A cross-faculty team of Western students was among the winners at the recent Proteus Innovation Competition, an event that brings post-secondary students together to propose viable paths to market for novel technologies developed at participating institutions.
Team Rogers, comprised of Eastelle Ding, Clara Sun, Ronald Cheung (Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry), Aaron Cheung (health sciences), and Lydia Ji (Ivey), took home one of the top prizes of $5,000 for their commercialization plan for the dynamic cardiovascular imaging for rapid patient treatment planning technology, developed by Aaron So, a Lawson Health Research Institute scientist and professor of medical biophysics at Schulich Medicine. This novel CT scan software can accomplish in minutes what current technology takes hours to do – with less computer processing power.
Founded at Western by WORLDiscoveries, the Proteus Innovation Competition is now a collaboration among partner institutions, McMaster University, University of Windsor, University of Waterloo and University of Guelph.
It’s a key event within the Western entrepreneurship ecosystem, awarding each winning team $5,000 and the chance to license the new technology and form their own startup.
(Slideshow: Members of Western’s Team Rogers)
“Proteus is a learning opportunity for students interested in the convergence of research, technology and entrepreneurship,” said Souzan Armstrong, executive director for WORLDiscoveries. “It’s also a chance to showcase innovations coming out of Ontario’s top institutions and engaging the ecosystem for support in bringing them to market through collaboration.”
Members of Team Rogers stated they entered the Proteus Innovation Competition because, “the technologies at each institution were already well-developed and researched – there was no need to think of a novel technology.”
They ultimately decided on pitching Western’s technology for its great market potential, and for the opportunity to represent their home institution.
“The multidisciplinary nature of our team and household gave us an advantage,” said members of Team Rogers. “Our team consisted of students in epidemiology and biostatistics, occupational therapy, kinesiology, microbiology and immunology, pathology and business.”
The biggest takeaway from the competition was how much practice it required to nail the pitch in front of the panel of judges, who come from various industries, including medical science, venture capital and government, the students said.
The team is exploring the opportunity to work with So on further development and commercialization of his technology.
2021 Proteus Innovation Competition winning teams are:
- Team Rogers and its commercialization plan for Western’s dynamic cardiovascular imaging for rapid patient treatment planning. Team members: Eastelle Ding, Ronald Cheung, Aaron Cheung, Lydia Ji, Clara Sun
- HydroMac and its commercialization plan for McMaster’s antibacterial phage hydrogels. Team members: Daniela Carbonari, JingBo (Amy) Wang, Rimika Sachdeva
- CIMD Solutions and its commercialization plan for Windsor’s kinetic energy dissipation system. Team members: John Magliaro, Anthony Gudisey, Aryen Shakib
- NovelGen Solutions and its commercialization plan for Guelphs’ portable, temperature-controlled storage system. Team members: Zaraa Malvat, Andrew Contant, Ethel Closa, Vivian Tran
- PV Parkway and its commercialization plan for Waterloo’s advanced perovskite films and crystals for stable energy harvesting solar panels. Team members: Angad Singh Vohra, Arshmeet Singh, Saatvik Arora