2010

2010 BMEidea Winners: What are they up to?

In 2010 the BMEidea competition continued its tradition of supporting student teams in developing devices that can improve healthcare outcomes in the US and around the world. Included in the 2010 cohort were three devices with the potential to save lives: a portable device to induce hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients, a low-cost ventilator, and a device to improve urogynecological procedures by providing surgeons with better visibility and access to deep target tissues. Twelve months later we caught up with members from each of the three winning teams to see what they were up to, how their projects were going, and how participating in the BMEidea competition has influenced their projects and their careers.

First prize winner: Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device, Johns Hopkins University
The biggest killer in the US isn’t cancer, it isn’t diabetes and it isn’t accidents—it’s heart disease, and a significant percentage of those deaths, a full 335,000 per year, come as a result of cardiac arrest.

The numbers surrounding cardiac arrest are stunning: brain damage starts to occur just four to six minutes after the heart stops pumping blood; a victim's chances of survival are reduced by seven to ten percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation; few attempts at resuscitation succeed after ten minutes. Worst of all, the total survival rate is 5%--which means that 95% of cardiac arrest patients do not make it to the hospital.

Such dismal numbers express two things: the severity of the disease and the opportunity for vast improvements in emergency treatment.

This team, winner of first prize in the 2010 BMEidea competition, is taking on the challenge with the Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device (RHID). The device is based on the idea of therapeutic hypothermia (TH), a medical treatment gaining in popularity in which a patient's body temperature is purposely lowered in order to lessen the risk of tissue damage following a period of insufficient blood flow. TH can be induced by pumping cooling saline through a catheter inserted into the heart via the femoral vein, but this is highly invasive and can only be done in a hospital setting—not in the field, where cardiac arrest claims most of its victims. TH can be induced in the field with chilled water blankets, torso vests and leg wraps, but this is slow and hard to control, and the refrigerated blankets and wraps are hard to store in ambulances.

The RHID team is trying to fill the need, then, for a simple, portable device that can reliably induce hypothermia in the field, keeping cardiac arrest victims alive long enough to make it to the hospital. Led by then-undergraduate David Huberdeau and faculty sponsor Dr. Harikrishna Tandri, the team’s device can be carried in an emergency technician’s handbag and induces TH by blowing regulated air through the patient’s nose.

It works by using the principle of evaporative cooling: when water evaporates from the body, it carries with it a large amount of heat. Nasal cavities have highly specialized vascular heat exchangers, called turbinates, which humidify and warm the air that passes to the lungs. During periods of low temperature, blood flow increases to the turbinates, allowing for high levels of mucus production. RHID forcibly accelerates the evaporation of water from the nasal cavity by continuously flushing cold, dry air on the surface, carrying heat away and cooling the brain.

The device got its start in Johns Hopkins’ Senior Design Team course, in which groups of students pair with a faculty sponsor to take on a biomedical design challenge. Huberdeau led a team of ten undergrads in search of a project, and found Dr. Tandri, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute. “Dr. Tandri had already had the idea for a scalable, portable, rapid hypothermia induction device, and we were put together through mutual contacts,” said Huberdeau.

Dr. Tandri got the idea for the device directly through his work—he could see the need quite clearly. “My background is in cardiac physiology, and I’m a cardiologist by training. I deal with a lot of patients suffering from cardiac arrest and sudden death. The motivation for the device came from there—to improve survival rates.”

The team decided to go forward with the project in September of 2009, and over the next academic year Huberdeau and his team worked in collaboration with Dr. Tandri on developing the device. Said Huberdeau, “Dr. Tandri already had a provisional patent on the idea, and we tried to make improvements to the concept as the year went on.”

At the end of the course they’d reached a level where they could begin pursuing intellectual property and considering paths to commercialization; they submitted for BMEidea and won the competition.

Since then the team has dispersed: Huberdeau entered the biomedical engineering PhD program at Johns Hopkins; four team members went to work in industry; one is working in a hospital; and some were freshmen when the project began and are still undergraduates. That hasn’t stopped the project from moving forward, however, as Dr. Tandri is continuing testing and has applied for an SBIR grant.

“We’re moving along, slowly but surely, but in the right direction,” he said.

Meanwhile, simply submitting for BMEidea was worthwhile, according to Huberdeau. “Submitting the application forced us to get our thoughts in order. It really helped us organize our project.”

For Dr. Tandri, the most important thing about winning the BMEidea competition is credibility. “Now when we talk to people—investors, venture capitalists, etc.—it helps us move the business end forward. Knowing that this device was recognized by the NCIIA in a national competition absolutely gives us credibility.”

Winning the competition has given Huberdeau much more confidence to pursue a career in translational medicine, including entrepreneurship, in the future. “The basic and clinical science research coming out of academic medical institutes such as Johns Hopkins is breaking new ground in our understanding of disease, biology, and medicine,” he said.  “Biomedical engineers like myself, in close partnership with researchers and clinicians, are uniquely positioned to facilitate the widespread adoption of these discoveries to medical practices the world over.”

Second prize winner: OneBreath, Stanford University
One aspect of entrepreneurship that’s about as close to a universal law as you can get is this: making something cost less is a good thing. Making it cheaper by an order of magnitude? Even better. Saving lives in the process? Perfect.

The second prize-winner of the 2010 BMEidea competition is shooting for all three of those targets with OneBreath, a low-cost ventilator that keeps critically ill patients breathing when their respiratory systems are unable to function.

OneBreath is designed to address two distinct problems: emergency readiness in developed countries and the shortage of ventilators in developing countries. The buzz about emergency readiness in the US started during the flu pandemic scare several years ago; people realized that, in a worst-case scenario, hospitals would not have enough ventilators to meet the anticipated demand. More than 740,000 would be needed, but the US has only 205,000—meaning that in a crisis, hospital staff would have to decide who gets a ventilator (and lives), and who doesn’t get a ventilator (and dies). Meanwhile, in developing countries, millions die each year from lack of access to a common ventilator—India has 35,000 ventilators for a population exceeding 1.1 billion.

The biggest reason for the shortages in both cases is the current cost of ventilators. Ventilators cost hospitals from $3,000 up to $40,000 for state-of-the-art models, making it impractical for most hospitals to stockpile them for emergencies and completely pricing them out of the vast majority of clinics in the developing world.

The OneBreath team, led by Stanford post-doc and device designer Matthew Callaghan, is well aware of this dilemma and is going low cost in response. A OneBreath ventilator costs a mere $300, a massive price reduction, and the device is rechargeable, portable, and disposable—perfect for one-off emergency situations no matter what country you’re in.

Callaghan achieved the cost reduction with slick engineering. The no-frills device, smaller than a toolbox, runs on a twelve-volt battery for six to twelve hours at a time. Whereas most ventilators use expensive flow sensors, servo motors and other specialized components to push air in and out of the lungs, Callaghan started from scratch with a basic pressure sensor, typically used in devices like blood-pressure meters, that costs about $10. Callaghan also replaced the single permanent air valve on expensive respirators, which requires time-consuming cleaning between patients, with two—one that is exposed to patient air and one that never comes into contact with it. When the inner valve opens as the patient inhales, air forces the outer valve closed, keeping air that the patient expels from contacting the pristine inner valve. The contaminated outer valve can be thrown out and replaced with a new one.

The team has made impressive strides since the BMEidea competition in 2010. While Callaghan is still a physician at Stanford, the rest of the time he’s working on OneBreath. The team is now officially incorporated, with a CEO, VP of business development, Chief Medical Officer (Callaghan) and several engineers. They’ve continued development of the device, are seeking regulatory approval after successful animal tests, and have partnered with GE Healthcare to stockpile ventilators for the US government to use in pandemic situations.

That takes care of the first half of OneBreath’s mission. In the meantime, the other half of the project was emerging markets and developing nations. “To that end,” said Callaghan, “we’re finishing up our grant funding and looking to raise funds from private, local venture firms, and hopefully be able to close on that round of funding by the end the summer. After that we’ll start on the CE mark process, which is the outside-the-US, non-FDA approval for selling in India, China, and the Middle East.”

Along the way Callaghan is taking a typical entrepreneur’s path, working hard and performing whatever tasks are required. “Between me and the CEO and the VP, we kind of wear all the hats. It’s a startup, so you do what you have to do—I made business cards the other day. You end up doing things that you never imagined would make up your job, but they do.”

While Callaghan and his team have participated in a number of business plan competitions and written many grants, the BMEidea competition sticks out for him as being “very engineering-focused. It forced us to put our thinking caps on on the engineering side. There’s really no other competition that I’ve seen that focuses on the engineering like that—on making something real.” According to Callaghan, most competitions tend to be focused more on the research hypotheses, “So BMEidea was nice. It gave us a chance to do something real.”

Look for OneBreath to make a real impact on the world in the near future.

Third prize winner: Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) Device, University of Cincinnati
When the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman's pelvic organs weaken, the organs can slip out of place, known as prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse can worsen over time and eventually some patients need surgery to fix it.

It’s the surgery for this condition that the third prize winner of the 2010 BMEidea competition is looking to improve.

Currently, surgeons looking to fix pelvic organ prolapse have at their disposal two options: sacral colpopexy, the most commonly used procedure, which requires opening up the patient fully, introducing complications and increasing pain and recovery time; and a newer, less invasive natural orifice (transvaginal) approach.

