The winners, runners-up and finalists of the 2018 COINS Grand Challenge were celebrated at a gala dinner and awards ceremony on Tuesday the 5th of June 2018, at the COINS 2018 Innovation Day in San Antonio, Texas.
The six winners battled stiff competition to win the acclaimed annual contest, which challenges entrants to share innovative ideas that could positively impact the build environment and in turn, our society. The competition aims to attract new people into the industry and encourage the wider construction industry to focus on innovation to create a more efficient and sustainable sector.
Robert Brown, CEO of COINS, said:
This year’s Grand Challenge had a record number of applicants at all levels of the competition. On behalf of everyone at COINS, our partners and judges in the Grand Challenge, I would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners in this year’s event. We have been very impressed with the creativity and innovation in every entry, all of which have highlighted a new and improved way to do things across the sector.Robert Brown, CEO of COINS
The winners of this year’s Grand Challenge are awarded a series of prizes such as R & D funding, education grants and paid internships with leading industry players. Prize sponsors included Barratt Developments, Comfort Systems USA, WestCor Companies, and DSA Technologies.
Ardalan Khosrowpour was named winner of the Open Competition New & Emerging Technology category for a visual documentation and risk assessment platform. The platform will enable virtual tours of construction sites using Artificial Intelligence to identify build issues as well as health and safety hazards. Ardalan, co-founder and CEO of OnSite IQ, said;
Having this ‘badge of honour’ from COINS will help us establish our name in the industry, and the COINS Investment Award will enable us to ramp up faster. It has been an amazing and motivating honor to participate in this event.Ardalan Khosrowpour
In the Open Competition Leadership category, the winning entry was from Ehab Sayed. Ehab proposes that future construction projects mimic natural processes and biological systems, saying this will lead to “a more energy efficient, resource efficient, and healthy built environment.” He is Founder and Director of Innovation of Biohm, which has developed a range of construction materials that completely natural and biodegradable.
Armelle Coutant, a student at Stanford University, claimed victory in the Undergraduate Competition. Armelle’s winning idea is to use plastic debris composite with algae extracts to create a new material for marine construction. She said,
This material could adapt itself to a variety of geographic locations and combine with microorganisms to enhance growth of vital ecosystems such as coral reefs and fisheries.Undergraduate Winner, Armelle Coutant
While offering congratulations to all the outstanding finalists who brought their ideas and energy to the final judging event, Robert Brown stated:
At COINS, we believe that with success come a responsibility to give something back to the construction industry and society as a whole, and it’s that belief that is the driving force behind the Grand Challenge. The objectives of the Grand Challenge are twofold: firstly, to attract more and more people to enter the construction industry as a career in the hope that we can impact the growing skills shortage. And secondly, we hope to see many of the students, start-ups and innovators we have been working with bring transformational products and services to the industry over the coming years, and wish them the best of luck in their new ventures.Robert Brown, CEO of COINS