Millennium Innovation Award 2021 Winners Revealed

13 Jan 2022

The main prize for the Millennium Innovation Award - a participation at NASA Space Center University Summer Camp in the USA is awarded to team "Elves" for their project: Design of a Low Voltage Operating Air Ionizer using Carbon Nanofibers. There are five students in the team - Anastasia Chalagashvili (6th Author School), Panteleimon Kobakhidze (Aia-GESS School), Mariam Mikadze (Aia-GESS School), Mariam Maghradze (Aia-GESS School) and Gega Khachidze (V. Komarov N: 199 Public School). The aim of the project is to clean indoor air from viruses, bacteria, spores and dust particles by means of a device that ionizes various molecules in the air.

"We have been organizing the Millennium Innovation Award for the seventh year in a row to promote science and engineering and innovation. By the decision of the competition jury, we have announced the winners of 2021 - three innovative teams of students. The first place winning team will travel to the USA with funding from the US Embassy and will participate in the summer school of NASA Space Center University. The second place winning team "Memory Effect" will also participate in the international STEM camp with the funding of the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), and the members of the third place team "Goal Diggers" will receive personal computers from the Georgian National Intellectual Property Center - Sakpatenti", - said Magda Magradze, the CEO of Millennium Foundation.

The second place winning team, consisting of students from Komarov Tbilisi Public School #199, created a "Smart Costume" using the physical properties of the smart substance - Nytilon, which detects the movement of the human body and moves the limbs by conducting electricity in Nitinol. "Smart Costume" can help people in medical rehabilitation who have disabilities due to illness or injury.

The third place winning team "Goal Diggers", consisting of students from Gori, Mestia, Kutaisi and Senaki schools, created a robot teacher which can be used as a teacher's assistant. Using a robot in the learning process is simple and fun. It helps the student to study the alphabet, colors, geometric figures and symbols and checks what the student has learned and gives appropriate feedback.

"The US Embassy in Georgia has been supporting Millennium Innovation Award since 2014, which promotes STEM education and innovations among the Georgian youth. I am very proud of this initiative and we are happy that every year, we are receiving almost equal number of applications from Tbilisi and regional schools of Georgia", - declared H.E. Kelly Degnan, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia.

"Today we have seen creative young people who are trying to use their time in search of something new. We have seen innovative ideas and the realization of these ideas. Such events help and give motivation to young people to think innovatively, to apply their knowledge in practice and to think that science should be directed to create innovations that would be helpful in everyday life," - said Shalva Papuashvili, the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia at the Millennium Innovation Awards Ceremony.

The Millennium Innovation Award is implemented with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. "The development of innovations and technologies in Georgia brings us even closer to the modern world and helps to strengthen the new generation of inventors, engineers and start-ups. The development of STEM education is one of the priorities of our government and the Ministry," - said Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.

Besides the main prizes, the special prizes were also awarded to the finalists teams by the partner organizations: Kutaisi International University, San Diego State University Georgia, TBC, Geolab and Academy Letterato.

This year, the Millennium Innovation Award was held for the seventh time. Up to 300 students participated in the 2020-2021 competition. At the first stage of the competition, 64 applications were received, out of which 45% - from Tbilisi, and 55% - from regional schools. Eleven teams from Tbilisi, Gardabani, Gori, Rustavi, Mestia, Kutaisi and Senaki schools advanced to the final stage of the competition.

The Millennium Innovation Award has been implemented since 2014 with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia and aims to promote innovation and STEM education among Georgian youth. More than 2,000 students have participated in the competition so far.