The problem with the transvaginal approach? No device currently on the market can provide enough tissue retraction and visibility to perform it well—surgeons are stuck with old style retractors to move tissue out of the way. The retractors, essentially simple levers, are hard to use and don’t do their job particularly well. Even with the simultaneous use of multiple retractors and packed towels, the surgical workspace provided to the surgeon is still small, dark, and shallow; target structures are obstructed, and the lack of visibility and access impedes progress and affects success.

This team, developers of the Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) device, is filling the need for a better transvaginal surgery tool. The design is based on two components: a reusable handle and blade system made of stainless steel and a disposable membrane placed over the blade system comprised of biocompatible elastomer. When deployed, the device, which looks like a large pair of scissors connected by a smooth steel tube, locks into place and provides constant support to soft tissues while being self-retained in the patient. Surgical workspace is greatly increased, making a newer, better procedure more feasible than before.

Mary Beth Privitera, a faculty member in the Medical Device Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Cincinnati where the device got its start, said that the novelty of the device “is that it’s a one-person device. Most of the devices available today need an assistant to hold it and provide the actual retraction. This does it all in one. It enables the physician to have complete control over it.”

One unique aspect of the project, according to Privitera, is that UC faculty requested at least a few female team members on it from the very beginning. Said Privitera: “Normally we don’t specify whether we want men or women to work on these projects, but in this case we did. We made a big push to get women on the design team, and ended up with a female engineer and a female designer.”

The focus on female participation had a positive net influence on the project, according to Privitera. “It absolutely helped,” she said. “It gave the team balance. The product’s form and function are inherently tied together, so understanding the problem, understanding what it’s like to be a gynecology patient, was paramount to creating an appropriate solution.”

Since winning BMEidea funding, the device has been pulled back in-house by the company it was sourced from, Cincinnati-based medical device development company Device & Implant Innovations. Immediately after winning the competition, Privitera said the company “reigned it in and said, ‘This is great, now we need to make it real.’” They are moving the device forward with the idea that it could form the foundation of a completely new procedure.

And while the team has since dispersed, Privitera said that the project “was successful from the academic standpoint of meeting curricular goals and the experience the students had. Our clinical partner was extremely happy with the students’ work, and all in all it was one of the best possible experiences for the team and it provided value going forward.”

The BMEidea competition itself continues to up the ante on UC campus, according to Privitera. “BMEidea puts things in a different perspective. It elevates the student’s perspective—a lot the time you think you’re doing a good job and you hear from your faculty that you’re doing a good job, but to hear it nationally is tremendous from the students’ perspective.”

Lastly, much like many BMEidea winners in the past, Privitera has found that the competition lends credibility. In Privitera’s case, it helps her form connections at UC and beyond. “The competition has really assisted me in forming a new host of relationships for the entire program here,” she said. ”When we go to talk to new partners, they know that the students can actually do what we say they can do. And that’s invaluable.”
 

2010 BMEidea Winners: What are they up to?

In 2010 the BMEidea competition continued its tradition of supporting student teams in developing devices that can improve healthcare outcomes in the US and around the world. Included in the 2010 cohort were three devices with the potential to save lives: a portable device to induce hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients, a low-cost ventilator, and a device to improve urogynecological procedures by providing surgeons with better visibility and access to deep target tissues. Twelve months later we caught up with members from each of the three winning teams to see what they were up to, how their projects were going, and how participating in the BMEidea competition has influenced their projects and their careers.

First prize winner: Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device, Johns Hopkins University
The biggest killer in the US isn’t cancer, it isn’t diabetes and it isn’t accidents—it’s heart disease, and a significant percentage of those deaths, a full 335,000 per year, come as a result of cardiac arrest.

The numbers surrounding cardiac arrest are stunning: brain damage starts to occur just four to six minutes after the heart stops pumping blood; a victim's chances of survival are reduced by seven to ten percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation; few attempts at resuscitation succeed after ten minutes. Worst of all, the total survival rate is 5%--which means that 95% of cardiac arrest patients do not make it to the hospital.

Such dismal numbers express two things: the severity of the disease and the opportunity for vast improvements in emergency treatment.

This team, winner of first prize in the 2010 BMEidea competition, is taking on the challenge with the Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device (RHID). The device is based on the idea of therapeutic hypothermia (TH), a medical treatment gaining in popularity in which a patient's body temperature is purposely lowered in order to lessen the risk of tissue damage following a period of insufficient blood flow. TH can be induced by pumping cooling saline through a catheter inserted into the heart via the femoral vein, but this is highly invasive and can only be done in a hospital setting—not in the field, where cardiac arrest claims most of its victims. TH can be induced in the field with chilled water blankets, torso vests and leg wraps, but this is slow and hard to control, and the refrigerated blankets and wraps are hard to store in ambulances.

The RHID team is trying to fill the need, then, for a simple, portable device that can reliably induce hypothermia in the field, keeping cardiac arrest victims alive long enough to make it to the hospital. Led by then-undergraduate David Huberdeau and faculty sponsor Dr. Harikrishna Tandri, the team’s device can be carried in an emergency technician’s handbag and induces TH by blowing regulated air through the patient’s nose.

It works by using the principle of evaporative cooling: when water evaporates from the body, it carries with it a large amount of heat. Nasal cavities have highly specialized vascular heat exchangers, called turbinates, which humidify and warm the air that passes to the lungs. During periods of low temperature, blood flow increases to the turbinates, allowing for high levels of mucus production. RHID forcibly accelerates the evaporation of water from the nasal cavity by continuously flushing cold, dry air on the surface, carrying heat away and cooling the brain.

The device got its start in Johns Hopkins’ Senior Design Team course, in which groups of students pair with a faculty sponsor to take on a biomedical design challenge. Huberdeau led a team of ten undergrads in search of a project, and found Dr. Tandri, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute. “Dr. Tandri had already had the idea for a scalable, portable, rapid hypothermia induction device, and we were put together through mutual contacts,” said Huberdeau.

Dr. Tandri got the idea for the device directly through his work—he could see the need quite clearly. “My background is in cardiac physiology, and I’m a cardiologist by training. I deal with a lot of patients suffering from cardiac arrest and sudden death. The motivation for the device came from there—to improve survival rates.”

The team decided to go forward with the project in September of 2009, and over the next academic year Huberdeau and his team worked in collaboration with Dr. Tandri on developing the device. Said Huberdeau, “Dr. Tandri already had a provisional patent on the idea, and we tried to make improvements to the concept as the year went on.”

At the end of the course they’d reached a level where they could begin pursuing intellectual property and considering paths to commercialization; they submitted for BMEidea and won the competition.

Since then the team has dispersed: Huberdeau entered the biomedical engineering PhD program at Johns Hopkins; four team members went to work in industry; one is working in a hospital; and some were freshmen when the project began and are still undergraduates. That hasn’t stopped the project from moving forward, however, as Dr. Tandri is continuing testing and has applied for an SBIR grant.

“We’re moving along, slowly but surely, but in the right direction,” he said.

Meanwhile, simply submitting for BMEidea was worthwhile, according to Huberdeau. “Submitting the application forced us to get our thoughts in order. It really helped us organize our project.”

For Dr. Tandri, the most important thing about winning the BMEidea competition is credibility. “Now when we talk to people—investors, venture capitalists, etc.—it helps us move the business end forward. Knowing that this device was recognized by the NCIIA in a national competition absolutely gives us credibility.”

Winning the competition has given Huberdeau much more confidence to pursue a career in translational medicine, including entrepreneurship, in the future. “The basic and clinical science research coming out of academic medical institutes such as Johns Hopkins is breaking new ground in our understanding of disease, biology, and medicine,” he said.  “Biomedical engineers like myself, in close partnership with researchers and clinicians, are uniquely positioned to facilitate the widespread adoption of these discoveries to medical practices the world over.”

Second prize winner: OneBreath, Stanford University
One aspect of entrepreneurship that’s about as close to a universal law as you can get is this: making something cost less is a good thing. Making it cheaper by an order of magnitude? Even better. Saving lives in the process? Perfect.

The second prize-winner of the 2010 BMEidea competition is shooting for all three of those targets with OneBreath, a low-cost ventilator that keeps critically ill patients breathing when their respiratory systems are unable to function.

OneBreath is designed to address two distinct problems: emergency readiness in developed countries and the shortage of ventilators in developing countries. The buzz about emergency readiness in the US started during the flu pandemic scare several years ago; people realized that, in a worst-case scenario, hospitals would not have enough ventilators to meet the anticipated demand. More than 740,000 would be needed, but the US has only 205,000—meaning that in a crisis, hospital staff would have to decide who gets a ventilator (and lives), and who doesn’t get a ventilator (and dies). Meanwhile, in developing countries, millions die each year from lack of access to a common ventilator—India has 35,000 ventilators for a population exceeding 1.1 billion.

The biggest reason for the shortages in both cases is the current cost of ventilators. Ventilators cost hospitals from $3,000 up to $40,000 for state-of-the-art models, making it impractical for most hospitals to stockpile them for emergencies and completely pricing them out of the vast majority of clinics in the developing world.

The OneBreath team, led by Stanford post-doc and device designer Matthew Callaghan, is well aware of this dilemma and is going low cost in response. A OneBreath ventilator costs a mere $300, a massive price reduction, and the device is rechargeable, portable, and disposable—perfect for one-off emergency situations no matter what country you’re in.

