BRITISH COLUMBIA, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Connect '09, the BC Innovation Council's (BCIC) premier event for technology start-ups and innovators took place Monday, October 19 in Vancouver. Over 650 members of BC's robust tech industry - from early stage start-ups to venture capitalists to CEOs of globally recognized technology companies - were in attendance.
"The BC Innovation Council is committed to supporting the advancement of ideas and technologies of BC's brightest to their ultimate goal of investment-ready companies," said Dean Rockwell, CEO of BCIC. "We are grateful to members of BC's science and tech community for their involvement in Connect '09 and for their role in helping to shape and strengthen our province's tech sector."
Connect '09 featured four expert panel sessions, each crafted to benefit start-ups at varying points along their path to commercialization. Each panel featured local experts who volunteered their time and expertise to benefit Connect '09's knowledge-hungry audience. A unique networking component featuring another 33 prominent technology leaders from some of BC's most successful tech companies and business accelerators, including Yaletown Venture Partners, Nexterra Inc., and Bootup Labs. For two hours, these leaders mixed and mingled with Connect '09 attendees, offering words of wisdom in the forms of feedback and advice.
"I'd like to congratulate the recipients of the 2009 BC Innovation Council Awards for their exceptional achievements in the commercialization of technology," said Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. "British Columbia's emerging technology companies are producing extraordinary results, and with the support of the BC Innovation Council they will continue to strengthen BC's position in the global knowledge economy."
Capping off the evening's festivities was the presentation of the annual BC Innovation Council Awards.
The 2009 BCIC Award winners are:
BCIC Ripples of Hope Award in Biotechnology & Entrepreneurship
Winner: Mahmoud Pouladi, Centre for Molecular Medicine and
Therapeutics, The University of British Columbia
The recipient of this award is a driven scientist with a keen
mind. He is a bright PhD student at CMMT with a strong record
of productivity; as a young scientist he has already published
12 peer-reviewed papers. His ability to recognize the
commercial potential in scientific research led to the
submission of a patent application for an HD biomarker test.
The goal of the project from which this commercial application
arose was to examine the underpinnings of body weight changes
in HD. His recognition of the potential commercial application
is a testament to his acute sense for entrepreneurship.
He has been a strong promoter of science within the community.
He appeared on the Jenn and Joe show on CFUN 1410 AM to promote
the "Hike 4 Huntington's" and leads tours through his research
lab. Previously as Editor-in-Chief of UBC's Graduate magazine,
he carried his message to over 5,000 monthly readers.
About the BCIC Ripples of Hope Award: This award is a partnership with Dr. Michael Hayden, Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutic. The award provides an internship opportunity to a trainee, supporting them in developing their career in entrepreneurship and commercialization in a biotechnology company in British Columbia.
Emerging Technology Award
Winner: Lungpacer Medical Inc.
Dr. Andy Hoffer
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Professor of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, SFU
Lungpacer Medical Inc. was recognized for its Transvasular
Diaphragm Pacing System. Its system has been developed to
assist with the mechanical ventilation of critically ill
patients in hospital intensive care units. Lungpacer electrodes
are intravenously inserted into the body of a patient to
rhythmically pace the diaphragm. This prevents or reverses
rapid atrophy that can occur with muscle disuse in these
patients. The Lungpacer technology results in faster recovery
of a patient's ability to breathe naturally, allowing them to
leave intensive care sooner, thereby lowering hospitalization
About the Emerging Technology Award: This award recognizes a new venture at the pre-investment stage that has developed an innovative technology in BC. The Emerging Technology Award is valued at $25,000 which is to be used towards commercialization services for the technology.
Entrepreneurship Fellow Award
Two Entrepreneurship Fellows were recognized in this inaugural year of
Winner: Dr. Brad Buckham
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of Victoria
Dr. Buckham's entrepreneurship activities address the
engineering challenges that impact on humans' experiences with
the ocean. His innovations involve cabled ocean structures,
computer simulations, remotely operated vehicles, wave energy
and ocean infrastructure. He collaborates with the Canadian
Scientific Submersible Facility and Ocean Network Canada's
Neptune project; and he leads the West Coast Wave Collaboration
Together with student and graduate researchers, Dr. Buckham
founded a company that uses simulation to reduce human,
economic and environmental risk for small and start-up ocean
technology companies. He is also co-inventor of SyncWave Power
Resonator which harnesses wave energy for sustainable power
Dr. Buckham is noted for his ability to connect people and
organizations to move ideas out of the laboratory and into
application in the complex and demanding ocean environment. His
entrepreneurship has helped to place BC at the forefront of
global marine knowledge and technology development.
