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Friday, March 22: Last day to submit a challenge or apply as an innovator.

Countdown to deadline

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ABOUT

Neurological and mental health disorders can be debilitating conditions that severely limit one’s quality of life and that of their family. Understanding, diagnosing, and treating these conditions are extremely complex challenges that require attention and collaboration across traditional disciplinary divides. Neuro Nexus is a Calgary-based, Spring 2019 multidisciplinary design competition that aims to: Bridge gaps between disciplines, accelerate research, and improve the translation of new ideas to impact.

How it works:

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Projects are invited from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. 120-150 participants, from a multitude of backgrounds, will then come together in teams of 5-7 individuals to work on the projects proposed over a period of 6 weeks. The program will culminate in a 72-hour hackathon weekend where access to prototyping resources are provided, and at Demo Night teams will showcase their projects to the community at large.

Here are just a few example challenges that have been proposed so far:

Is getting lost a disability? Can you create an app that could help to identify individuals who are affected by Development Topographical Disorientation?
Use a pre-existing kit to help provide Augmented Reality viewing of a patient’s head, obtained with a Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance scan
Develop a wearable Neuromuescular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) device which integrates EMG signals from the users own muscles to activate the stimulation and assist in rehabilitation.
Design a cost-effective and versatile behavioral conditioning apparatus for use in any environment, incorporating control for optogenetic stimuation, and video tracking software
Can you help design an LED-array based photoconversion chamber capable of patterned excitation of light-based protein tools?
Develop a small wearable sensor to detect and quantify the number of tics in children and adults with Tourette syndrome



EVENTS

Pitch Day

Thursday, March 28 1:00 - 8:00 pm

Foothills Campus, University of Calgary

Come learn about challenges from neuroscientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the community. They're bringing their toughest challenges that may relate to the study of the brain, the treatment of neurological disorders and mental health conditions, and everything in between.



PARTICIPATE AS AN INNOVATOR

We need technically proficient individuals to address these real-world challenges in brain science and mental health:

During the program, you will:

  • • work with a multidisciplinary team and one of our ‘challenge champions’,

  • • address a specific problem that interests you,

  • • apply your knowledge and learn new skills,

  • • collaborate with individuals outside your field,

  • • work towards potential commercial or academic impact.

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Name
e.g. Engineering - Software (Biomedical Specialization)
Ongoing or most recently completed.
e.g. Neuroscience
IF you hold another (prior) degree/diploma than your most recent studies identified above.
List related projects, awards, and experiences you'd like to share!

For more information about applying as an innovator, please check out our one pager.

Can’t make it to Pitch Day? You can still be involved! Check our FAQ!



SUBMIT A CHALLENGE

Challenges are welcome from scientists and clinicians that focus on brain science and/or neurological disorders, and mental health professionals. Challenge champions will work with a multidisciplinary technical team to address the specific problem in brain science and mental health that your propose. You’ll guide a team of skilled individuals towards the development of a functional prototype with a potential publication or commercial opportunity. Projects should fall under one of four classifications:

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Research bottleneck: Address challenges to collecting and analyzing data in your research through the development of novel hardware or software tools.

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Model Building: Make sense of your data with mathematical approaches.

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Development from Discovery: Leverage your knowledge of brain science to develop a novel diagnostic tool or therapeutic with a team of engineers and business professionals.

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Point of Care: Improve patient experience by addressing challenges faced in your practice, or barriers to scaling in industry.

Complete this short form to submit your challenge.

Submitted challenges enter a pool to be selected to be featured on Pitch Day (afternoon of March 28). If your challenge is shortlisted for featuring, you will be invited to Pitch Day to deliver a 5-minute presentation sometime in the window of 1:00-4:00 pm, and recruit a team that evening (4:00 - 7:00 pm). Attendance of Pitch Day is required for participation in the program.

After the team has formed, you can be as involved as you'd like to be from that point forward. Most challenge champions make themselves available for 2-3 meetings over the 6 week program, and attend Demo Day.

For more information about submitting a challenge, please check out our one pager.



BECOME A MENTOR

Technical and business mentors are critical to the success of projects by providing advice and insight to the teams. Mentors will be invited to Pitch Day, where you'll get a chance to learn about challenges and select the teams you would like to support during the program.