Callaghan achieved the cost reduction with slick engineering. The no-frills device, smaller than a toolbox, runs on a twelve-volt battery for six to twelve hours at a time. Whereas most ventilators use expensive flow sensors, servo motors and other specialized components to push air in and out of the lungs, Callaghan started from scratch with a basic pressure sensor, typically used in devices like blood-pressure meters, that costs about $10. Callaghan also replaced the single permanent air valve on expensive respirators, which requires time-consuming cleaning between patients, with two—one that is exposed to patient air and one that never comes into contact with it. When the inner valve opens as the patient inhales, air forces the outer valve closed, keeping air that the patient expels from contacting the pristine inner valve. The contaminated outer valve can be thrown out and replaced with a new one.

The team has made impressive strides since the BMEidea competition in 2010. While Callaghan is still a physician at Stanford, the rest of the time he’s working on OneBreath. The team is now officially incorporated, with a CEO, VP of business development, Chief Medical Officer (Callaghan) and several engineers. They’ve continued development of the device, are seeking regulatory approval after successful animal tests, and have partnered with GE Healthcare to stockpile ventilators for the US government to use in pandemic situations.

That takes care of the first half of OneBreath’s mission. In the meantime, the other half of the project was emerging markets and developing nations. “To that end,” said Callaghan, “we’re finishing up our grant funding and looking to raise funds from private, local venture firms, and hopefully be able to close on that round of funding by the end the summer. After that we’ll start on the CE mark process, which is the outside-the-US, non-FDA approval for selling in India, China, and the Middle East.”

Along the way Callaghan is taking a typical entrepreneur’s path, working hard and performing whatever tasks are required. “Between me and the CEO and the VP, we kind of wear all the hats. It’s a startup, so you do what you have to do—I made business cards the other day. You end up doing things that you never imagined would make up your job, but they do.”

While Callaghan and his team have participated in a number of business plan competitions and written many grants, the BMEidea competition sticks out for him as being “very engineering-focused. It forced us to put our thinking caps on on the engineering side. There’s really no other competition that I’ve seen that focuses on the engineering like that—on making something real.” According to Callaghan, most competitions tend to be focused more on the research hypotheses, “So BMEidea was nice. It gave us a chance to do something real.”

Look for OneBreath to make a real impact on the world in the near future.

Third prize winner: Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) Device, University of Cincinnati
When the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman's pelvic organs weaken, the organs can slip out of place, known as prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse can worsen over time and eventually some patients need surgery to fix it.

It’s the surgery for this condition that the third prize winner of the 2010 BMEidea competition is looking to improve.

Currently, surgeons looking to fix pelvic organ prolapse have at their disposal two options: sacral colpopexy, the most commonly used procedure, which requires opening up the patient fully, introducing complications and increasing pain and recovery time; and a newer, less invasive natural orifice (transvaginal) approach.

The problem with the transvaginal approach? No device currently on the market can provide enough tissue retraction and visibility to perform it well—surgeons are stuck with old style retractors to move tissue out of the way. The retractors, essentially simple levers, are hard to use and don’t do their job particularly well. Even with the simultaneous use of multiple retractors and packed towels, the surgical workspace provided to the surgeon is still small, dark, and shallow; target structures are obstructed, and the lack of visibility and access impedes progress and affects success.

This team, developers of the Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) device, is filling the need for a better transvaginal surgery tool. The design is based on two components: a reusable handle and blade system made of stainless steel and a disposable membrane placed over the blade system comprised of biocompatible elastomer. When deployed, the device, which looks like a large pair of scissors connected by a smooth steel tube, locks into place and provides constant support to soft tissues while being self-retained in the patient. Surgical workspace is greatly increased, making a newer, better procedure more feasible than before.

Mary Beth Privitera, a faculty member in the Medical Device Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Cincinnati where the device got its start, said that the novelty of the device “is that it’s a one-person device. Most of the devices available today need an assistant to hold it and provide the actual retraction. This does it all in one. It enables the physician to have complete control over it.”

One unique aspect of the project, according to Privitera, is that UC faculty requested at least a few female team members on it from the very beginning. Said Privitera: “Normally we don’t specify whether we want men or women to work on these projects, but in this case we did. We made a big push to get women on the design team, and ended up with a female engineer and a female designer.”

The focus on female participation had a positive net influence on the project, according to Privitera. “It absolutely helped,” she said. “It gave the team balance. The product’s form and function are inherently tied together, so understanding the problem, understanding what it’s like to be a gynecology patient, was paramount to creating an appropriate solution.”

Since winning BMEidea funding, the device has been pulled back in-house by the company it was sourced from, Cincinnati-based medical device development company Device & Implant Innovations. Immediately after winning the competition, Privitera said the company “reigned it in and said, ‘This is great, now we need to make it real.’” They are moving the device forward with the idea that it could form the foundation of a completely new procedure.

And while the team has since dispersed, Privitera said that the project “was successful from the academic standpoint of meeting curricular goals and the experience the students had. Our clinical partner was extremely happy with the students’ work, and all in all it was one of the best possible experiences for the team and it provided value going forward.”

The BMEidea competition itself continues to up the ante on UC campus, according to Privitera. “BMEidea puts things in a different perspective. It elevates the student’s perspective—a lot the time you think you’re doing a good job and you hear from your faculty that you’re doing a good job, but to hear it nationally is tremendous from the students’ perspective.”

Lastly, much like many BMEidea winners in the past, Privitera has found that the competition lends credibility. In Privitera’s case, it helps her form connections at UC and beyond. “The competition has really assisted me in forming a new host of relationships for the entire program here,” she said. ”When we go to talk to new partners, they know that the students can actually do what we say they can do. And that’s invaluable.”
 

PuzzleCast

University of Virginia, 2010 - $9,945

The current gold standard treatment for forearm fractures includes a period of full immobilization of the site of injury (typically six to eight weeks) followed by routine physical therapy to regain muscle strength and range of motion. However, each year approximately 6.8 million Americans experience immobilization-induced muscle atrophy, which increases recovery time and vulnerability to further injuries.
 
This team’s solution is a modular cast design dubbed the PuzzleCast. It consists of several interlocking thermoplastic components that have the ability to unlock degrees of freedom while still maintaining immobilization of the injured area. By increasing range of motion during the healing process, blood flow is increased, muscle atrophy is reduced, and overall healing time and physical therapy are shortened.

Wearable Multimodal Wayfinding Techniques for Blind and Visually Impaired People

City College of New York, 2010 - $8,000

This grant will support planning and development of a cross-department joint undergraduate senior design course in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering at City College of New York. In the course, students will develop multimodal and unobtrusive techniques for helping the blind and visually impaired.

The course will be a two-semester sequence for seniors. In the first semester, students will learn the basics of sensors, actuators, visual navigation algorithms, and assistive technologies, as well as business and social issues. In the second semester, students will form into teams and study the needs of blind users, create designs of new assistive technologies, prototype them, and perform usability studies in collaboration with NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped and the Computer Center for Visually Impaired people at CUNY Baruch College.

Development of a Center for Student Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the CTech Incubator @ University of Bridgeport (Planning Grant)

University of Bridgeport, 2010 - $8,000

This grant supports the development of a plan for a new center at the University of Bridgeport that connects students with the local business incubator and its companies. The program will focus on student teams developing new products focused on human health, either by working on their own ideas or by working on existing products being developed by businesses in the incubator.

The objectives of the program are to: take product ideas from the concept phase through prototype development and business plan creation; create a sustainable method for students to work with the incubator and its businesses while gaining college credit and experience; and demonstrate to area businesses the value of working with UB E-Teams.

 

Building a Productive Ecosystem for Tech-based Social Entrepreneurship at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010 - $34,300

While MIT has a well-established pipeline to take traditional technology ideas from research to commercialization, no such cohesive ecosystem exists on campus for development-focused, social entrepreneurship projects. But at the same time there is a tremendous amount of student activity on campus in research and development focused on underserved communities around the world.

To help these BoP focused projects move from the lab to the market, this grant will provide funding to create several new tools, programs, and courses at MIT: developing an Expert In Residence program that provides opportunities for students to interact with visiting scholar-entrepreneurs with expertise in technology design, development, and commercialization of social enterprises; creating an easily accessible, central virtual repository for development technologies and innovations created on campus; writing social entrepreneurship case studies; mentoring via a Boston-area venture mentoring event; and a new course providing students with the practical and tangible skills and experience necessary in running successful social enterprises.

The InVenture Prize: An Undergraduate Invention Competition at Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010 - $43,000

The InVenture Prize is an undergraduate invention competition at Georgia Tech that provides incentives, resources, and a structure for student innovation in a fun, high profile, televised event. The second year of the competition (2009-10) involved 300 student inventors, 60 faculty, 1,000 audience members, 50,000 television viewers, $30,000 in prizes, sixteen provisional patents and two utility patents filed, and national media coverage by CNN, NPR and others.

This grant will help transform the competition into a business-launching platform by incorporating a preparatory technology-focused curriculum, a series of high-profile competitive rounds, and follow-on support and mentorship. The top three objectives of the grant are to: increase by 50% from 2010 the number of interdisciplinary teams participating in the competition (as well as the number of teams comprising minorities, the number of teams tackling human needs/social entrepreneurship challenges, and the number of successful teams after the competition); build and strengthen infrastructure for the televised final round of the competition; and continue to use the competition to foster a culture of innovation at Georgia Tech.

Wake Forest Innovation Fellows Program

Wake Forest University, 2010 - $29,000

This grant supports the development of an Innovation Fellows Certificate program at Wake Forest. The program will include a series of workshops to increase the innovation and commercialization skills of students, faculty and staff; a mentoring/coaching component for emerging student teams; and resources to assist students in the commercialization process.

