The winners of this year’s NAB PILOT Innovation Challenge announced

Quesnay is proud to celebrate the announcement of the winners of the second NAB PILOT Innovation Challenge. Adam Woodlief of UNC-TV took home the first place prize of $30,000 for his project “Next Gen TV Saving Lives One Alert at a Time.” They are testing a new way of paging emergency responders that will reduce response times, centralize dispatch communications, and potentially save lives.

The competition culminated, after six months and three rounds of evaluation, in a live pitch event at the NAB Futures conference. Six winners were invited to pitch their ideas for serving the community in front of executives and leaders from the broadcast industry who awarded a prize pot of $120,000.

In addition to the cash grants, provided by a partnership with the Knight Foundation, the winners will continue to receive guidance and industry introductions as they track milestones towards a showcase at the annual NAB Show industry conference in Las Vegas next April.

Check out all the winners to learn more:

1st Place

Next Gen TV Saving Lives One Alert at a Time

Adam Woodlief – UNC-TV

Next Gen TV: Saving Lives One Alert at a Time will enable North Carolina’s public safety community to provide timelier responses to emergencies by datacasting technology over broadcast television.

2nd Place


Josh Davidsburg – University of Maryland

Combines broadcast journalism and YouTube’s popular first-person vlogging style to create a new format of video journalism.

3rd Place


Ayinde Alakoye – nēdl

nēdl allows radio listeners to use speech recognition to eliminate the need to go station to station to find specific news, sports, talk and music.

Innovation Award Winners

Engagement VR: Transparent Community Interaction

Hans Meyer – E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University

Engagement VR offers a simple solution for newsrooms to create virtual tours of less covered parts of their viewing areas to help audiences understand the role journalists play in community building.

Immersive Storytelling & an Ethic of Care

Kathleen Ryan & Elizabeth Skewes – University of Colorado Boulder

This project experiments with digital storytelling platforms and determines if interactive, augmented reality and virtual reality storytelling can help develop an “ethic of care” in viewers. The case study features three to six female photographers whose projects deal with the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction.


Edwin Rogers and William Steele – VRVideo

LiveWorks is a chat application that provides live 360-degree video streams that allow multiple camera feeds and graphics to be sent to Next Gen TV enabled Smart TV’s.