Edison Awards Makes Home in Chicago

An international awards program, previously held in New York City for the last 26 years, is coming to Chicago. Organizers of the Edison Awards say they look for game-changing innovations at the forefront of new product and service development, marketing, and human-centered design. The awards program, named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), had outgrown its space in New York, says Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director.

“We’re pleased to hold the Edison Awards in Chicago in recognition of the city as an increasing hub of innovation and technology,” says Bonafilia. “The Edison Awards provides a robust platform for honoring the best in innovation, and encourages today’s development teams, researchers, designers, and entrepreneurs to dream big.”

One of the nominees is Chicago-based, Narrative Science, which was nominated in the Collaboration/Knowledge Management category for its product, Quill, an “artificial intelligence engine that generates, evaluates and gives voice to ideas as it discovers them in the data.” Quill takes data and generates a narrative story from the information. Journalism and computer science students at Northwestern University created the software. Blackline Review caught up with Kris Hammond, chief technology officer of Narrative Science, at the recent Uncubed event, where he explained the artificial intelligence, and practical applications, of Quill.

Among the dozens of other innovations vying for the Edison Award are an antibacterial paper hand towel, a touch-screen deadbolt, and a gutter-cleaning robot.

The two-day event on April 24th and 25th at Navy Pier will feature a forum, showcase of products, and an awards ceremony at the Navy Pier Ballroom on the final day. Nominees, which were selected by a panel of 3,000 judges, include individuals, products, and organizations.

For the full list of nominees, and for other information, visit the Edison Awards site here. ❒

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