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InnovationErie Winners Announced

The winner of the 2010 InnovationErie Design Competition was recently announced at a press conference held at the Erie Art Museum, 411 State Street. Competition partners, finalists, and judges gathered for the announcement and a networking opportunity. Attorney Jonathan D’Silva, chair of the InnovationErie committee, announced the grand prizewinner as Dr. Paul Malaspina who submitted the Pedi-PRO (Professional Resuscitation Organizer).

Dr. Malaspina, a paramedic-turned-trauma surgeon, developed the traveling emergency kit to bring the emergency room to on-scene emergencies. Dr. Malaspina also received the Best in Show Award from public ballots received since the opening of the exhibition earlier this summer.

The first place winner was Ryan Rzepecki’s SOCIAL BIKE SYSTEM, a public bike share system that uses GPS, mobile communications, and a secure lock that can attach to almost any bicycle and lock to any regular bike rack. Second place went to Joanne Bartone with the ECO CLIP, providing an environmentally friendly, economical, quick and easy tape-free solution for closing boxes. Third place went to Marni Loesel, with the BUILT-IN BOTTLE OPENER, situated right into the cardboard six-pack bottle carrier.

The grand prize of $10,000 cash will be awarded for equipment and services at the StARTup Incubator at Edinboro University. Thousands of dollars of in-kind services from InnovationErie partners were also awarded to the Grand, First, Second, and Third place winners. The $10,000 cash prize is the result of a grant awarded to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Competition partners include the STARTUP Incubator, Edinboro University, MacDonald Illig Jones & Britton, Knox Law Firm, Erie Art Museum, Erie Bank, Gannon Erie Tech Incubator, Paradigm Design and the Innovation Center at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

The competition is a collaborative effort among professionals in the industries of SAM & ED (science, art, manufacturing, engineering and design), and emerged to encourage local economic development by allowing people to showcase their product ideas, with the possibility of taking them to the next level: the marketplace. All product submissions had to meet the requirement of the ability to be manufactured in the Erie region.

About the Erie Art Museum: The Erie Art Museum anchors downtown Erie’s cultural and economic revitalization, occupying a group of restored mid-19th century commercial buildings, including an outstanding 1839 Greek Revival Bank. It maintains an ambitious program of 15 to 18 changing exhibitions annually, embracing a wide range of subjects, both historical and contemporary and including folk art, contemporary craft, multi-disciplinary installations, community-based work, as well at traditional media.

The Erie Art Museum also holds a collection of over 6,000 objects, which includes significant works in American ceramics, Tibetan painting, Indian bronzes, contemporary baskets, and a variety of other categories. The Museum offers a wide range of education programs and artists’ services including interdisciplinary and interactive school tours and a wide variety of classes for the community. Performing arts are showcased in the 24-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which represents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz festival.

For additional information on the Erie Art Museum, visit online at or call (814) 459-5477.