Gainesville, Fla. (October 10, 2022) –The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is pleased to announce NEPTUNYA Ocean Power of Boca Raton, Fla. won the 2022 Cade Prize for developing OCTOPODZ, a technology that unlocks renewable energy.
Octopodz’s new offshore wind turbine design drastically lowers energy costs through reduced weight and a floating design that eliminates the need for a separate foundation substructure. The invention could dramatically increase renewable energy adoption by power companies and other energy consumers.
The same week NEPTUNYA Ocean Power won the Cade Prize, its founder, Rodrigo Griesi, and his family became U.S. citizens. “This is my lifetime dream, to live and work in a country that attracts, supports and inspires innovation,” said Rodrigo Griesi, a Brazilian native who moved to Florida seven years ago to pursue his dream. “Winning the Cade Prize brings validation and recognition that we are on the right path, and it’s especially meaningful for me as an immigrant because it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s purely about celebrating the innovation you are bringing to this amazing country.”
Other Cade Prize winners are:
- Second place: Ambulero, Inc., of Miami, Fla. for a gene therapy for rare vascular diseases with the potential to prevent limb and digit loss.
- Third place: Ilika Geospatial, Orlando, Fla. for Earth Observation Indices, transforming raw satellite data into simple metrics to track drought, crop health and fire risk.
- Fourth place: SG Endocrine Research, LLC, Athens, Ga. for a nanoparticle for non-surgical spaying and neutering that is intravenously administered to pets.
- Fifth place (tie): Polymer Solutions Inc., Atlanta, Ga. for its Transient, Self-Immolative Polymers, a plastic that decomposes quickly into recyclable materials.
- Fifth place (tie): Sustainable Landfill Solutions LLC, Newberry, Fla. for RO BOX – A Modular On-site Landfill Leachate Treatment System, treating dangerous landfill runoff.
- People’s Choice: Sustainable Landfill Solutions LLC for RO BOX – A Modular On-site Landfill Leachate Treatment System.
“We’re inspired by both the high-caliber, and record number of submissions this year,” said Richard Miles, Cade Prize Committee Chair, and son-in-law of Dr. Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, after whom the Cade Prize is named. “We’re looking for the next big invention and are excited to celebrate innovation through the Cade Prize.”
Winners were announced October 6 at an awards ceremony in Gainesville. They will share $67,000 in cash prizes. Two teams tied for fifth place, and each winner will receive $2,000 of in-kind legal services.
The Cade Prize draws innovators from research universities and the private sector with groundbreaking, early-stage ideas before they reach the marketplace. Often, these life-changing ideas take years to materialize and become successful.
The Cade Prize began as a Florida competition and now includes Georgia and Alabama. In 2023 it will become a national competition open to competitors in all 50 U.S. states and territories, with a prize purse of more than $100,000.
The Cade Prize is sponsored by Scott R. MacKenzie, the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, Florida Trend, Cox Communications, Modern Luxury, Florida High Tech Corridor, Saliwanchik, Lloyd, & Eisenschenk, Florida Inventor Hall of Fame, GrayRobinson law firm, Meldon Law, Greater Gainesville Chamber and Aloft Hotel. Visit cademuseum.org/cadeprize to learn more.