Canada has an amazing record in innovations that have changed the face of the world, from the more obvious and well known ones like insulin and the light bulb to everyday items like frozen food and the zipper. These days though, it is much more difficult for an idea to become successful. As you know then, I’ve talked in the past about Nytric’s sponsorship of the Great Canadian Innovation Competition, an attempt by Nytric to promote Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship. Now I would just like to mention a few of the ideas that have come out of the competition.
There has certainly been no shortage of ideas, some of them wacky to say the least, but mostly they have been thoughtful and innovative.
They include a simple device that clamps around the wheels of a standard wheelchair in an emergency situation, allowing for rapid evacuation down otherwise inaccessible stairs when the elevators are unusable; or an equally simple and self powered water purification system that is portable and uses the power of the sun.
Somewhat more complex, one competition winner was an improved system for the homogenization of laboratory samples. The device cuts down preparation time significantly, reduces the chance of contamination and helps the environment by reducing the amounts of chemicals needed in the preparation phase.
The most recent winner is a device which, once miniaturised fully, will allow for fast and inexpensive field analysis of various medical conditions, including HIV and Malaria, thereby making this type of testing more readily available to those who need it most, but can least afford it.
Past winners of the competition can be found at www.nytric.com
Av Utukuri is a graduate from University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program, specializing in Electrical Engineering. For the past 12 years, he has researched, developed, and commercialized many products in diverse industries. Av is presently the lead judge and lead sponsor (through Nytric) in Canadian Business Magazine’s Great Canadian Inventor competition.