Innovation Seed Grant Competition

Big Ideas through Small Technology 

The Innovation Seed Grant Competition is designed to encourage the Mid-Atlantic region’s brightest minds to design or prototype innovative technology through the usage nanotechnology related tools and equipment. Prizes include $5,000 – $10,000 worth of laboratory/equipment time to be used at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Prize amounts will be based the number of hours proposed for the project and the normal Fee structure used to reserve equipment at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology.

Competition is generally announced in February, with applications due in Mid-March.

TruSmoke – Dr. Ping Wang

 

The goal of TruSmoke is to develop a low cost, accurate and instrument-free device that can be used by both medical professionals and general consumers to rapidly and objectively determine a person’s smoking status. TruSmoke will be utilizing multiple facilities at the Singh Center, but will be primarily utilizing the Nanofabrication and Soft Lithography Facilities.

 

Folia Water – Dr. Theresa Dankovich and Dr. Jonathan Levine

 

Folia Water has created the world’s first consumer goods water filter: Folia Filters™.  Their vision is to reach the 1.8 billion people who consume microbiologically contaminated drinking water as well as the 2 billion people who pay the poverty penalty: overpaying in time, energy, or money to obtain safe drinking water. Folia Water intends to primarily use the Nanoscale’s characterization equipment to determine aggregation/nanoparticle morphology and effective pore size of their water filter papers.

 

Therapeutic Articulations – Dr. Dawn Gulick and Mr. Zack Pelli

 

Joint mobilizations angles are used to address pain and limited mobility related to musculoskeletal injury. Therapeutic Articulations is developing a device to more accurately quantify joint mobilizations, and thereby better assist therapists in diagnosing and treating their patients. Therapeutic Articulations intends to use the center’s Nanoscale Characterization Equipment to measure the accuracy of their device.

 

VisiPlate – Mr. Brandon Kao, Ms. Rui Jing Jiang, and Mr. Adarsh Battu

 

VisiPlate is a nano-scale drainage implant to defend against blindness from open-angle glaucoma (OAG) by reducing intraocular pressure. It consists of a tube connected to a curved, ultrathin alumina nanoplate that is thinner, stronger, and more reliable than existing lines of defense. VisiPlate intends to utilize multiple facilities at the Singh Center, but will be primarily utilizing the Nanofabrication and Soft Lithography Facilities.

 

Group K Diagnostics – Ms. Brianna Wronko, Mr. Eric Tepper, Mr. Ghassan Kara, and Dr. Amelia Keaton

 

Group K has developed a MultiDiagnostic microfluidic device and intends to utilizing the Quattrone  Nanofabrication Facility to further develop and test their design.

 

NanoSink Technologies – Mr. Alexander David, Mr. Pavel Gurevitch, and Mr. John Bridstrup

 

NanoSink Technologies has developed a design utilizing the ultrathin plates technology from Dr. Bargatin lab’s in thermal management as fins for next generation heat sinks NanoSink intends to utilize the Nanofabrication Facility for further development of their device, along with Characterization Facilities for testing purposes.

 

Wireless EEG Device – Dr. Arjun Ramakrishnan, Dr. Michael Platt, Mr. Miguel Hernandez, Mr. Naz Belkaya, Ms. Dilara Berkay

 

This group is working to develop a low cost, mobile, wearable EEG device with high quality nanowire sensors. They intend to primarily utilize the Nanofabrication Facility for their work.

 

Amsterdam Fluidics – Ms. Niyathi Chakrapani, Mr. Anirudh Kaushik, and Mr. Enrique Lin Shiao

 

Amsterdam Fluidics aims to develop an innovative parallel microfluidics chip that allows for efficient synthesis of liposomal drugs. Amsterdam Fluidics will be primarily using the Nanofabrication Facility to further develop their design.

 

BonBouton – Dr. Linh Le, Dr. Malcolm Nason, Mr. Campbell Weaver

 

Bonbouton plans to use the of the Singh Center for Nanotechnology’s equipment to perform further research and characterization of a graphene-based conformal sensor to use in medical monitoring device.

 

Sanguis – Mr. Daniel Zhang, Mr. Divyansh Agarwal, Mr. Prateek Agarwal

 

Sanguis is an inexpensive, hand-held blood cell count measuring device that patients can use at home to monitor their health, identify dangerous situations, and prevent complications. Sanguis will be using the Nanofabrication Facility to develop and test their designs.

 

Bone-on-a-Chip – Mr. Rohit Shinde, Dr. Chamith Rajapakse , Mr. Abu-Bakr Ahmed, Mr. Arbab Khalid

 

The Bone-On-A-Chip is a small, patient-specific device containing a MRI-generated porous bone structure that emulates bone microarchitecture and function in vitro. This device will essentially serve as a non-invasive alternative to traditional approaches of studying the efficacy of drug treatment on bones. The Bone-On-A-Chip team intends to use the Nanoscale Characterization Facilities to test and evaluate their device.

 

Daedalus Diagnostics – Mr. Omar Khan, Ms. Cassidy Blundell and Dr. Josephine Giles

 

Daedalus Diagnostics is creating a microfluidic diagnostic platform for early cancer detection. Daedalus Diagnostics will be using the Nanofabrication Facility to develop and test their designs.

