Earlier this month, an impressive group of leaders and students gathered at American Dream and Felician University for the inaugural Innovation kNowledge eXchange of 2022 (INX22).
The two-day forum, which was organized by Felician University’s Lenke Family Center for Innovation, its Center for Academic Technology, and its Buildings & Grounds Department, plus the Royal Academy of Science International Trust, focused on developing groundbreaking and sustainable solutions to some of the world’s top challenges.
Day one featured a strong roster of speakers sharing their experience and insights with students. Day two centered around five student teams competing in a case study competition.
“INX22 was an impactful, ambitious event packed with amazing inspiration and big ideas,” said Joseph Lizza, executive director of the Lenke Family Center for Innovation. “We are extremely proud of the caliber of programming at this first-ever event, which brought forward-thinking industry leaders together from our own backyard and across the globe. We’d like to thank our sponsors, speakers, volunteers and, of course, our attendees, for their incredible support. We look forward to seeing everyone next year at INX2023.”
The inaugural Innovation kNowledge eXchange of 2022 (INX22) focused on solutions to some of the world’s top challenges. From left: Felician University’s Mazdak Zamani, Maura DeNicola, Charity Dacey, Stephanie McGowan, Joseph Lizza and Louis Ruvolo; Assemblyman Christopher Tully, D-District 38; Kai Feder of the New Jersey Office of Innovation; Elizabeth Lenke of the Lenke Family Foundation; and Felician’s Deanna Valente and Meggan O’Neill. – FELICIAN UNIVERSITY
The first day, which took place in a space at American Dream with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, featured the following speakers:
- Khawar Nasim, acting consul general of Canada to the U.S. in New York
- Clare Guinness, innovation district director for Innovation City Belfast
- Kai Feder, chief of staff at the New Jersey State Office of Innovation
- David Perlin, Ph.D., chief scientific officer for the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation
- Dr. Kemi Olugemo, director of communications for Woman of Color in Pharma
- World-renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Lawrence Lenke, and his wife, Beth Lenke
The diverse slate of speakers offered a wide array of lessons learned throughout their work and careers.
Day one also included panel discussions focused on food sustainability at restaurants and within the food supply, as well as Felician University student innovation activities that were implemented at INX22.
For the competition, five student teams were selected from an international pool of applicants to present solutions for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”
The five-team competition included two teams each from Felician University and Italy’s John Cabot University as well as one team from Italy’s University of Pisa. The teams delivered their presentations via live video feed.
The four-person team from University of Pisa won the competition, taking home a $10,000 team prize. The winning presentation focused on creating a multiple-step plan for the harmonization of health data around the globe, featuring a two-sided approach through institutional and technological innovation. They outlined the challenges in uniform data collection and evaluation; their solution focused on tackling missing data.
A Felician University team received the Honorable Mention for its presentation on how to take on the challenge of achieving a systemic global network for Electronic Health Records that provides accessibility, privacy and accuracy, and can be shared across multiple health care providers.
The inaugural forum presented an unprecedented opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in the innovation space while searching for solutions to real-world problems. Organizers of the first-of-its-kind event are already looking to build on the rousing success of the inaugural forum for next year.