Winner: Dr. Gerri Sinclair
Executive Director of the Masters of Digital Media Program
Centre for Digital Media
Dr. Sinclair's career spans the fields of Internet and new
media technology, entrepreneurship, academic research and
government policy. She has made incubation and
commercialization of student innovations a focus of the Masters
of Digital Media Program. The program also provides
commercialization services to local and international digital
Dr. Sinclair brings extensive experience to her position at the
Centre for Digital Media. She was the first president of the
Premier's Technology Council, has held esteemed positions at
Microsoft Network Canada and IBM. She is also a founding
director of the ExCITE Lab at Simon Fraser University and
Founder and CEO of NCompass Labs.
Dr. Sinclair is noted for her ability to generate the ideas
that will become tomorrow's innovations and her scope is
global, in that sense, she is an international entrepreneur of
ideas. Dr. Sinclair serves as a model for the entire technology
community in British Columbia.
About the Entrepreneurship Fellow Award - This award recognizes a permanent faculty member at a BC postsecondary institution who is a leader in technology innovation and commercialization. This honorary award offers $20,000 to the named fellow to be used for entrepreneurship education or commercialization initiatives at their institution.
Student Business Plan Awards
Winner: Non-Rejectable Engineered Skin Substitute, Department of
Technology Innovator: Dr. Farshad Forouzandeh, UBC
Business Plan Collaborators: Hoby Chou and Octavia Yung, SFU
Non-Rejectable Engineered Skin Substitute is a naturally-
engineered skin substitute for use in treating burns, ulcers,
and other non-healing wounds. Cultured from human skin cells
sourced from a live donor, the substitute is available off the
shelf. It significantly reduces the waiting period for a
permanent skin graft, and it eliminates the need for
Technology Innovators: Mahsa Pourazad, Dept. of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, UBC
Hagit Schechter, Dept. of Computer Science, UBC
Panovex's first product, Ziaxis, is an embedded system on
chipsets for stereoscopic mobile phones. It reduces the gaps
between the capabilities of mobile games and those of console
and PC gaming. Ziaxis introduces realistic gaming environments
using animations that follow the laws of physics, such as
object collisions, lava eruption, fire and smoke. The gaming
data is interactively produced and displayed on stereoscopic
display, combining realism and fantasy to create new and
Winner: High Performance XML Processing Technology
Technology Innovator: Ken Herdy, Dept. of Computing Science,
Business Plan Collaborator: Patrick Lam, SFU
As the volume of XML network traffic continues to grow, the
demand for the high performance XML processing solutions is
increasing. This innovation exchanges data on the Internet and
corporate information networks in a platform neutral manner. It
obtains significant performance gains through the Single
Instruction Multiple Data capabilities of multicore commodity
About the Student Business Plan Awards: The BCIC Student Business Plan Awards recognize the top business plans produced by BCIC graduate scholarship recipients for the commercialization of technology innovations. The recipients include BCIC Innovation Scholars who are leading science and technology graduate students who have developed innovations that have the potential for commercialization.
Connect '09 also showcased emerging innovations from academic institutions in BC and a feature address by Leonard Brody, an internationally recognized technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author.
BCIC would like to thank the sponsors of Connect '09 for their generous support.
About the BC Innovation Council:
The British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) is the lead organization charged with driving the commercialization of new technologies in British Columbia. BCIC is focused on accelerating the growth of our science and technology communities and competitively positioning British Columbia in the global science and technology economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities and a high standard of living for British Columbians. BCIC is a Crown agency of the Province of British Columbia. For more information about BCIC, visit www.bcic.ca.
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SOURCE BC Innovation Council
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