XPRIZE and the Heritage Provider Network Inspire Kids with the FIRST® LEGO® League 2013 Global Innovation Award

Funded by a generous grant from Dr. Dick Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, XPRIZE is once again sponsoring the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Global Innovation Award. The award recognizes a group of young inventors who have applied outstanding innovation and creativity in solving a particular problem. XPRIZE is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor and Founding Partner of the award.

"The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award inspires and rewards truly talented kids,” said Dr. Merkin. "At Heritage we try to stimulate innovation and imagination. As Einstein said, ‘Imagination is everything. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions.’ These kids are our future leaders, creators, innovators and imagineers. We are happy to support this important XPRIZE initiative, which will help launch them on their life’s journey.”

The 2013 FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award: The Senior Solutions Challenge

This year’s competition challenged FLL teams to devise ways to improve the quality of life for seniors by helping them continue to be independent, engaged, and connected in their communities. The winners received their award at a special ceremony on June 18 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

And the 2013 Global Innovation Award goes to…


NeXT GEN (Maryland)

Team NeXT GEN pictured with XPRIZE Vice Chairman & President Robert K. Weiss, second from left in back.

Their invention, the GRAMMA-JAMMA, is an innovative grabber that provides renewed independence to seniors with limited mobility. It applies leading-edge “jamming” robotic technology to a hand-held gripper to enable anyone with reduced dexterity to easily grasp and release small objects.


Lucky is our Dog (Ohio)
Invention: The Buddy

One out of three seniors fall each year, and many do not get help for hours or even days. This solution allows seniors to live independently in their homes with a low-cost motion sensor device that monitors their safety with no monthly fees.





Rockford Christian Royal Narwhals (Illinois)
Invention: The Magnetic Plug Adaptor

A safe, easy-to-use alternative to the traditional electrical power plug. The magnetic power of the MPA will keep the appliance plugged in and will conduct power to an appliance safely. Easy to connect, it will also prevent seniors from tripping over power cords because it will easily detach from the wall too.



Congratulations to NeXT GEN and the runners up on your creativity, compassion, and innovation in addressing some of today’s most challenging issues facing senior citizens.

Read about the 2012 FLL Global Innovation Award >>


FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST founder Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).


Generously sponsored by the Heritage Provider Network.

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