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Hisham Hafez is Senior Director, RNG Projects at Greenfield Global and an Adjunct Professor at Western.

Taking green graduate research to industry

on July 28, 2022

Alumnus applies innovations developed in lab to exclusively licensed venture

Western alumnus Hisham Hafez, PhD’10, MBA’19, is taking his innovative bio-fuel process from the lab to market as the Senior Director, Renewable Natural Gas Projects at Greenfield Global, a producer of high purity alcohols, solvents, biofuels, and bio-processing materials.

Hafez was a doctoral student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department when he was approached by a Greenfield executive during a poster presentation, interested in his research involving converting waste biomass into biological hydrogen and methane using a novel process he developed and patented throughout the course of his program.

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Western Medical Innovation Fellows take first place in MSK Innovation Competition

on July 14, 2022

The Western Innovation Fellows (MIF) have won a cash prize of $25,000 by landing the top position in the 2022 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.

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New program, WE-Empower, to encourage women entrepreneurs

on June 30, 2022

A new program, funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund, seeks to provide a year-round mentorship program for women and underrepresented principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students and training in technology transfer, research commercialization, intellectual property, and entrepreneurship.

The program was a result of an equity, diversity, and inclusion assessment that identified a gap in the number of disclosures of innovation with lead female principal investigators.

Piloted by WORLDiscoveries, the business development arm of a research partnership between Western, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson, the WE-Empower program, joins other programming like the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship and Graduate Student Innovation Scholars to help promote the commercialization of research innovations coming from our partner institutions.

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Western Medical Innovation Fellows finish program and start up new company

on June 15, 2022

The group of six fellows for the 2021/22 cohort have completed their 10.5-month journey through the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program and have participated in a boot camp, clinical immersions and developed a new invention. Fellows Oleksiy Zaika and Sydney Robinson will be taking their innovation to market by starting Vessl Prosthetics.

Their solution adjusts independently to change how amputees interact with their prostheses – enhancing comfort by avoiding common problems related to socket fit. Vessl’s invention is a simple, intuitive, and easy to use socket system that passively adjusts to changes in limb volume.

By allowing users and clinicians to accelerate the path to compatible prosthetic solutions, Vessl aims to save clinical costs and empower amputees to regain their health and well-being. Their technology intervenes at the most critical time, ensuring that amputees have the chance to recover and embrace their prosthetics as a way to live a fulfilled life.

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Mini-MIF program delivers big opportunity

on May 25, 2022

The Mini-Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) is a program organized by WORLDiscoveries to introduce the biodesign process approach to medical innovation. It is open to Western’s medical health professional and engineering students, as well as practicing clinicians based in London, who are interested in medical innovation.

A shorter spin-off of the full Western Medical Innovation Fellowship, the aim of the Mini-MIF program is to train entrepreneurial participants to use a design thinking-based approach to address clinical problems.

Entering its second annual cohort, the program recruited four clinicians from Children’s Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre, as well as 16 students from Western University working towards a professional medical health or engineering degree. Each clinician was paired up with two medical health professional students and two engineering students.

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Hear here, Desired Sensation Level software team wins Governor General Innovation Award

on May 3, 2022

Led by Dr. Susan Scollie, a team of researchers at National Centre for Audiology at Western University are receiving a Governor General’s Innovation Award for developing the world’s first pediatric hearing aid prescription software.

For nearly 20 years, Desired Sensation Level (DSL) software has helped clinicians around the world provide infants and children with the gift of hearing.

It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

The DSL software has helped clinicians provide infants and children with access to sound by assessing, treating, and properly fitting and tuning hearing aids to patient’s specific needs. This results in improved hearing outcomes – while boosting long-term educational and social potential for patients born with permanent childhood hearing loss.

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ecommHear here, Desired Sensation Level software team wins Governor General Innovation Award
Top row: Clara Sun, Lydia Ji and Eastelle Ding. Bottom row: Ronald Cheung and Aaron Cheung.

Science meets business at the Proteus Innovation Competition

on April 22, 2022

Students bring home $5K prize for health tech go-to-market pitch

Another exciting year for the Proteus Innovation Competition has come and gone with five teams taking home over $25,000 in prizes.

Founded at Western by WORLDiscoveries and grown to collaborate with McMaster, Windsor, Waterloo and Guelph universities, the competition brings students together to propose viable paths to market for novel technologies developed at the partner institutions.

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.

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From left to right: Sherif Abdou, Saumik Biswas, Michael Lavdas, Eveline Pasman

Medical Innovation Fellowship startup, Tenomix, wins Synapse Life Science Competition

on March 28, 2022

Nearly 200 people from the Southern Ontario’s growing life science ecosystem, gathered virtually for the final showcase event for Innovation Factory’s ninth annual Synapse Competition, Ontario’s premier life science pitch competition. 

Following an intense three-month training and commercialization program, 14 of Ontario’s innovative early-stage life science companies unlocked a $5,000 grant to support their commercialization journey to business success.  

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ecommMedical Innovation Fellowship startup, Tenomix, wins Synapse Life Science Competition

Aaron So awarded NSERC Idea to Innovation grant

on March 9, 2022

The Idea to Innovation (I2I) grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) exists to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from research organizations and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company. The I2I grants provide funding to university faculty members to support research and development projects with recognized technology transfer potential. This is achieved through defined phases by providing crucial assistance in the early stages of technology validation and market connection.

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Program Director – Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF)

on February 3, 2022

Innovation fellowship programs have been developed to immerse highly talented scientists, engineers Innovation fellowship programs have been developed to immerse highly talented scientists, engineers and clinicians in training and research environments that build innovation leaders and create novel medical technologies. In collaboration with the Executive Director, WORLDiscoveries, the Program Director will lead the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program, and develop strategies, policies and processes to secure funding opportunities for the program. The Program Director will develop and maintain relationships with industry, donors, government and other stakeholders, develop strategic plans, and manage the allocation and reporting of financial, human and physical resources to support the MIF program. In doing so, the Program Director will reinforce and advance the reputations for Western, WORLDiscoveries, BrainsCAN and the MIF locally, nationally and internationally, and enhance the MIF program’s brand recognition.

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