UAF's Arctic Innovation contest is going online this year. 

The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management will award more than $40,000 in cash prizes on Saturday after the final round of presentations in the 2021 Arctic Innovation Competition.

The competition, presented by Usibelli Coal Mine, is now in its 12th year. Competitors propose new, feasible and potentially profitable ideas for solving real-life problems and challenges.

Cash awards in the main division include a $10,000 grand prize and three $2,000 specialty kicker prizes. The prizes recognize the best ideas in the categories of “Alaska college student,” “Arctic,” and new this year, “COVID-19.” Competitors from the junior and cub divisions, sponsored by Kinross Fort Knox, will share almost $4,000 in cash prizes, as well as $10,000 in awards from Alaska 529 to start or add to an educational savings account. Other event sponsors include GCI, Northrim Bank, Design Alaska and Fairbanks Economic Development Corp.

All virtual events will be livestreamed at and open to the public.

• Cub Division semifinals, Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• JR Division semifinals, Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• Main Division semifinals session No. 1, Wednesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• Main Division semifinals session No. 2, Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• AIC final competition and award ceremony, Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m.

The Walrath family of Nome — father Doug, with children Dylan, 10, and Denali, 7 — submitted two of the ideas that advanced to the semi-finals: “CTE Delivery in a COVID Environment” in the Main division, and “Easy Stop Sled” in the Cub division.

“Everything we do, we do as a family,” Doug Walrath said. “AIC is new to us, and there is nothing quite like doing something for the first time.”

Other entries in the main division include “Portable Gantry Crane,” “Tiny Houses in the North,” “Reinforced Ice with Hemp Fibers,” and “Toast Test for COVID Aerosol Modeling.”

The public is invited to vote on their favorite ideas. One idea in each division will win a Chris Marok Allstate Fan Favorite Lego trophy and cash award, and JR and Cub fan favorites will each win one of the Alaska 529 awards. Fan favorite voting will take place online from April 12-15.

For more information about the competition, contact AIC staff at 907-474-6518 or