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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA Ends Innovation Creation Series With “Make-a-thon Challenge”

July 21, 2015, 05:07:00 PM

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VA Ends Innovation Creation Series With “Make-a-thon Challenge”

Finale Showcases New Prosthetics Technologies For Veterans


WHO:             The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host a Make-a-thon challenge, which is 2-day event aimed at accelerating the development of personalized technologies to improve care and quality of life for Veterans with disabilities. The challenge brings together designers, makers, technology industry leaders and Veterans.

WHAT:          The Make-a-thon is the culmination of VA’s Innovation Creation Series for Prosthetics and Assistive Technologies, which began in May. During the Make-a-thon event, designs will be built using 3D printing technology and tested to showcase how they meet the needs of Veterans with disabilities.

WHEN:          July 28-29 from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., both days.  Completed designs will be presented on the afternoon of July 29 and reviewed by Veterans and an expert panel of judges from VA,, General Electric and Toyota.

WHERE:       Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, 1201 Broad Rock Blvd, Richmond, VA 23224


 During the event, participants will be given prototyping equipment, along with mentoring from technical experts and Veterans to help co-design and develop their ideas. Event collaborators, including America Makes and Stratasys, will supply 3D printers, which will allow for onsite device manufacture and empower teams to easily develop, test and refine designs with Veterans’ input. One feature of note will be the Girls’ Lounge Experience, which will highlight female Veterans, scientists, technologists and engineers. Personalized prosthetics will be made specifically to suit the needs of female Veterans. 

Two of the challenges VA is soliciting design assistance to solve is the creation of a medication pillbox that allows the flexibility to hold medications that need to be taken up to eight times a day with a reminder system for each time medication needs to be taken and a device to remotely change the speed and grip strength of a prosthetic device for Veterans with upper extremity injuries.

Information about the VA Innovation Creation Series may be found at  To register for the event, visit

Media interested in interviews or attending the event should RSVP to

Gina Jackson – or Darlene Edwards –

Portions of the event will be available for viewing via livestream at this link:


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