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Grainger Computing Innovation Prize

The world needs your creativity to solve health disparities, climate change, and outdated infrastructure.

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Take on Some of the World’s Most Challenging Problems

The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize calls on Illinois Tech students to discover creative technology solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges facing the world today: health disparities, climate change, and the need for sustainable smart infrastructure.  Prizes will be awarded annually.

Illinois Tech is purpose-driven. We harness the collective power of difference to drive innovation for all. The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize reflects this purpose as we call students to bring different ways of thinking to tackle some of the world's most critical challenges.

2021 Grainger Computing Innovation Prize Winners

Grainger Computing Innovation Prize GiGi (Green lightnInG coIn)

One of the most disrupting technologies of the 21st century are digital currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) — however, these decentralized currencies are orders of magnitude slower in latency, throughput while being many times less energy efficient when compared to existing centralized approaches (e.g. VISA). Our new digital currency GIGI, Green lightnInG coIn increases transaction throughput through larger blocks with smaller block times and achieves energy efficiency on par with centralized solutions using an improved Proof-of-Space algorithm leveraging XSearch to secure the digital currency.

Waste Allocation Load Compressor (WALC)

The Waste Allocation Load Compressor (WALC) is an inexpensive smart waste compressor that aims to improve the quality of life of citizens in developing countries by decreasing pollution on streets and waterways. WALC utilizes IoT technology to provide city officials with statistics, predictions, and optimal waste collection routes for when units are full.

Receptify (Mental Health Access for Sexual Violence Survivors)

Receptify (Technology Addressing Mental Health Access Disparities for Sexual Violence Survivors) is a tool for reducing barriers to recovery and rehabilitation for sexual violence survivors on college campuses, demystifying their steps and options as they seek justice and healing.


Winners tackled some of the most challenging problems to win one of the following cash prizes:

1st Place team: $15,000 
2nd Place team: $10,000 
3rd Place team: $5,000


Interdisciplinary solutions and creative thinking are key, but all entries must involve an element of computing.

To compete in the Grainger Computing Innovation Prize, students must be pursuing an undergraduate or master’s degree and must be registered at Illinois Tech for fall 2022. International students are eligible and welcomed to participate in this competition. 

The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize is a team-based competition, with each team comprised of two to five students. The recommended team size is four or five students. At least one undergraduate student is required in each team. Doctoral students are not eligible for the prize but are encouraged to participate as mentors.

Students may register as a team or as an individual. We try to help individual registrants form a team.

The Competition

The Grainger Computing Innovation Prize will go through three stages during the fall semester 2022:

  1. Round 1 September 12: teams will submit Concept Notes describing their ideas. If a team’s submission is selected, they will move on to the next round.
  2. Round 2 October 19: teams will be invited to develop a detailed prototype of their idea. If a team’s presentation is selected, they will move on to the finals.
  3. Finals November 9: teams will present their ideas in front of a top-tier panel of judges.

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