The certificate will primarily be targeted at students enrolled in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise courses as well as faculty and staff interested in guiding student teams through the innovation and commercialization process. Industry mentors and coaches will be recruited through Wake Forest’s existing network, developed through the NSF Partners for Innovation program.
 

mystartupXX: Empowering the Next Generation of Female Technology Entrepreneurs

University of California (UC), San Diego, 2010 - $28,600

Despite female entrepreneurs now making up nearly 50% of all entrepreneurs in the US, female founders are severely underrepresented in technology startups—in the first six months of 2010, 92% of technology startup founders were males. But at the same time, data shows that women-led high-tech startups generate higher revenues per dollar of invested capital and have lower failure rates than those led by men.

This grant supports development of a new program at UC San Diego, mystartupXX, (named for the female chromosome) that will target female students for invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education. The program objectives are to: encourage and empower women to participate in the technology startup process; stimulate the formation of E-Teams led by female students; and provide high quality education and training on new venture creation and personal development for women entrepreneurs as leaders of high performance teams.

The teams will receive three months of intensive mentoring and one-on-one business coaching, participate in educational workshops and seminars, learn how to apply management principles to team building and effective leadership, evaluate technology strategies, perform market opportunity assessments, and create the value propositions, business models and financing strategies needed to launch a business. The program will culminate with a demonstration day, where teams will present their ideas to potential investors.

Certificate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2010 - $35,500

The grant supports the creation of a cross-disciplinary, healthcare-focused Certificate Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The certificate will consist of a four-course sequence team-taught by faculty from engineering and the arts, with product ideas based on needs articulated by local healthcare and medical institutions. Students will receive professional assistance in technology transfer, patenting and licensing from UWM's Office of Technology Transfer and the UWM Research Foundation.

The four courses are: Creativity & Design Processes; Ergonomics, Innovation and Design; Product Realization; and Innovation and Commercialization.

Identifying Needs and Exploring Solutions in Developing Regions

Brown University, 2010 - $26,500

This grant supports development of a three-part (spring-summer-fall) undergraduate experiential learning curriculum that is part of a larger initiative with corporate partners that comprehensively addresses developing world needs. In the spring, students from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design will form into teams and learn ethnographic observation techniques that will develop their skill in uncovering needs and understanding situational constraints in developing regions. In the summer, they will take ten-week trips to the regions themselves, doing more observation and problem-finding. In the fall, they will create new solutions to problems they encountered. The PI is partnering with IBM to provide platform technologies and other resources that could be adapted to developing world needs.

The students will focus on four themes: healthcare in rural Africa; water in India; communication trends in developing countries; and commerce in informal settlements in Africa.

Commercializing Student Designed Technologies for the Disabled

University of Detroit Mercy, 2010 - $26,000

Despite isolated successes at University of Detroit Mercy in producing creative devices that benefit individuals with disabilities, there remains great opportunity on campus to utilize student creativity in helping the underserved in society. In particular, there is substantial unmet need for assistive technologies.

This grant will help to transform the UDM capstone process from generating isolated successes into an effective conduit for new assistive technologies to reach the marketplace. Three objectives will be accomplished through this grant: integrating healthcare professional input and control into the capstone design course; guiding students to develop products for use by the disabled populace; and encouraging and supporting students to formulate E-Teams to commercialize their designs.

By the end of the capstone course, students will have a road map to pursue commercialization of their designs, with the ultimate goals of effectively meeting the needs of disabled people and enhancing student learning.

 

Energy Innovation for Campus Carbon Neutrality

Clemson University, 2010 - $25,400

There is an existing multidisciplinary course at Clemson University in which students analyze energy and carbon dioxide emissions on global and local scales. Students evaluate both demand-side (more efficient buildings and transportation) and supply-side (solar and wind) strategies for reducing emissions. The course deliverable requires students, working in an E-Team format with faculty and industry professionals, to develop and evaluate innovations contributing to carbon neutrality for the Clemson campus.

This grant will enable Clemson to offer further support to teams at the end of the course each year. At the end of the course, E-Teams will be selected to receive prototyping and consulting support, allowing them to pilot-test their innovations and evaluate scalability through a network of over 675 colleges and universities committed to carbon neutrality. This program will also result in a guide for the other 675 institutions, shared on a central website, which will help produce similar courses and E-Teams nationwide.

Development of Social Entrepreneurship Capstone Project Course at Lehigh University

Lehigh University, 2010 - $23,000

This grant supports the development of a new undergraduate curriculum at Lehigh University that brings together students from the social sciences, business, and engineering to focus on the creation of entrepreneurial enterprises that address the social and economic issues of the working poor and homeless. In the curriculum, interdisciplinary groups of students will follow Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) process to create innovative and sustainable solutions to local community problems.

Specifically, NCIIA funding will support the following objectives: development of a new social entrepreneurship undergraduate curriculum that will conclude with a capstone project; development of a year-long pilot capstone project, “Bethlehem’s South Side Urban Agriculture Enterprise,” that will focus on developing and implementing a business model, social system, and technology infrastructure required to address the needs of that community while establishing a self-sufficient, scalable enterprise; and development of extracurricular social entrepreneurship activities with an initial focus on urban agriculture, including student competitions, guest speakers, and a social entrepreneurship club.

Developing a Marketing High-Technology Products and Innovations Course

University of Maryland, 2010 - $44,100

With the Hinman CEOs program and Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), the University of Maryland has a substantial technology entrepreneurship community with a number of resources for early stage ventures and startups. However, there are currently no undergraduate courses at UM that address the marketing of technology products and innovations. At the same time, while Mtech currently serves over 700 students annually through technology entrepreneurship and innovation courses, the overall rate of venture creation is less than desired.

This grant supports development of a new course, “Marketing High-Technology Products and Innovations,” proposed as a part of the required Hinman CEOs curriculum and to be offered to all students throughout campus. This course will merge the academic side of learning marketing concepts with their applications in real life.

Interdisciplinary Environmental Entrepreneurship

Norwich University, 2010 - $26,500

The Norwich University campus, situated in northern New England, comprises a wide variety of structures from LEED-certified to “antique,” and is in many ways indicative of the building stock of its community. In order to create a sustainable campus, faculty and students from the Center for the Integrated Study of the Built Environment will team with the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and an environmental entrepreneur to evaluate campus buildings and develop entrepreneurial solutions to issues identified in the process.

Specifically, this grant will help create and pilot an interdisciplinary, two-semester, entrepreneurial “green building” program involving E-Teams comprising seniors in business, architecture, engineering, and construction management. The teams will employ Building Information Modeling to create a virtual model of structure on campus, perform energy modeling on it, and develop green solutions to problems they encounter and devise commercialization strategies for them.   

Green Technology for Sustainable Poultry Vaccine Manufacturing

University of California, Davis, 2010 - $20,000

Epidemics of recent emerging infectious diseases, such as the H1N1 pandemic, demand cost-efficient and scalable production technologies that can rapidly deliver effective therapeutics to clinics. Traditional vaccine manufacturers have trouble meeting these needs, as their manufacturing processes are slow and not economically scalable. Developing world populations are especially burdened by lack of access to effective and inexpensive therapies.
 
This team is developing SwiftVax, a plant production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably. The technology can rapidly produce large amounts of therapeutics with minimal investment compared to traditional vaccine production infrastructure.
 
This grant will help in developing a proof-of-concept that will bring SwiftVax-produced vaccines closer to market. The team’s initial target product is an animal vaccine for Newcastle Disease, a devastating and highly pathogenic disease in poultry. The disease threatens commercial poultry in developed countries as well as the livelihood of disadvantaged populations in Africa, to whom chickens represent the main source of food and income.

Updates:

Marlee Tech, Inc.

Oregon State University, 2010 - $14,500

Shikimic acid is an essential component in the manufacture of the anti-pandemic influenza drug Tamiflu and a valuable precursor in many other chemical syntheses. However, the low availability and high cost of shikimic acid limits the global ability to either stockpile or ramp up Tamiflu production in a pandemic emergency.

The Marlee Tech team is seeking to cost-effectively supply shikimic acid from a renewable wheat source using an environmentally benign bio-enhancement process. The proprietary method involves a chemical treatment process to induce the plant into producing very high levels of shikimic acid that can then be readily extracted in economic quantities.

The team won the 2009 OSU business plan competition and incorporated as Marlee Tech, Inc. The company is now looking to demonstrate technological feasibility and scalability and secure IP to move toward commercialization.

Runner Pro: A Posture-monitoring Device

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2010 - $8,800

The high-impact nature of running can lead to shin splints, hamstring pulls, twisted ankles, IT Band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, stress fractures, and the infamous "runner's knee." Studies indicate that maintaining a good posture while running can virtually eliminate most of these injuries. Elite athletes go to biomechanics specialists for gait analysis in order to improve posture, but this is far too expensive and impractical for most people.
 
This team is developing the Runner Pro, a portable, easy to use, and affordable device that continuously measures the impact forces experienced by runners during their course of activity. The device will measure the impact forces at numerous locations under the foot (below the toes, balls of the feet, mid-foot and heel) in real-time, collecting hundreds of samples of data every second and providing useful feedback to the user on improving posture and gait.
 
The team envisions Runner Pro being of benefit to runners, walkers, athletes, people suffering from arthritis, and laborers.

