Invent Alaska Competition

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What is the Invent Alaska Competition?

The Invent Alaska competition celebrates UAF’s and UAS’s best innovations, and it rewards their faculty, student, and staff inventors.

The competition started in 2015, is hosted by the University’s Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC).

Why should I enter the competition?

The grand prize winner will receive a Grand Prize and assistance with protecting and commercializing their innovation.

What is an eligible innovation?

Any innovation developed by UAF or UAS faculty, staff, and students using university resources or as part of a class.  An innovation could be, for example, a new method of doing something, a product, a composition, or software.

Who can Enter the competition?

UAF and UAS students, staff, and faculty.

How do I enter the competition?

Click here.  You’ll be brought to a simple form to submit your innovation.  Depending on your submission, OIPC staff may need to follow up to gather more information.

When do I need to enter by?

The competition runs through the end of the academic school year.  The application deadline is TBA.  Winners will be announced shortly after.

What can I win?

The Grand Prize includes funding, assistance to license, patent, and commercialize your innovation.

I have more questions.  Who can I talk to?

OIPC staff will be happy to talk to you.  Call 474-2605 or email

Why else should I enter the competition?

The university wants to help you protect and commercialize your innovation.  While the university owns innovations developed using university resources including classwork, innovators in return receive substantial backing in the form of resources and expertise.

Innovators also receive the first $10,000 and 50% thereafter of net proceeds received by the university from commercialization of the innovation.

2017 winners of the Invent Alaska Competition

Brandt Lomen
Brandt Lomen displays his Pseudo-Sun Instrument.

Brandt Lomen – Undergraduate Student in Space Engineering Lab. Grand Prize Award.

The Pseudo-Sun Instrument was developed as a way to imitate the Sun and test solar cells developed in Denise Thorsen’s Space Systems Engineering Lab. Lomen used a suite of different colored LED lights that match the Sun’s spectrum that can be controlled for spectrum and amplitude. This allows the device to mimic what the Sun would look like on Earth, in space, or on Mars.

Heidi Pearson – UAS Associate Professor of Marine Biology. Best UAS Innovation Award.

The cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system, or C-VISS uses custom-made, noninvasive underwater cameras that attaches directly to a dolphin’s body. University of Alaska Southeast Researcher Heidi Pearson worked with researchers from the University of Sydney to capture more than 500 minutes of footage of dolphin behavior, allowing them to observe behaviors that humans rarely have the privilege of witnessing. These included mothers interacting with their calves and other intimate moments shared between dolphins, such as when they rub their flippers together.

Aaron Rouse – UAF Undergraduate Student. Best Early-Stage Innovation Award.

The Check-In, Check-Out system is a streamlined Radio-frequency identification check-in / check-out system for use in mines to improve safety and efficiency relative to systems currently used in large and small mines throughout Alaska and the world.

Lee Santoro – UAF Affiliate Professor. Greatest Commercial Potential Award.

This smart controller is customized for use with electric heaters that prevent the “freezing” of vehicles in arctic conditions.  Among other features, the controller can turn on vehicle heaters remotely and in phases based on engine block and ambient air temperatures.


For more information on the Invent Alaska Competition please call (907) 474-2605 or email


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