For the culmination of their work through the 10.5-month program, the 2020-21 cohort of Western Medical Innovation Fellows (MIF) have launched a startup for one of their program projects. Tenomix will help commercialize a bench-top robotic scanning device that can automate the detection of lymph nodes in resected colorectal cancer tissues. The purpose of the device is to help pathology staff shorten sample preparation time, accelerate sample throughput, achieve productivity gains, and contribute to the current standard of care with the use of fewer laboratory resources than existing manual methods.
The nascent company just received six-figure funding from FACIT, a commercialization venture firm that builds companies with entrepreneurs to accelerate oncology innovation, with a portfolio that has attracted more than $1 billion in investment to Ontario. FACIT receives support through its strategic partner, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), which is funded by the Government of Ontario. FACIT also runs an annual pitch competition for Ontario-based oncology innovations, and selected Tenomix as a finalist in the 2021 event.
Western has recruited some of the top scientists, engineers and medical residents from across the country to be part of the seventh cohort of its Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program.
Moving into its seventh year, the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program has recruited a group of talented clinicians, scientists and engineers to tackle some of the medical field’s most pressing challenges.
The program takes place over 10.5 months where fellows will learn about topics relevant to business and technology commercialization, prior to being immersed in clinics, where they identify market needs. They then develop and prototype solutions by working with researchers, clinicians and technology transfer offices to generate new intellectual property. Graduates of the program have become leaders in industry, research and health care and have started their own companies.
This virtual event, hosted by the Innovation Ambassadors, was designed to promote engagement with our community by showcasing Western’s research innovation and its impact on our society in a world transformed by COVID-19.
The showcase included a keynote presentation by neuroscientist and best-selling author Adrian Owen. Following the keynote there was three panel discussions with researchers, industry professionals and entrepreneurs on how they adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and how things have changes in research, the economy and society as a whole. The audience was able to take part in a Q&A following each presentation and discussion.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection turns into an overwhelming inflammatory response. The inflammatory response can cause damage to organs such as the heart, liver, lungs, and even the brain. Most critically ill COVID-19 patients develop sepsis.
The Western Innovation Fellows (MIF) have won a cash prize of $5,000 by landing the runner-up position in the 2021 MSK Innovation Competition.
First launched in the spring of 2019, the MSK competition aims to cultivate innovative ideas that can be pitched to investors and promote an entrepreneurial spirit. The stage of development is not restricted for entrants and anyone on the commercialization path is welcome to participate. The competition is open to all London-based entrepreneurial musculoskeletal experts. The initiative is hosted by the Bone and Joint Institute and the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at Western.
The Western Medical Innovation Fellows continue their winning streak having won the Best of Show prize at the 2021 Walleye Tank pitch competition. Walleye Tank is Minnesota’s life science pitch competition providing an educational and promotional opportunity for emerging medical and life science companies.
The fellows participated in the Junior Anglers division, which is for entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development. Participants in this division have typically not incorporated their company yet or completed their minimum viable product (MVP). They competed against five other teams.
Cambridge Brain Sciences now a leading provider of web-based cognitive function assessments
Adrian Owen never used to think about commercializing his electronic cognitive assessments, which he would share widely with fellow researchers upon request.
Before the Internet, he would ship the tests on floppy disks to researchers around the globe who wanted accurate, quantified and scientifically validated measures of cognition.
Now, the software based assessments that originated from Owen’s graduate school research projects in Britain, and developed through his work as a professor, have grown into a Canadian tech company that employs dozens of software developers, business development representatives and account managers.
Now more than ever countries are working hard to balance economic growth with sustainability and meeting environmental standards needed to combat the devastating effects of climate change. Public institutions like universities and research organizations have an important role to play through their portfolios of licensable green technologies.
By commercializing technological innovation, countries can help generate sustainable economic growth while soundly addressing climate change. Demand for green technologies has increased remarkably in recent decades.
Another exciting year for the Proteus Innovation Competition has come and gone as we added new partner institutions and awarded over $25,000 in prizes to five teams.
Operating for the first time in a virtual environment, the competition saw its best year yet – receiving quality submissions from 57 student teams comprised of 191 individuals, some from all over Ontario, Alberta and even an international team from China. Teams overcame the challenges brought on by the pandemic and competed by creating abstracts and business plans, then making pitches to a panel of judges.
Fifty-seven teams comprising more than 190 individuals vied for the five top prizes at this year’s Proteus Innovation Competition – more than any other year in the contest’s six-year history.
Teams overcame the challenges brought on by the pandemic and competed virtually, creating abstracts and business plans, then making pitches to a panel of judges.
Founded at Western by WORLDiscoveries and grown to collaborate with McMaster, Windsor, Waterloo, Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier universities, the competition brings students together to propose viable paths to market for novel technologies developed at the partner institutions.