Minimally Invasive Creation of Autologous Venous Valves for the Treatment of Deep Venous Insufficiency

Stanford University, 2010 - $19,973

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) of the deep veins is a disease in which patients suffer from poor circulation in their lower extremities due to non-functional valves. Over the long-term this condition can lead to varicose veins, skin discoloration, leg pain and debilitating leg ulcers. Currently, severe symptoms due to CVI develop in over six million Americans annually; this number is expected to rise as the population ages and obesity becomes more prevalent.
 
The typical treatment for CVI—a combination of compression stockings and wound care—has extremely poor compliance rates. Open surgical valve repair is rarely used because of its highly invasive nature.
 
This team is developing a minimally invasive, catheter-based solution for deep vein CVI. The catheter is inserted into the patient’s venous system and advanced to the incompetent vein, where the physician then actuates the catheter to form a version of a natural vein valve. Once the valve is created, blood flows upward freely past the new valve, and at the end of the pumping cycle, blood fills the newly created sinus pocket, causing the flap to close against the vein wall and creating a temporary watertight seal. In this way, vein competency is permanently restored without the need for an implant or invasive surgery.

A Cell Encapsulation System for Treating Diabetes

Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010 - $16,500

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough or cannot properly use insulin, the protein required for the body to absorb glucose from the blood. Transplantation of live islet cells (the pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin) has been studied as a method for curing diabetes, but donor islet cells that are transplanted into patients are attacked by the immune system, causing transplant rejection. There is a relatively low islet transplant success rate, even when using immunosuppressant drugs.

This team is developing a new solution: encapsulating the islet cells in a biocompatible hydrogel membrane. The cell encapsulation system will allow glucose and insulin to diffuse through freely, but Immunoglobulin G and white blood cells will not be able to pass through, effectively “hiding” the islet cells from the immune system. With this implantable device, diabetics will no longer have to deal with the hassle and pain of testing their blood glucose up to four times a day, calculating the correct amount of insulin, and injecting themselves.

RxCap

Harvard University, 2010 - $18,550

Patient non-compliance in routinely taking the medications prescribed for them costs the US $170 billion dollars yearly. The 75 million Americans considered “health illiterate” are at particular risk for prescription drug misuse: they are 3.4 times as likely to misinterpret drug warning labels, leading to greater risk of medication-related adverse events and a doubling of all-cause mortality risk. Up to 85% of prescriptions are not refilled after the initial dispensing, which translates to an annual loss of $77 billion for retail pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies.
Visual cues have not improved adherence, but auditory notifications have shown promise. However, current auditory devices are too expensive to be scalable, too hard for patients to operate, and can’t be adapted to pill bottles of varying sizes.

This team is developing the RxCap, a $1 device that installs seamlessly within existing pill bottles, provides verbal explanations of proper medication use/dosage when the bottle is opened, and reminds patients to refill their medication when the time comes.

PuraCath Medical

Stanford University, 2010 - $16,172

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a treatment for patients with severe chronic kidney disease. The process uses the patient's peritoneum in the abdomen as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while the patient sleeps or via regular exchanges throughout the day. PD is used as an alternative to hemodialysis, with the primary advantage being the ability to undertake treatment without visiting a medical facility. The primary complication with PD is the patients’ failure to adhere to the complex protocol. This complicated protocol exists in order to ensure proper transfer of fluids while reducing side effects and complications.

The PuraCath Medical device can simplify the procedure and enhance quality of life of patients. The device is an innovative, self-contained PD catheter that doesn't rely on patient compliance.

Minimally Invasive Device for Harvesting Iliac Crest Bone Graft

Johns Hopkins University, 2010 - $20,000

There are over 1.5 million spinal fusion surgeries performed annually worldwide. Bone grafting is the standard practice in orthopedic medicine to foster restoration and healing of the spine in addition to providing structural and biological support. The current gold standard for graft materials is the autologous bone graft, which uses cancellous bone from the patient’s own hip (clinically termed the iliac crest bone graft or ICBG). ICBG produces the best results, but it must be extracted through an invasive procedure that is cumbersome for the surgeon and painful for the patient. There is currently no specialized device designed to extract sufficient volumes of ICBG for spinal surgery without high risk to the patient.

This team’s goal is to dramatically improve the procedure for extracting ICBG. The device will be minimally invasive, will standardize the harvesting procedure, and will allow for safe extraction of large volumes of ICBG. This will increase spinal fusion success rates while reducing patient morbidity, surgical time, and healthcare expenditures.

Novel Antibacterial Coatings for Combating Healthcare-Associated Infections

Brown University, 2010 - $18,200

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the second most common type of healthcare-associated infection in the US. VAP occurs when bacteria form on endotracheal tubes and invade the lungs, resulting in over $10 billion in unnecessary hospital expenses and almost 36,000 deaths annually.

Currently, only two methods are used to combat VAP: sterilization and antibiotics. Sterilizing medical tubes rids the surface of transmissible pathogenic agents, but over half of all endotracheal tubes are exposed to bacteria even before being inserted, with some adhering irreversibly to the tube surface. The second technique is administering antibiotics to patients, but this has not shown satisfactory results due to bacteria’s inherent resistance to antibiotics.

This team is developing nano-TEC, a proprietary antibacterial coating that is effective in preventing bacteria formation on endotracheal tubes. In bench tests their solution is six times more effective and costs substantially less than the only other antibacterial coating products on the market.

WolfTracks

North Carolina State University, 2010 - $9,400

Remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) utilize vision-based systems—cameras—for providing user feedback. But vision-based systems are inherently limited underwater simply by the distance that light can travel; light backscatters in water, creating hot spots and otherwise noisy images. The alternative solution for many of these problems is sonar, which provides clear 3D images of the seafloor, allowing ROV operators much more detailed and larger maps. However, sonar can be prohibitively expensive, costing up to ten times more than cameras.
 
The WolfTracks team is developing a mid-range solution between cameras and sonar. WolfTracks uses Light Detection and Radiation (LiDAR), a laser-based system, to map the underwater terrain in real-time. Wolftracks will cost less and have a larger scanning distance and lower power output than traditional low-end sonar solutions, dramatically expanding the range of uses and expanding the market for scanning, mapping, search and rescue, and other applications.

Antenatal Screening Kit: Improving Maternal Health Worldwide

Johns Hopkins University, 2010 - $16,000

Each year, nearly 600,000 women die worldwide as a result of complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth. In South Asia, barely 50% of women have access to antenatal care, and as a result millions of women over the years have died avoidable deaths.

This team is developing a kit consisting of rapid and cost-effective point-of-care tests to screen expectant mothers for various readily treatable diseases and health problems that can lead to complications during pregnancy. The kit contains different marker pens pre-filled with reagents and a special booklet. A simple mark on a piece of paper by the test pen creates a dipstick for urine, and results in an easily read color change, telling the healthcare worker if action is needed. The kit provides a 10 to 100 fold cost reduction in the cost of tests and longer shelf life for reagents in challenging environments.

The team is partnered with Jhpiego, a leading global NGO in maternal/child healthcare, which will provide access to test populations and marketing strategy development assistance.

Updates:

Spark: A University-Level Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Florida Atlantic University (Planning Grant)

Florida Atlantic University, 2010 - $7,500

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) recently established a university-level Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform with the goal of integrating and enhancing entrepreneurial activity at FAU. As part of the initiative, this grant will help lay the groundwork for the development of two new programs: the Spark Incubator and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Spark.

Developing a Cross-Disciplinary E-Team to Enhance Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University (Planning Grant)

Louisiana State University, 2010 - $7,500

This planning grant supports the development of a plan for programs to support student entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University through a new interdisciplinary course in entrepreneurship, a business plan competition, and a mentorship program. The three-pronged program is designed to stimulate the formation of LSU's first E-Teams, involving undergraduates, faculty and counselors from technical, business and humanities disciplines. The overall aim of their efforts is to prepare undergraduates to become contributors to both the local Louisiana economy and the global economy.

Entrepreneurship Initiative for Rural Southeastern North Carolina (Planning Grant)

University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2010 - $8,000

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) serves a diverse regional community of 38% Native Americans, 32% Caucasians, 25% African Americans, and 5% Hispanics and others. UNCP is located among the poorest counties in the nation, with unemployment between 12% and 18% and per capita income 40% below the national average. In order to help the regional economy, efforts are underway to promote entrepreneurship through the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship (TFCE). The TFCE is a UNCP-affiliated organization whose goal is to promote entrepreneurship education at UNCP and provide free entrepreneurial consulting for local area residents.

This grant provides seed money to lay the groundwork for a follow-on proposal to create innovation-driven pathways for university students to lead new business development in this economically underprivileged area.

Drexel Smart House Student Seed Fund

Drexel University, 2010 - $25,000

Drexel Smart House is a student-led, research-driven organization at Drexel University working to develop a sustainable model for urban residential living. The organization engages students in multidisciplinary teams working on a number of green projects, including a lightweight green roof, residential water recovery system, urban crop cultivation, energy recovery systems and more.

This grant will create the Drexel Smart House Student Seed Fund, which will allow students to conduct early research and prototype development. Drexel Smart House has shown that access to early seed funding for preliminary research and prototypes greatly improves prospects for expanded research funding and industry collaboration.

The new eighteen-month program will fund individual, student-proposed projects ranging in cost from $100-$2,500. Student-developed short proposals will be reviewed by a faculty member and a student review board. Project proposals will be from teams working on freshman or senior engineering design projects, multidisciplinary teams, graduate student teams, and undergraduate/graduate teams.

