WASHINGTON, D.C. — PILOT, an innovation initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters, announced the 12 finalists of its third annual PILOT Innovation Challenge. The competition recognizes creative ideas that leverage technological advances in the production, distribution and display of engaging content and provides winners with development support.

Over 100 concepts were submitted since the call for entries in August. This year’s challenge question is “What is an innovative way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?”

A five-judge panel will select the top six from the 12 finalists. First, second and third place winners will be determined by participants at the NAB Futures conference, held January 27-29 in Seattle. The remaining participants will be presented with Innovator Awards at the event.

Thanks in part to a grant from Knight Foundation, the six finalists will be awarded cash prizes ranging from $15,000-$30,000. The winners will also receive relevant mentorship, access to key broadcast executives and significant exposure at industry events, like the annual NAB Show, held April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

This year’s finalists are:

  • AR Story TemplateRetha Hill, Cronkite Innovation Lab, Arizona State University
    Provides a cost-effective way to create immersive AR stories quickly and without having to understand code.
  • BeamDavid Burton
    Beam is an AI mobile platform that enables users to build a personalized newscast using content categorically sourced from local television broadcasts.
  • Big Processing, Local ImpactDaniel Faltesek, Oregon State University
    Provides local news organizations with robust computing and data science capacity.
  • El TimpanoMadeleine Bair
    El Tímpano—Spanish for “eardrum”—informs, engages, and amplifies the voices of Latino immigrants using a community mic and SMS.
  • FlyRightSamuel Crane
    Software solution that streamlines drone flight registration for media groups and local law enforcement.
  • Immersive Disaster Effects Application (IDEA)Ronald Baez, Yellow Wood Immersive
    IDEA is an immersive and interactive 3D mapping tool for use by broadcasters to visualize the effects of weather emergencies.
  • Lawmaking LiveTerry Quinn, The Texas Tribune
    Provides live analysis of policy development and makes the law-making process more accessible to consumers.
  • Open SpacesAmara Aguilar, USC Annenberg
    Allows users to engage on selected topics using social virtual reality.
  • PodiumDaniel Lewis
    Provides a platform for the public to participate in virtual town halls and crowdsourced interviews.
  • VettNewsPaul Glader
    VettNews is a ratings agency of news organizations and helps combat the rise of misinformation.
  • Voices of TwoOneSixMike Shafarenko, Ideastream
    An audio livestream that amplifies original content by underrepresented people in Cleveland.
  • ZagrutMario Dcunha, The New School
    Zagrut is a news reader app that guides users against prevalent media bias.

PILOT is a coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technology and cultivating new media opportunities. PILOT propels broadcast television and radio into the future. It provides a platform for innovation, an engine for incubation, a venue for testing new technologies and a forum for broadcaster education. Learn more at nabpilot.org.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.