MaRS Innovation sponsoring Angels’ Den competition

Prima IP co-sponsoring the Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital event

Ryerson logoWhen your business demands staying current with the newest inventions springing up across 15 academic members, keeping pace with what’s happening is half the challenge.

That’s part of the reason why MaRS Innovation and Prima IP are sponsoring winners of an St. Michael's logoAngels’ Den competition involving the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST).

iBEST is a partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital that brings together Ryerson’s engineering and science strengths with St. Michael’s biomedical research and clinical expertise. The contest, which took place on June 26, 2015, riffs on the popular Dragon’s Den format.

Prima IP logo“As a guest judge for the iBEST trainee competition this year, I reviewed a lot of thought-provoking ideas and MaRS Innovation congratulates all of the 2015 award winners,” says Dr. Fazila Seker, director of physical sciences. “Many of our portfolio technologies have their origins in this type of collaboration between researchers and medical staff, which is why we’re so excited to sponsor this competition. Fostering these types of relationships is vital to Toronto’s commercialization ecosystem.”

For the 2015 award period, MaRS Innovation will provide the competition’s winners with upfront commercialization consultation services to help shorten the time it may take for their ideas to reach the market. These services will be offered in collaboration with the technology transfer offices within St. Michael’s Hospital and the Vice-President of Research and Innovation office at Ryerson University as appropriate. In partnership with Prima IP, MaRS Innovation will also cover the initial patent application preparation and filing for the top two awardees of the iBEST event. Future award winners will receive similar support.

“Canada’s future economy depends on programs that encourage and facilitate innovation allowing Canada to remain competitive in the global marketplace and attract foreign investment,” said Marcelo König Sarkis, principal, founder and senior patent agent at Prima IP. “We are passionate in our support for Canadian inventions from the initial research phase to start-up and beyond.”

The iBEST Angels’ Den trainee competition encourages multidisciplinary teams from Ryerson and St. Michael’s to submit health-related research proposals.

This year’s winners were:

  1. Michael Sugiyama (SMH) and Shadab Momin (Ryerson), whose project involved a lung ultrasound to deliver precision medicine in acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  2. Mark McVey (SMH), Muhannad Fadhel (Ryerson) and Eno Hysi (Ryerson) for photoacoustic tracking of sickle cell crises.
  3. Victoria McCutcheon (SMH) and Pooya Sobhe Bidari (Ryerson) to develop a high-throughput model of traumatic brain injury in zebrafish for the purpose of therapeutic compound evaluation.

iBEST’s trainee competition was inspired by St. Michael’s Foundation’s Angels’ Den competition, right down to its name. To enter, each team had to be comprised of at least one scientist and one clinician. St. Michael’s Foundation established a $1-million Translational Innovation Fund to support this competition over two years. Forty proposals were submitted and, after a scientific review, 10 teams were selected to share in the prize, with an additional grand prize of $40,000 and two runner-up prizes of $30,000.

The grand prizewinner and runners-up were:

  1. Jennifer Beck, scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and Doug Campbell, director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for LifeVest: Helping babies breathe.
  2. Gerard Curley, clinician scientist, Department of Anesthesiology and Katalin Szaszi, scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science for Surviving Sepsis: Saving Lives with Stem Cells.
  3. Anish Kirpalani, director, MRI Research Centre and Darren Yuen, clinician scientist, Division of Nephrology for Using MRI to predict kidney failure.

MaRS Innovation and Prima IP have also offered to provide commercialization consultation for the St. Michael’s Foundation Angels’ Den winners. The projects were chosen for their potential to one day have an impact on patient care and support from MaRS Innovation could help to help bring such successful projects to market faster.

This post was written with files courtesy of St. Michael’s Hospital communications and Ryerson University communications.