Sustainable Medical Device Innovation for Developing Countries

Johns Hopkins University, 2010 - $41,500

This grant supports a new course, Sustainable Medical Device Innovation for Developing Countries, in Johns Hopkins’ Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID). The course, being developed as a core requirement for a new one-year MS program at CBID, will have the explicit aim of training students in the process of identification, invention and implementation of healthcare technologies that solve clinical problems in developing countries.

Students will learn through immersive clinical experience, partnering with hospitals and community health centers in South Asia and Southern Africa. Over the course of two semesters, they will work in teams to invent and prototype multiple solutions to problems they identify, develop a clinical trial plan, identify manufacturing partners, and develop an appropriate business model. Once the projects reach a certain level of maturity, teams will receive intensive mentoring on how to pursue further funding opportunities to fully implement their ideas (Gates Foundation, USAID, etc.).

Cross-disciplinary development teams to make students' ideas real

Ohio Northern University, 2010 - $19,500

This grant supports the transformation of a year-long engineering capstone course into an E-Team-generating experience that takes the best new product ideas on campus and turns them into real prototypes and potential business ventures. There will be three steps to the program: 1) in a spring “Ideas Competition,” students will pitch their ideas to a review board made up of entrepreneurs/investors; 2) E-Teams will be formed around each of the five winning ideas; 3) the following spring, the E-Teams will compete in a business plan competition, with the winning teams receiving substantial funds to continue development of their projects beyond the capstone timeframe.

The teams will be comprised of students from engineering, business and law.

Bridge Mentorship Program for Advanced Student Companies at UMass Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010 - $29,000

The NCIIA-funded UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative (UMassEI), a one-credit course, has greatly increased student participation in entrepreneurship on University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, having grown from five students in 2007 to over 200 from thirty majors running over 100 active student companies. While UMass faculty are currently formalizing a program that connects the most advanced of these student companies to outside mentors, increasing their chances for success, there remains a large gap between the mature teams and the teams in need of support. Many student companies lack the maturity or level of development to take advantage of the mentorship program after completing the one-credit UMassEI class.

This grant will help bridge the gap and connect more students more effectively to outside programs and mentors. Faculty will develop a “bridge program” for students, with the objective of providing early student companies with the knowledge and support they need to cross the gap between completing the introductory course and reaping maximum benefit from outside advisors. The program will consist of three elements: independent studies with faculty across campus who will mentor student innovation projects; bi-weekly seminars for all student proto-companies in the program to build peer-mentoring networks (a result of feedback from mentors who said students were not “ready” to talk with them yet), share successes, answer questions and make them accountable to the group; and weekly networking sessions with external entrepreneurs.

Creative Design for Affordability

Cornell University, 2010 - $17,226

This grant supports the enhancement and institutionalization of Creative Design for Affordability (CDfA), a new course in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. CDfA, established in collaboration with faculty from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, is an experiential course focused on the role that design and technology development plays in private sector innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Through this grant, Cornell faculty will be able to support approximately five multidisciplinary E-Teams per year working with peers in India on the development and launch of businesses addressing global societal challenges. Specifically, funding will help to strengthen the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary content of the course by supporting the integration of business, design, and technological innovation; ensure that cross-national, US-India E-Teams collaborate in creating viable technologies addressing critical problems; and assure E-Teams gain access to mentorship resources inside and outside the classroom.

Practicing Entrepreneurship: Creating value for a technology-based invention or idea

Michigan State University, 2010 - $29,500

This grant supports a new course in entrepreneurship at Michigan State University (MSU). Currently, the College of Engineering at MSU generates a number of invention disclosures every year from student-faculty teams, but the question of whether a business opportunity exists or not isn’t typically addressed.

The new course will introduce select students and faculty working on IP-generating projects to the entrepreneurial process (opportunity identification, IP strategy, market research, operations, financial analysis, etc.); provide students with a multidisciplinary team experience by including business students on each of the projects; and provide teams with experience in developing formal product feasibility and business plans, submitting them to Michigan’s Great Lakes Entrepreneurship Quest Competition and gaining “real-world” feedback. The program is integrated with university engagement in local economic development programs and has support from those programs for mentoring and support of successful student teams.

Master's Level Education in Bioengineering Innovation

Over the last four years, the Center of Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID, supported by an NCIIA Course and Program grant) within the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has planned and launched a one-year master’s program focusing on the identification, creation and implementation of novel health care technologies.

This grant will fund prototype development costs for graduate student teams developing technologies in the CBID. Feedback from VCs and others emphasized the importance of developing very strong prototypes in order to increase the chances for securing funding and support. Faculty also plan to expand the program from twelve to fifteen students, and require teams to increase the number of and improve the quality of prototypes developed over the span of the program.

Updates:

Two biomedical device start-ups have spun out of the Master's Level Education in Bioengineering Innovation course:

Grant PI Bob Allen reports that so far 15 students have graduated from the program with MS degrees. JHPIEGO, JHU’s global health partner, is further developing two other projects from the grant: an electronic partogram and the antenatal screening kit (a 2010 E-Team grantee and Popular Science invention of the year).

Accelerating Student E-Team New Venture Creation through the Application of Industrial Design and Structured Seed Funding

Northeastern University, 2010 - $9,000

This grant, which builds on a previous NCIIA grant funding student technology projects in Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, seeks to round out the program by adding two major components: 1) the inclusion of design students and mentors on E-Teams and funds for creating industry-grade prototypes, and 2) giving student teams access to incremental seed funding.

Northeastern will work in collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Students from the Mass Art Product Development Lab will be integrated into Northeastern’s I-Cubator teams. Based on student team investment pitches, teams will be given the opportunity to raise funds of up to $3,000, with a strategic focus on design as a key project component. At the end of the one-year program, projects may then be commercialized, returned to the I-Cubator for a second year, or terminated.

Technology Innovation for People with Disabilities

University of Pittsburgh, 2010 - $25,950

Assistive Technologies (ATs) can be the single most important factor in determining whether people with disabilities can participate fully in society. However, the abandonment rate for new ATs is disconcertingly high, with inappropriate design for the user being one of the most common reasons for failure.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL), which marries efforts on research- and user-driven innovations with the expertise of outside business collaborators, has had success commercializing ATs in the past, with five spin-offs to its name. This proposal seeks funding to augment a current NSF-funded HERL program, called Research Experience for Undergraduates, to support projects and educational activities related specifically to AT product development done by undergraduates. NCIIA funding will be used to support multidisciplinary teams of undergraduates working on innovation-focused projects, workshops focused on design innovation and commercialization, and tours of local companies that support early-stage product design in the AT industry.

The ultimate goal of the expanded program is the development of highly promising AT products that can be launched after completion of the NCIIA-funded project, improving the quality and increasing the quantity of highly impactful ATs.

Gen2 Agro

Ohio State University, 2010 - $20,000

Agricultural fungicides, which combat a number of plant blights and diseases, are estimated to prevent the loss of up to 95% of annual crop yields worldwide. At the same time, many current fungicides are petrochemicals that come with major financial and environmental costs from toxicity and chemical buildup in the soil. Organic fungicides offer a safer solution, but are currently much less effective and more expensive than chemical fungicides.

This E-Team, calling itself Gen2 Agro, is developing a next-generation organic fungicide that is over 20% more effective than current organic options, making it comparable in efficacy to chemical alternatives. Gen2 Agro’s product is composed of naturally occurring, non-genetically modified bacteria that has been found to directly attack fungi, secreting byproducts that suppress fungal growth. The team's fungicide will work for some of the world’s most valued crops, including soybeans, wheat, and potatoes.

ABSAL Desalination Systems

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2010 - $12,200

Although the ocean contains over 97% of the total water on Earth, less than 1% of world’s drinking water comes from the ocean. Desalination (the process of removing excess salt from water) on a large scale typically uses extremely large amounts of energy and requires specialized, expensive infrastructure, making it costly compared to the use of fresh water from rivers or groundwater. While most desalination technologies try to increase freshwater output by adding heat, making it an energy-intensive process, this E-Team is developing technology to harvest drinking water from the ocean using only solar energy. This is done by mimicking the water cycle: optimizing variables such as air flow, surface area, and liquid depth to increase evaporation.

The team is targeting developing countries with this technology, estimating a sixteen-gallon daily yield and a cost of $50 per unit for a scaled-down version.

Miret Surgical

Stanford University, 2010 - $19,450

Laparoscopic surgery is a growing surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through very small incisions (0.5-1.5 cm) compared to the larger incisions needed in traditional, open surgical procedures. Patients that undergo laparoscopic surgery enjoy shorter hospital stays and reduced instances of surgery-inflicted morbidity.

This E-Team is taking laparoscopy a step further, developing a set of laparoscopic tools that enable surgery with extremely small incisions leaving no visible scars by enabling assembly of complex tools inside the patient. Existing scar-free techniques are burdened by steep learning curves and high costs, but the E-Team’s device, called ENGAGE™, requires minimal surgeon re-training and aligns with current insurance reimbursement plans.

Relay Technology Management, Inc.

Tufts University, 2010 - $18,000

This E-Team is developing software to make the technology transfer process from academia to industry in the bio and pharma space more efficient. Calling themselves Relay Technology Management, the team is developing software that provides industry in-licensing and corporate strategy groups with competitive intelligence on specific research happening inside universities, and also enables university technology transfer offices to manage their IP portfolios and market the right technologies to the right industry partners.

Specifically, the software will: 1) enable faculty members to enter invention disclosures in a secure, online system; 2) generate an actionable report to the technology transfer office; and 3) market the opportunity to the right industry partner based on licensing needs and sponsored research initiatives.

