InnoCentive Honors International Innovators as 2009 Top Solvers

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WALTHAM, Mass. – May 17, 2010 – InnoCentive, Inc., the world leader in open innovation, today announced the 12 winners of its annual Top Solver awards for Challenges solved in 2009. These Challenge winners were awarded the most prize dollars and solved extraordinarily complex Challenges. This year’s Top Solvers come from six countries with a majority representation from the United States. Challenges solved in 2009 spanned subject areas-finding new uses for cotton, extending the shelf life of microbiological products, Passenger Screening for Contagious Agents and closing in on finding a biomarker for ALS. The InnoCentive Solver community comprises more than 200,000 Solvers worldwide, and includes scientists, engineers, business people, academics and researchers, all of whom are striving to answer issues of global concern.

“Interestingly, many of our Top Solvers are not driven strictly by financial gains.  It is clear that personal passion, peer recognition and the pure satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make a difference in the world are important motivators for them,” said InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin. “We are tremendously proud to count these individuals as members of our Solver community.”

The following two Solvers are multi-year Top Solvers:

Nikolay Barashkov, USA: A three-time Top Solver, Dr. Barashkov is currently the director of research and development at Micro-Tracers, Inc. He is the author of six books, 105 published articles, two granted U.S. patents, three granted European patents and has ten U.S. patents pending.

Kamel El-Darwish, Finland: Awarded three Challenges, Dr. El-Darwish was also a Top Solver in 2008. He has a Ph.D. in biology and develops solutions for the health and personal care, food, agriculture, and environmental protection industries. He is the author of four published articles in prominent biology journals.

The following individuals were Top Solvers in 2009:

Vidyavati Manchi, India: Awarded one Challenge in life sciences.

Paul Wagorn, Canada: Awarded three Challenges in the areas of chemistry, business/entrepreneurship and engineering/design.

  1. Minh, UK: Awarded two Challenges in life sciences and chemistry. Minh has a Ph.D. in computational mathematics and is interested in computational chemistry, computational biology, bio-informatics and process optimization.

Mounir Errami, USA: Dr. Errami has a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from UCBL, France and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. His current professional focus concerns drug discovery using bioinformatics platforms and data mining in science and marketing analytics.

Ahmet Karabulut, USA: Awarded three Challenges. He has degrees in molecular biology and molecular genetics. His research interests include free radical biology, molecular and cellular biology as well as pharmaceutical sciences.

Daniel Olson, USA: Awarded two Challenges in physical sciences in 2009. Olson received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Oregon. He holds 50 U.S. patents and has 20 peer-reviewed journal publications.

Dirk Moore, USA: Dirk received a Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985, and is currently a faculty member at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He is a co-author of more than 50 publications in biostatistics, genetics, proteomics, and cancer biology.

Harvey Arbesman, USA: Winner of the ALS Biomarker Discovery Prize, Dr Arbesman is a physician, an epidemiologist and the Vice President of ArbesIdeas, Inc. He is currently a clinical assistant professor at the University of Buffalo. He has been published in various medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and Medical Hypotheses.

Sandip Bharate, USA: Awarded three Challenges, Sandip has a Ph.D. in natural products chemistry from NIPER, India. He is currently a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Montana. His research interests include the design and synthesis of new chemical entities for various therapeutic areas and the development of new synthetic methodologies.

Seward Rutkove, USA: Dr. Rutkove is the winner of the ALS Biomarker Progress Prize. He is a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he is focused on helping people with neuromuscular disorders. He was an ALS researcher and clinician in the ALS field for more than 10 years, and has received a progress prize for his proposed biomarker.


About InnoCentive, Inc.


Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings.  The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or “Seekers” submit complex problems or “Challenges” for resolution to a “Solver” community of more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000.  Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind’s most pressing problems.

For more information contact:

Karyn Martin
Emerge PR

Connie French
InnoCentive Marketing Director

By Wazoku

Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.