220 students worked on innovation for refugees at Jefferson's Nexus Maximus Challenge - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 13, 2017 12:19 pm

220 students worked on innovation for refugees at Jefferson’s Nexus Maximus Challenge

Meet the winning project from the annual competition.

At Jefferson University's Nucleus Maximus Challenge.

(Courtesy photo)

What kind of innovations could help refugees and other displaced communities?

That was the driving question behind the Nexus Maximus Challenge, the annual competition from Jefferson University, which every year brings together students around a specific topic through collaboration and innovation.

Nexus Maximus is a legacy event from Philadelphia University which officially merged with Jefferson earlier this year. A total of 36 teams from five universities joined the weeklong competition. It wrapped up Monday at the university’s East Falls campus.

Here’s a quick explainer vid:

The team behind Amicus, a communication system for refugees, took the first prize. It’s a group of easily-recognizable icons that can be printed on T-shirts, blankets and other textiles. The fabric helps refugees stay comfortable, while the communication system lets aid workers who don’t speak a language identify needs like food, water and bathroom.

“It’s amazing what these students have come up with,” D.R. Widder, Jefferson’s vice president of innovation and Steve Blank Innovation Chair, said in an article posted by the university. “All these teams just met each other on Friday and are able to work together to create amazing concepts.”

Last year, the challenge focused on creating solutions for the personal health space.

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Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Technical.ly Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to Technical.ly and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

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