The business model will be based on a subscription fee to industry partners. The product will be marketed to companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, medical device, chemical, physical and clean technology industries. Large players in this space have already confirmed a need for such a service, and have begun pre-ordering subscriptions.

Update:

Relay Technology Management launched Business Development Live, a unified, realā€time data visualization, comparative asset analysis and tracking platform for the life sciences industry (May 2012).

infantAir

Rice University, 2010 - $18,000

Approximately two million babies die each year from acute respiratory infections (ARI), almost all in developing countries. Many neonatal ARI patients in the developing world do not receive proper treatment because hospitals can’t afford ventilators, which cost $6,000 on average.

To combat the problem, this E-Team, calling itself infantAIR, is developing BabyBubbles, a low cost ventilation system for use in developing countries. The device uses a continuous positive airway pressure system, which works by maintaining positive airway pressure during spontaneous breathing, increasing lung volume at the end of exhalation, preventing the collapse of the airway structure, and improving oxygenation. The device helps to keep a baby’s lungs fully inflated so he or she can breathe naturally.

The team is aiming to implement the device in Rwandan hospitals first, followed by worldwide dissemination.

Update: In the summer of 2012, the infantAir team won $2m in funding through the Gates Foundation.

Mobile Information Aggregator (MIA)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010 - $16,500

While the world’s small-scale rural farmers have traditionally been overlooked in global markets, they’re gaining increased access to essential services including financial tools (banking, loans) and IT resources (mobile, internet). At the same time, there has been a global spike in demand for organic, fair-trade products, and small-scale farmers are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunity while at the same time generating employment and income. The challenge for most small-scale farmers is getting their goods to market.

This E-Team is developing the Mobile Information Aggregator (MIA), a mobile application/tool that farmers can use to gain access to global markets. Though a text message on a simple cell phone, the MIA tracks the frequency, quantity of production, and prices that farmers sell via a text message, which then links into a central database system.   The MIA provides historical and real-time data to farming cooperatives so that they can make better business decisions, and will help this E-team to understand what cooperatives are producing and help farmers aggregate demand, connect with markets and increase their income.

Update (2010) 

The team has launched a company, Supply Change, a fair trade, organic fruit company which uses fruit that would otherwise be wasted, processing it into high-value, high-quality products to provide income for farmers and nutritious food for consumers. Individual farmers send their harvest information to their cooperative on a weekly basis via a simple text message. This harvest information is then fed into a central database, producing real-time data that cooperative managers access to make better business decisions to maximize farmers current production, matching supply and market demand. All of this before the food rots and is wasted.

 

Laparo-Lineater

University of Virginia, 2010 - $9,732

The laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, is one of the most frequent surgeries performed in the United States, with an estimated 922,000 performed annually. Although laparoscopic removal significantly decreases surgical risk and recovery time, difficulties can arise when removing a gallstone-ridden gallbladder through a twelve-millimeter port. An important step in the surgery occurs when the physician puts the gallbladder into a laparoscopic retrieval bag (endobag); gallstones bulge at the bottom of the bag and can become wedged in the removal site.

To solve the problem, this E-Team is designing an endobag that employs cross-linked synthetic fibers nestled between pieces of polyurethane to create a structure similar to a novelty finger trap. When the surgeon pulls up, the contents inside the endobag lineate (form lines) due to the resulting radial force, preventing bulging of the gallbladder during extraction. The device integrates with the current procedure and tools; no new techniques or equipment are necessary.

Leveraged Freedom Chair Indian Trial and Dissemination

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010 - $16,500

This E-Team is developing the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), a lever-propelled wheelchair designed specifically to meet the mobility needs of people with disabilities in developing countries. Any wheelchair designed for developing countries needs to be both maneuverable in the home and able to travel long distances on rough roads; the LFC meets the requirements with a lever drive train that allows the rider to use mechanical advantage to efficiently traverse virtually any terrain.

The LFC looks like a normal wheelchair, but with tall levers pointing up from the wheels and a bike-like third wheel attached the to axle. Placing your hands high on the levers and pumping them back and forth generates high torque and an effective low gear; placing your hands low on the levers creates high angular velocity in the drivetrain and an effective high gear.

The E-Team will design and test the LFC in partnership with the largest disability organization in the world, the Indian organization Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), Jaipur, also known as Jaipur Foot.

Updates:

  • CNN features the Freedom Chair (April 2011)
  • The team will produce 200 chairs in June 2012 and have capacity to make 500/month. In a small test of ten users in India, four individuals with LFCs gained employment as a result of their newfound mobility.
  • The team is a finalist for MassChallenge and recently released a new 2-minute video (October 2012)
  • GRIT was one of four $100k Diamond Winners at MassChallenge. Congrats! (October 2012)

Aqua Port Water Transporter

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010 - $17,517

Over one billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, the most basic need for human survival. Within that number, many spend up to eight hours per day walking to the nearest water source, collecting water in heavy buckets, and making the long journey home. According to the UN Millennium Goal Report, forty billion work hours are lost in Africa each year due to time spent transporting water.

This E-Team is developing the Aqua Port, a water transporter that consists of several large plastic cylinders with wheels. The units are threaded onto a horizontal axle and rolled from the water source to the user’s home.

The team is relying heavily on research, testimonials and data from NGO workers, professors, and consumers throughout Africa in designing the device. It fulfills the three major needs they’ve identified for a water transporter: easy to transport, lift, fill, and pour; affordable for people living on less than two dollars per day; and able to transport large amounts of water.

CalSolAgua

University of California, Berkeley, 2010 - $18,400

Middle-income families in emerging markets around the world would like to have the same hot shower their counterparts in wealthier countries experience every morning. Demand for comfort technologies like water heaters is growing quickly in these markets, but the current options for water heating are either very expensive (tank heaters) or low quality (biomass burning), and all emit significant amounts of carbon. Both the upfront and ongoing energy costs of water heating technologies in, for example, Mexico, make hot water a well-guarded comfort.

The CalSolAgua (CSA) team has developed a low cost solar water heating system capable of reducing energy costs for households in developing countries while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions. CSA’s solar water heater can retail for about $100—one-fourth of the price of competing water tank heaters.

IntelliWheels: The Continuously Variable Transmission for Manually-propelled Wheelchairs

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2010 - $20,000

This E-Team is developing IntelliWheels, an after-market addition to off-the-shelf wheelchairs that significantly decreases the effort it takes to propel manual wheelchairs. IntelliWheels uses a gear shifting system to make pushing a wheelchair easier: the user moves forward, backward, and turns by pushing on the hand rims on either side like normal, but two automatic transmissions continuously change gears to keep the user operating in the most efficient way possible. This happens automatically, without the user thinking about it or needing to do anything.

The team built one prototype already, but it did not perform well. The team is now looking to build on what was learned from the first prototype and continue the development of IntelliWheels into a viable product and business focused on the US market.

Updates:

 

BioTrace

Stanford University, 2010 - $20,000

Cardiac pacemakers save lives by restoring and maintaining a normal, safe heart rate for patients with heart rhythm disorders such as bradycardia (a pathologically slow heart rate). But despite their effectiveness, most patients with bradycardia do not need a permanent implanted device because their problem is temporary and reversible: the heart rhythm disruption stems from a procedure or as a side effect of medication. The options for short-term, temporary pacing to overcome bradycardia are, however, flawed: intravenous medications work only for a subset of patients and have limiting side effects; external pacing pads placed on the chest are ineffective and prohibitively painful to the patient. The placement of a temporary pacing electrode through a large vein directly into the heart is the most effective method, but, unfortunately, it is also known to cause potentially fatal complications, including perforation of the heart wall (1-2%) and dislodgement (10-30%).

To meet the need for a safer method of temporarily supporting patients who have or are at risk for bradycardia, this E-Team is developing a temporary pacing system that eliminates the majority of adverse events due either to perforation or dislodgement.

BiodesignX-XI

Stanford University, 2010 - $20,000

Over three million US children per year are put under sedation in dental offices. While sedation keeps children calm and still during procedures ranging from cleanings to tooth extractions, it also has potentially fatal consequences. Thirty-three percent of adverse events related to pediatric sedation occur in the dental setting, with 91% of the adverse events resulting in death or permanent neurological injury. Further, 80% of the adverse events involved respiratory problems, since sedatives blunt respiratory drive and relax the upper airway musculature.

This E-Team is developing a device that monitors a child’s breathing while he or she is under the influence of sedatives. The small, wearable, disposable device, called PhonoSafe, alerts the dentist of sub-optimal breathing that lasts longer than fifteen seconds. It consists of a microphone placed on the throat at the level of the trachea to detect breathing sounds, hardware for signal processing to isolate the sounds from ambient noise, and software to analyze the respiratory rate and detect apnea (lack of breathing).

2010 Olympus Innovation Award Winners

The 2010 Olympus Innovation Award winners were announced at a ceremony at the NCIIA Annual Conference on March 26 in San Francisco.

Visit our Youtube channel to see the winners talk about their awards.

Olympus and NCIIA congratulate:

Paul Hudnut, an Entrepreneurship instructor at Colorado State University’s College of Business, won the 2010 Olympus Innovation Award for his creation and development of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program (GSSE), a speciaized three-semester graduate business program that trains students to become global social entrepreneurs. In teaching, Hudnut uses his start-up experience to help inform and inspire budding entrepreneurs about starting new ventures, and their power to change the world. One such venture is Envirofit, which sells products in India and the Philippines that increase incomes and reduce pollution. Hudnut’s leadership in starting the GSSE program at CSU, as well as sharing his ideas about innovation and entrepreneurship at other universities, has been widely recognized and appreciated by faculty and students. The Olympus Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who fosters an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods, projects and case studies. 

