Acadiana Business

INNOV8-ation excellence recognized

by Leslie Turk

From the Boy Scouts to the new product BluDri, from LGMC to UL Lafayette, innovative is alive and well in Acadiana.

A project of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the INNOV8 Awards, held in conjunction with the eight-day festival of innovation and creativity going on now through April 26, are given each year to recognize the top innovations in Acadiana and inspire new innovators to dream big. In other words, they recognize the best and brightest ideas in our community.

Monday night INNOV8 Award recipients were honored with a custom designed trophy and participated in an on-stage question and answer session led by innovation guru Doug Hall at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Hall opened the event with a stimulating presentation about the need for innovation, regardless of the endeavor.

A diverse group of seven local business people met and evaluated the INNOV8 Award applications and chose four outstanding innovations. This year's winners were:

Nonprofit: Evangeline Area Boy Scouts Atchafalaya High Adventure Swamp Base
The Evangeline Area Boy Scouts are converting several acres of Atchafalaya Basin into a high adventure base that will be available to scouts and outdoor enthusiasts around the world. This project will make a positive economic and environmental impact on the basin area and will leave a legacy for many years to come.
Business: McBraun Industries BluDri Product Line**
Amy Braun and Heather McDaniel were recognized for developing a home solution product that absorbs residual moisture in front load washing machines, reducing mildew and mold growth inside the machine.
Education: UL Lafayette CBIT CajunCodeFest at INNOV8 2012**
Established in 2012, Cajun Code Fest is a free two-day coding competition that focuses on transforming data into health care solutions. Programmers organize themselves into teams and over a 27-hour period build exciting new prototypes and tools to improve access to health information.

Medical: Lafayette General Medical Center Telemedicine Clinic at Stuller Inc.
The first telemedicine clinic in Acadiana was established in May 2012 at Stuller. Through two-way audio and HD video, Stuller's 1,200-plus employees now have access to primary care physicians and other LGMC resources without leaving their workplace.

Gary McGoffin and Keith Simon represented the Evangeline Area Council, Boy Scouts of America; Brian Kirk and David Callecod represented LGMC; Braun and McDaniel represented McBraun Industries, makers of BluDri; and Cian C. Robinson and Geoff Daily represented CBIT (Center for Business & Information Technologies), organizers of the CajunCodeFest.

The ceremony featured a short video presentation about the innovative projects of each group. Displays by the honorees were available for viewing before and after the ceremony in the AcA lobby.