Top European Universities at Technion for Innovation Day
“There is nothing more satisfying in a president’s post than unleashing the creativity of young people. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your innovation and free spirit,” said Prof. Uri Sivan, President of the Technion, at the opening of the EuroTech Innovation day, hosted by the Technion on April 28, 2021.
Indeed, Innovation Day was all about creativity and entrepreneurship. Students from the six universities that constitute the EuroTech Alliance enjoyed a rich program jampacked with informative talks, a biomedical engineering hackathon, and a startup competition. Some 850 students from all six participating universities joined the lectures online; 3,000 people were present to vote on the winners of the startup competition; and 49 students were selected out of numerous applicants to participate in the BioMed hackathon.
The full-day online event program was clustered into 30 short lectures, spanning five different themes: Boosting Entrepreneurship, Students on the Forefront of Academia Innovation, From Product to Market, On the Critical Role of Supporting Environments, and Startups & Ventures – with representatives of all universities speaking on each subject. Keynote Speaker Gilad Japhet, Founder & CEO of MyHeritage, shared practical tips for beginning entrepreneurs from his own experience in establishing and expanding Genetic Ancestry Research company MyHeritage.
Startup competition features wearable device, robotic catheter
The day culminated with a startup competition, presenting budding startups (founded in 2020) born in each of the six institutions. The audience could cast a vote to pick their favorite project. The winner of this popular vote was Technion startup Harmony, a FemTech initiative developing a wearable, continuous, and non-invasive tracker to monitor women’s hormonal levels, aiming to ease the process of IVF, but also relevant for avoiding pregnancy, or alternatively for increasing the chances of getting pregnant. Second place was taken by another Technion startup – Robotip Medical, developing a flexible steerable robotic catheter for vascular catherization. Third place went to the Technical University of Denmark startup USOR Design, which is developing a harvest fire prevention system.
Parallel to the Innovation Day, Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering hosted the “BME-HACK,” an online hackathon. Approximately 50 students from participating universities and from different scientific fields got a taste of establishing a biomedical startup: they chose medical challenges to focus on, examined what already exists to tackle those challenges, consulted physicians, proposed novel solutions, and worked with mentors from the scientific and the commercial fields to design a product and plan a business model.
In the end of a long day of ideation and development, after each team presented its solution in a Facebook Live event, four winning teams were chosen to receive a total prize of 2,800 Euros, sponsored by NGT3-VC, Philips and Biosense Webster (J&J). The winning team proposed a solution for the topic of at-home dental caries detection, two teams shared the second place, proposing solutions for the prevention of pressure ulcers and for drug repurposing, and the audience favorite was a proposed treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. The hackathon was organized and supervised by Dr. Yael Rozen, applied research consultant, and Lilach Lorber, Director of External Affairs at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering.
Celebrating the alliance’s 10th anniversary
The EuroTech Innovation Day hosted by the Technion marks an important part of EuroTech’s 10th anniversary events. The EuroTech Universities Alliance is a partnership of leading European universities of science and technology, which includes the Technical University of Denmark, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the École Polytechnique, the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Technical University of Munich, and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. It aims to foster both research and entrepreneurship, combining the complementary strengths of its partner universities to jointly achieve multilayered, large-scale initiatives, as well as raising awareness of the opportunities offered by science and technology.
The Innovation Day was organized and managed on behalf of the Technion by Gady Paran, Director of Marketing at t-hub, the Technion’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, and produced by Meital Gotfrid, Head of the Conferences Department at the Technion’s Unit for Continuing Studies.