 

 

 

Jerry Engel, adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, was granted the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award for his leadership in establishing The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, of which he is the faculty director and founder. One of the first entrepreneurship programs at any U.S. business school, the Lester Center has taught and inspired hundreds of Haas student entrepreneurs over nearly 20 years. Through emphasizing technology entrepreneurship and experiential learning, Engel’s creation and development of the Global Entrepreneurship Education Initiative, which has trained more than 800 international engineering, science and business faculty through more than 45 seminars in 22 countries, has had an impact on students and faculty all over the world. Additionally, Engel utilized his experience abroad to help launch and improve entrepreneurship programs at numerous universities around the world. The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own universities and throughout academia.

 

 

Dr. Jeffrey Blander, course co-director HST939, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard Medical School and MIT, captured the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award.  This award recognizes an individual who has greatly inspired innovative thinking in students and whom the judges believe has significant potential to make important future contributions to the field. Dr. Blander is recognized for his course, Designing Technology Innovation for Global Health Practice. The course works closely with field-based partners in developing countries and the U.S., nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and industry sponsors which enable teams of students to work on projects that prioritize grassroots solutions to address "real world" problems. The first two years of enrollment included more than 80 students from across MIT and Harvard, with 20 projects in eight developing country settings. Dr. Blander’s professional passion extends far beyond the classroom in his role as director of the Bienmoyo foundation. In this role Dr. Blander has expanded training and cultural exchange programs for students and professionals to implement solutions that improve the quality of life of patients and create new sustainable business models in health care in Tanzania.

 

 

We will begin accepting nominations for the 2011 Olympus Innovation Awards on September 7, 2010. Stay tuned!

 

 

Educating Entrepreneurs. Who? What? Why?

Steve Blank, author of Four Steps to the Epiphany, will share currents and trends in Silicon Valley as they relate to entrepreneurship and design thinking educators.


Papers

2010 Annual Conference venue selected

San Francisco will host next year's gathering of the leading thinkers on techology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education. 

'Open,' the NCIIA's 2010 Annual Conference, will be held at the San Francisco Hilton - Financial District. The Exploratorium will be the setting for the annual March Madness for the Mind showcase of collegiate student technology innovations.

Our program is designed to give faculty and students access to the latest knowledge and best teaching practices in the field of technology innovation. The program includes more than 70 presentations and panels, a new series of high impact workshops sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the annual Olympus Innovation Awards (nominate a faculty member now!), and the Venture Well Forum.

We're accepting registrations now for the conference and applications for March Madness for the Mind. Register now to take advantage of early rates. Join us in San Francisco in 2010!

 

Start here: A new biomedical engineering competition for undergraduates!

Since 2004, NCIIA has spurred innovation in biomedical engineering by organizing (with our sponsors) the BMEidea competition for university student teams.

This fall, NCIIA will launch a new BME competition for undergraduate student teams. BMEStart recognizes undergraduate excellence in biomedical innovation. Student teams will be invited to demonstrate innovations that address a medical clinical need with a clearly defined solution that can be taken to application. $10,000 is at stake for the winning team!

Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2009. Check back for updates!

Open: Send us your proposals for our 2010 conference now!

We're presently collecting proposals for Open, our 14th Annual Conference.

We're looking for papers, workshops and panels that explore the science, business and practice of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.

Read more about the conference and submit your proposal!

 

Open 2010: NCIIA's 14th Annual Conference

 

 

More than 300 faculty and students attended Open 2010, the NCIIA's 14th Annual Conference, in San Francisco from March 25-27.

Among the comments from attendees:

As usual, every year this conference impresses me with its organization and the level of knowledge disseminated.

This was probably the most informative meeting I've ever attended with respect to discovering what other institutions are doing similar work!

This was my first time at NCIIA and it was FANTASTIC! I am definitely coming back. So many of the talks I went to covered tangible things (tools, contacts, exercise, frameworks) that I can use in my class on commercializing new technologies. It was truly a valuable use of my time to come to the conference!

We've published a number of papers. View PowerPoint archives here.

Once again, thanks to our sponsors: The Lemelson Foundation, Olympus Corporation, NSF, Inventors Digest and Intellectual Ventures. 

 

 

 

 


Sponsored by:

       

Sponsor of the Olympus Innovation Awards:

    

 

BMEidea 2010 winners announced

 

Johns Hopkins University 'Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device' Team wins BMEidea 2010! 

The winners of the 2010 BMEidea Awards were announced on June 11 at the Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony in New York.

First place, winning $10,000: 

Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device (RHID) (Johns Hopkins University)
Improved advanced life support for cardiac arrest victims

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, with rates of full functional recovery as low as 4% to 7%. The only known treatment method to improving survival is the rapid induction and maintenance of therapeutic hypothermia (TH), to cool the brain. However, the average delay between the onset of cardiac arrest and the administering of hypothermia in hospitals is about six hours. There is currently a pressing clinical need for a device and method of administering TH in out-of-hospital settings so that this life-saving treatment can be initiated rapidly and safely.

The Johns Hopkins team has developed a device that emergency or ambulance personnel can use to rapidly administer a therapeutic hypothermia treatment to victims of cardiac arrest, to greatly improve their chances of survival upon reaching hospital.

RHID works on the principle of evaporative cooling. When water evaporates from the body, it carries with it a large amount of heat from the body, due to its high heat capacity. Nasal cavities have highly specialized vascular heat exchangers, called 'turbinates', which humidify and warm the air that passes to the lungs. During periods of low humidityand low temperature, blood flow increases to the turbinate’s, allowing for high levels of mucus production. RHID forcibly accelerates the evaporation of water from the nasal cavity by continuously flushing cold, dry air on its surface, cooling the brain until the patient can be administered  intensive care TH treatment at hospital.

Second place, winning $2,500:

Onebreath: Low-cost Ventilator (Stanford University)

A low-cost ventilator designed to treat acute respiratory distress patients in low-resource, pandemic and emergency environments

The recent H1N1 pandemic has ignited concern in the healthcare community over the state of preparedness of our nation's healthcare system in the event of a mass critical care emergency. If a 1918-like flu pandemic were to occur today, tens of millions of people could die from respiratory distress. Unfortunately, the US does not have enough ventilators to support patients with respiratory distress in even a mild flu pandemic, and it is currently cost-prohibitive to stockpile a sufficient quantity of these devices. When considered on a global scale, the disparity in pandemic resources between wealthy and impoverished nations is alarming. Many countries already face an extreme shortage of ventilators, even in the absence of a pandemic. For example, in the United States there are approximately 205,000 ventilators for a population of 300 million. In India, where the population exceeds 1.1 billion, there are only 35,000 intensive care ventilators available.The Stanford team has developed a portable, low cost ventilator ($300) designed for adult and pediatric respiratory distress patients. The device is designed to be easy to repair and intuitive enough for non-professionals to use.

Third place, winning $1,000:

Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) Device (University of Cincinnati)

This team has developed a device to improve urogynecological procedures, by providing surgeons with better visibility and access to deep target tissues.

Pelvic organ prolapse is a physical condition in which the uterus and/or vaginal vault becomes detached from its normal position in the peritoneal cavity.Patients suffering from pelvic organ prolapse often experience pain, incontinence, recurrent infection, and even loss of sexual function.  Pelvic organ prolapse affects over 6 million women worldwide, and most of these patients end up living with the condition due to limitations in prolapse repair surgery.  Over 100,000 vaginal prolapse repair surgeries are conducted in the United States annually.  These repair surgeries are typically open procedures with limited success and high post-operative revision rate.

 

Honorable mentions:

  • Design: A Novel Device for Pacemaker Lead Anchorage, University of MI, Ann Arbor
  • Global Impact: MRAD - Malaria Retinopathy Automated Detector, Tulane University
  • Social Impact: Development of a Diagnostic Instrument for Early Pressure Ulcer Diagnosis, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Improved Eye Drop Applicator, Johns Hopkins University
  • CervoCheck: Preterm Labor Monitor, Johns Hopkins University
  • Cortical Concepts, Johns Hopkins University

 

Media coverage

 

About BMEidea
BMEidea is more than just a design competition, Student teams are judged on a complete commercialization strategy—product innovation, market need, regulatory pathway, sales strategy, economic issues. The teams' entries were evaluated by judges drawn from academia and industry. Winning entries must solve a clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal, and regulatory requirements; feature novel and practical designs; and show potential for commercialization. Submissions are judged on technical feasibility, clinical utility, economic feasibility and market potential, novelty and patentability, potential for commercialization and benefit to quality of life and care.

Prizes include cash awards in the amount of $10,000 (first prize), $2,500 (second prize), and $1,000 (third prize), and product development and commercialization resources and training.

The 2011 competition will open in September 2010.

All entrants are eligible to receive a complimentary Mathematica for Students license, courtesy of Wolfram Research.

 

Previous winners

 

BMEidea Sponsors

The material contained within this webpage is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0602484. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



Call for proposals! NCIIA 2010 annual conference

 'Open,' the NCIIA's 14th annual conference, will be held March 25-27, 2010, in California (San Diego or San Francisco).There has never been a more important time to maximize the impact of universities and colleges on American innovation. Join us for our 14th annual conference, exploring the science, business and practice of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.Abstracts for presentations, papers and posters are due June 19, 2009. Login, view guidelines and submit your 150-word abstract here.

Syndicate content