group. Additionally, the Keystone Foods group found a chicken de-boning machine that would make the business more efficient while creating a safer environment as well.

The winning group was Merck, which included the students Alyson Perez, Fiona Hardie, Lindsey Walaski, Michael Shafer, and Peter Nelson, and the group won a $1,250 prize for their hard work and wonderful solutions for the industrial issues. The runner up was Keystone Foods, which included the students Hannah Lee, Joseph McConaughy, Nazarene Nahuel Roggero-Luque, and Saher-Zahra Khan, who won $750 for the group. Each of the groups worked very hard over a 24-hour period to create helpful and applicable solutions for industrial issues that each of these organizations have been facing. Students made connections with organizations and other faculty, and it is truly outstanding how the students sparked innovation in their brains in order to come up with such amazing ideas!