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Nissan Announces Winners For "Innovation Garage" Social Media Campaign

- Top honorees to receive $50,000 grants and 2013 Nissan Altimas along with promotional support and advice -

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A device enabling you to learn in your sleep and a low-cost system for improving health care in developing countries are steps closer to reality, thanks to Nissan. Today Nissan announced that Andrew Saldana of Downey, Calif., Ryan Helsel of Durham, N.C., and Kyle Vath of Cincinnati are the winners of the "Nissan Innovation Garage" campaign, a social media movement designed to inspire and celebrate innovation and provide funding to launch new ideas.


Earlier this fall, more than 15,000 people answered the question, "Wouldn't It Be Cool If ____?", by submitting their best creative ideas at Nissan is presenting its grand prize winners, Saldana and Helsel, with $50,000 grants and 2013 Nissan Altimas in recognition of their submissions, which were chosen as the best two concepts by a panel of engineering and product development experts in collaboration with Nissan executive leadership. Ideas were evaluated according to their originality, impact and feasibility. Nissan will work with both winners to promote their ideas using, a funding platform for creative projects. The company will also award Vath a 2013 Nissan Altima for his idea, which fans selected as their favorite.

"We've been impressed by the great ideas that were submitted," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America. "The team at Nissan enjoyed providing a platform for these innovations to surface. We're looking forward to seeing where they may lead. It's inspiring to see people fired up to find ways to make the world a better place."

Saldana's idea, "Dreamwork," is a device that promotes learning while sleeping. Helsel's submission, "Low-Tech Bedsore Prevention," is an affordable system to reduce the occurrence of bedsores for patients in developing countries. Vath's concept, "Non-Emergency Medical Response Unit," is intended to reduce inappropriate use of hospital emergency room services. Participants submitted nearly 33,000 ideas for innovations during the course of the six-week campaign.

Building on its "Innovation That Excites" philosophy, Nissan's hunt for the next great innovation was inspired by the all-new fifth generation Altima – the most innovative Altima yet – which promises to shake up the mid-size sedan segment with its interior  innovations and styling. Among the 2013 Altima's many attributes are its best-in-segment fuel economy of 38 mpg highway (2.5-liter engine), new premium exterior styling, an upscale interior with premium materials, including NASA-inspired "zero-gravity" front seats, and an outstanding balance of ride comfort, stability and a fun-to-drive demeanor. Altima features Nissan "signature innovations" including, Easy Fill Tire Alert, which sounds the car horn when tires are being inflated to signal proper pressure, and Smart Auto Headlights, which turns on the headlights when the windshield wipers are on.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($118.95 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

About Nissan North America 
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, as well as distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and

SOURCE Nissan North America

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