Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Behind the scenes of @communityapps

Jan. 17, 2012, 1:07 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

In December, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Knight Foundation announced the winners of the 'Apps for Communities Challenge,'  which awarded $100,000 in prizes for software applications that bring actionable, local information to underserved communities.

"To provide applications of real value to low income Americans and others who are adopting broadband at a lower rate", is how Genachowski describes the primary purposes of the contest.

The three grand prize winners included apps to let bus riders know when their ride is arriving, connect the homeless to services and workers to jobs.

Second prize winner Curtis Chang, who won for Homeless-SCC, says it's the first time he has participated in a challenge like this, but he "wanted to get the idea of the app out there and this was perfect platform to share some of the innovation we're developing on a local level with other cities and counties that are experiencing similar problems with access to information."

Watch below to see interviews with the winners and insights on why the challenge was started.

Akron collaborative forms its first medical device company

Jan. 13, 2012, 12:53 p.m., Posted by Jennifer Thomas

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron recently announced the formation of APTO Orthopaedics, the first medical device company created by the institute.

APTO Orthopedics was formed in partnership with a pediatric surgeon at Akron Children's Hospital. Its device will address early onset scoliosis in children and eliminate multiple surgeries by using magnets to lengthen a spine implant for the condition.  


 Dr. Frank Douglas, President and Chief Executive Officer, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

At the announcement, Dr. Frank Douglas, president and CEO of the institute said: "APTO represents what [the institute] was formed to do: to fill clinical needs with innovative patient-centered products that can be commercialized to help fuel the Akron economy.

The Austen BioInnovation Insistute, supported by Knight, is a collaboration of five major clinical and academic institutions focused on making the Northeast Ohio region a leader in the use of polymer technology for patient-centered health care solutions.


Haiti earthquake illustrated ways new technolgy aids in disaster relief

Jan. 13, 2012, 11:03 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Infographic by Wm. Pitzer for Knight Foundation.

Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake illustrated ways that new technologies can help in disaster relief.

A new report issued yesterday - on the quake’s second anniversary - provides the first in-depth study of mobile giving behind the successful “Text to Haiti” campaign.

Real Time Charitable Giving” tells the story behind where, how, and why people contributed more than $43 million dollars to the disaster relief efforts.