Welcome!

News Feed Item

Collegiate Inventors Honored for Innovative Science and Technology Advances

Collegiate Inventors Competition® Awards more than $100,000 to Winners for their Inventions

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the innovative ideas of today's college and university students, the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of Invent Now, today announced that a novel delivery therapy for treating cancer and a way to facilitate suturing in abdominal surgery have won top prizes during the Competition's culminating ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Inanc Ortac of the University of California, San Diego received the $15,000 graduate first prize for his invention of Nano-Wiffle-Balls for Cancer Therapy, and Leslie Myint, Daniel Peng, Andy Tu, and Stephen Van Kooten received the $12,500 undergraduate first prize for their work with the FastStitch suturing device.  The Competition is sponsored by the Abbott Fund, the non-profit foundation of the global health care company Abbott, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Competition is also a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012, a worldwide celebration of creativity, innovation, and ingenuity, founded by the Kauffman Foundation and designed to inspire entrepreneurial thinking and encourage entrepreneurs to launch new ventures.

Graduate student Brett Walker of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received second prize for his work, and Tamer Badawy of Wayne State University received third prize.  Undergraduate student Eric Ronning of the University of Wisconsin is the second prize winner in his category, and Riley Csernica, Meredith Donaldson, Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie, and Kaitlin Grove of Clemson University received undergraduate third prize. Walker was recognized for his Reactive Silver Inks and received $12,500, and Badawy was recognized for his Autonomous Operation of Internal Combustion Engines on a Multitude of Fuels and received $10,000.  In the undergraduate category, Ronning received $10,000 for ReHand, his new approach to a prosthetic hand, and the Clemson team received $7,500 for their Hi-Impact Shoulder Stabilization Device.

"The inventions chosen for this year's Collegiate Invention Competition are a testament to our nation's bright, young innovators," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "These students embody a true spirit of entrepreneurship and continue to strengthen our belief in America's future."

Experts from industry, government, and academic research initially judged student entries on the originality of the idea and the potential value and usefulness to society.  On November 12th, seven undergraduate finalist teams met with a panel of judges, as did seven graduate finalist teams, presenting their innovative advances in areas such as medical devices, cancer therapies, avionics, and engineering.  Both panels included Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame: Don Bateman (aircraft safety systems), Thomas Fogarty (embolectomy catheter), Marcian Hoff (microprocessor), Alois Langer (implantable defibrillator), Don Keck (optical fiber), Steve Sasson (digital camera), Gary Starkweather (laser printer), and James West (electret microphone).  In addition, the panels include representatives from the USPTO, the Kauffman Foundation, and Abbott.

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition champions are the pioneers and role models of their generation in science, engineering and technology," said Donald Halbert, Divisional Vice President and Site Head for the Abbott Biotherapeutics Corporation. "By highlighting the accomplishments of these young inventors, we hope to foster a better understanding of the importance of science and innovation in our lives."

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition recognizes outstanding achievement," said Thom Ruhe, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. "Through recognition and encouragement, this new generation of young scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs will become tomorrow's leaders, generating economic impact as they develop their inventions. We are pleased to be a part of that recognition and to have the Competition itself as a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week."   

In addition to the Competition being a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Competition finalists also are being given the opportunity to meet with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Todd Park, the United States Chief Technology Officer.  The meeting further emphasizes the importance of the innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors undertaken by this group who have the potential to positively influence and advance the future of our society.

First prize graduate winner Ortac's approach offers a versatile therapeutic strategy based on hiding and protecting otherwise immunogenic non-human enzymes from the immune system and their delivery to the target.  He does this by fabricating what he calls "nano-wiffle-balls" out of silica and hiding enzymes within, then enclosing the wiffle balls with a second layer, trapping the enzymes, but leaving holes for other compounds to pass through.  A non-toxic substance can be delivered systemically through the body, and activated by the enzymes inside the wiffle balls at the treatment site.  In this way, therapy can potentially be applied to the majority of cancers including blood cancers, solid tumors, and metastic lesions with application-specific modifications.  The Johns Hopkins first prize undergraduate winners have invented a plier-like device that can drive and transfer a needle across its jaw, intended to provide improved fascia closure during abdominal surgery.  With this device, the team hopes that surgeons will be able to close the fibrous tissue layer more easily and safely, allowing for less post-operative complications such as herniation or bowel injury from needle stick.  Their company, Archon Medical, hopes to successfully market their product.

Graduate student Walker recognized that silver-based inks are the heart of the printed electronics industry, but that they are also difficult and expensive to manufacture.  His reactive silver inks are particle-free, can be patterned through fine nozzles, and are extremely simple to make, resulting in high yields and increased performance for lower cost.  Student Badawy's invention enables electronically controlled combustion engines to operate effectively on fuels of different physical and chemical properties.  The state of the art technology autonomously readjusts engine systems based on a combustion sensor to achieve goals in power, fuel economy, and reduced emission.  

In the Undergraduate category, second prize winner Ronning uses CT scanning and 3-D printing technology to replicate an amputee's lost hand.  In addition to using 3-D printing, the hand utilizes a unique differential pulley system to control the force of the hand's grip, as well as providing an opposable thumb. The third prize Clemson team's shoulder brace is a self-applicable, low-profile brace designed for athletes who have experienced an anterior shoulder dislocation.  The brace provides compressive support to the glenohumeral joint during activity to aid in prevention of secondary dislocations while still allowing athletes to perform at a high level.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition has awarded more than $1 million to winning students over the last 21 years for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors.  This year's finalists' inventions included a rewritable and non-volatile data-storage device operating in living cells, an augmented altimeter to alert pilots to the danger of wake turbulence, and a new type of omnidirectional electric motorcycle that maneuvers on spheres instead of traditional wheels, among others.

About the Collegiate Inventors Competition

Invent Now, originally founded as the National Inventors Hall of Fame, looks for new and creative ways to spread the inventive spirit, developing a range of creative products, programs, and innovative partnerships that emphasize the importance of invention in society. It created the Collegiate Inventors Competition to promote innovation by recognizing inventors and scientists early in their careers and rewarding students' often pioneering ideas as they address the problems of today's world. Past finalists and winners have gone on to start their own companies based on their inventions, win prestigious fellowships and grants and receive national attention for their work. Introduced in 1990, this is the 21st year of the program. For more information on the Competition and past winners, visit www.invent.org/collegiate.

SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...