 

The “Latest Advances in Microscopy and Analytical Techniques” Workshop

 

Doug Yates, Director of The Nanoscale Characterization Facility, co-hosted, with JEOL, a workshop titled “Latest Advances in Microscopy and Analytical Techniques” in February of this year.  The workshop included talks by JEOL applications specialists in SEM and TEM, as well as specialists from Gatan and Oxford Instruments.  There were approximately 55 attendees.

 

Coinciding with this workshop, JEOL installed a demonstration JEOL 7200F SEM, a high-resolution field-emission gun microscope on site.  Singh’s Nanoscale Characterization Facility provided the space and utilities to demonstrate this tool. The instrument included an Oxford EDS detector and a TMC active electromagnetic interference cancellation system.

 

A number of demonstrations were conducted for both Penn scientists and potential customers from surrounding universities and companies.  The instrument was available to the community for four weeks.

This competition is open to students, individuals and small companies (less than 50 people).

  1. Projects may include both new technology and improvements to existing technology
  2. Prizes can ONLY be used at the Singh Center for lab/equipment time
  3. Prizes can be used for both direct facility usage by awardee, with initial equipment training and consultation provided by Singh Center Staff
  4. Prizes must be used during the Calendar year

A Judging Panel with expertise in engineering, science, computing, and business, will use the following criteria in their evaluations:

  • How novel is the idea? How does the solution compare to other concepts addressing the same problem?
  • Technical Feasibility. How technical viable is the idea? Do the number of work hours proposed make sense given the proposed solution?
  • What is the current demand for this type of innovation?
  • Market Size. How big of a market is there for this innovation?
  • Societal Impact. How would this innovation impact society? Could this lead to other technical breakthroughs?
  • Probability of Success. Does the submitting Individual or Team have the necessary skills and drive to bring this innovation to market?
  • Impact of Grant Funding. How much of an impact will the award provide to the submitting individual or group in bringing the innovation to fruition?

The Proposal must be submitted as a PDF or MS Word File of no more than 3 pages.

The three-page proposal should include the following:

  1. Description of the idea and an explanation as to why it is new.
  2. Motivation and societal impact of idea.
  3. Technical feasibility of the idea.
  4. Usage of Singh Equipment and an estimation of the number of hours required to complete the project
  5. Description of Background Intellectual Property required, if applicable
  6. Business Case, including the market potential and commercial viability of the project. For projects focused on societal change, please provide a description of the potential impact on society.

All participants are responsible for keeping their intellectual property and all other confidential information confidential. Please refrain from submitting any confidential information.

For University of Pennsylvania Applicants Only

Applicants are responsible to determine if any part of their project ideas constitutes Penn IP and if so, disclose it to Penn Center for Innovation (PCI).

 

Should any technology underlying a project idea participating in the Site be identified as Penn-owned intellectual property (IP), it will be treated in accordance with Penn’s policies governing IP including the Penn Patent Policy. With respect to any project idea that does not contain Penn-owned IP according to the Penn Patent Policy, the Applicants will be free to pursue the development of that project idea on their own time and at their own expense with no further obligation to the Penn Site. However, all commercialization activities including the formation of a company whether through Penn services or outside, will be subject to compliance with the Penn Patent Policy and Conflict of Interest Policies. Further, participation in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition does not confer any ownership or any rights to technology or concept, which are identified as Penn-owned IP. Selection to participate in this program does not grant to the Applicant a license to the technology.

THIS Innovation Seed Grant Competition AND ANY ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES THAT ARE OR MAY BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARE PROVIDED “AS IS.” PENN MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS, OR REPRESENTATIONS (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ORAL OR WRITTEN), WITH RESPECT TO THE Innovation Seed Grant Competition, DELIVERABLES, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INCLUDING, AS TO CONDITION OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILTIY, OR FITNESS OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PUPOSE. PENN WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTICIPANT/TEAM MEMBER, INCLUDING MENTORS, EXTERNAL REVIEWERS, LECTURERS, INSTRUCTORS OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, LOSS OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION, OR OTHER ECONOMIC DAMAGE), WHETHER ARISING IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PENN WAS ADVISED, HAD OTHER REASON TO KNOW, SHOULD HAVE ANTICIPATED, OR IN FACT KNEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE INDEPENDENT OF, SEVERABLE FROM, AND TO BE ENFORCED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER ENFORCEABLE OR UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION HEREOF.

By participating in this Innovation Seed Grant Competition each Applicant agrees as follows: I recognize, acknowledge and understand that participating in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition carries with it certain inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of loss of patent, trade secret or other IP protection for a project idea. Notwithstanding the risks, which I recognize and accept, and in consideration of being permitted to participate in any way in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition, I , for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby waive, release and discharge the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its trustees, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims for personal injury, accidents or illness (including death), and property damage, arising in any manner out of my participation in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition, including transportation to and from any activities associated with the Innovation Seed Grant Competition. I further acknowledge that the risks stated herein are not intended to be all inclusive and that my participation is voluntary and that I knowingly and voluntarily assume all risks known or unknown. I am eighteen (18) years of age or older.

The Singh Center for Nanotechnology gratefully acknowledges the National Science Foundation’s NNCI program through NSF Grant Award No.15-519 for its contributions towards this effort.