Needed areas of expertise include: Computer science/software development, data science/machine learning, engineering (electrical, chemical, mechanical) and design, medical devices, business in healthcare, Intellectual property, neuroscience, medicine, entrepreneurship. You can put in as much or as little time as you can manage. We anticipate most teams will ask for only a few hours of your time to ask questions and get your feedback in person or over the phone.

When you sign up below, we’ll add you to our private mentor list and invite you to Pitch Day, March 28.

Name *
Name



SPONSORS

Presenting Sponsors

 
Branch Out accelerates tech solutions and non-pharmaceutical approaches to neurological disorders. Through our grant program, we fund top neuroscientists exploring alternative brain research. Our vision? A world free from neurological disorders. We fund research that fits into the rigorous NeuroCAM (Neuroscience + Complementary & Alternative Modalities) criteria. All research proposals are reviewed by our Scientific Review Panel to ensure it meets the highest quality of research methods and scientific measures. Since 2010, we’ve raised nearly $2 Million for alternative brain research, funded over sixty-five (65) research projects and have expanded our University Grant Program to partner with five educational institutes across Western Canada.

Branch Out accelerates tech solutions and non-pharmaceutical approaches to neurological disorders. Through our grant program, we fund top neuroscientists exploring alternative brain research. Our vision? A world free from neurological disorders. We fund research that fits into the rigorous NeuroCAM (Neuroscience + Complementary & Alternative Modalities) criteria. All research proposals are reviewed by our Scientific Review Panel to ensure it meets the highest quality of research methods and scientific measures. Since 2010, we’ve raised nearly $2 Million for alternative brain research, funded over sixty-five (65) research projects and have expanded our University Grant Program to partner with five educational institutes across Western Canada.

 
The MS Society provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. We have a membership of 17,000 and are the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services. Since our founding in 1948, the core support of the MS Society has been from tens of thousands of dedicated individuals, companies and foundations in communities across Canada. The Society receives almost no funding from government. Some 1,500 volunteers serve on MS Society national, division and chapter boards and committees. An estimated 13,500 women and men are volunteers for service programs, fundraising events, public awareness campaigns and social action activities.

The MS Society provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. We have a membership of 17,000 and are the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services. Since our founding in 1948, the core support of the MS Society has been from tens of thousands of dedicated individuals, companies and foundations in communities across Canada. The Society receives almost no funding from government. Some 1,500 volunteers serve on MS Society national, division and chapter boards and committees. An estimated 13,500 women and men are volunteers for service programs, fundraising events, public awareness campaigns and social action activities.

Founded in 1965, the Schulich School of Engineering is home to over 170 faculty members, 1100 graduate students, and 3500 undergraduate students. With 5 departments (Chemical and Petroleum, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Geomatics, and Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering), and four research and education centers (that focus on project management, bioengineering, energy and the environment, and pipeline engineering), Schulich is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of their students, the engineering profession, and the world. Their Strategic Vision, “Energizing Engineering Leadership” has three priorities: to foster diversity, to support research that makes a difference, and to support student success

Founded in 1965, the Schulich School of Engineering is home to over 170 faculty members, 1100 graduate students, and 3500 undergraduate students. With 5 departments (Chemical and Petroleum, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Geomatics, and Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering), and four research and education centers (that focus on project management, bioengineering, energy and the environment, and pipeline engineering), Schulich is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of their students, the engineering profession, and the world. Their Strategic Vision, “Energizing Engineering Leadership” has three priorities: to foster diversity, to support research that makes a difference, and to support student success

Gold Sponsors

The Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) is an internationally recognized centre of excellence in brain and mental health research and education, based at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and working in partnership with Alberta Health Services. The HBI is composed of nearly 750 people, spanning 16 academic departments and nine faculties working towards a shared vision.

The Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) is an internationally recognized centre of excellence in brain and mental health research and education, based at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and working in partnership with Alberta Health Services. The HBI is composed of nearly 750 people, spanning 16 academic departments and nine faculties working towards a shared vision.

The University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association represents the collective interests of graduate students to governing bodies of the university, all levels of government and the surrounding community of Calgary. Established in 1967, and having approximately 6500 members, the GSA is charged with the social, academic and practical well-being and growth of graduate students on campus.

The University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association represents the collective interests of graduate students to governing bodies of the university, all levels of government and the surrounding community of Calgary. Established in 1967, and having approximately 6500 members, the GSA is charged with the social, academic and practical well-being and growth of graduate students on campus.

The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute is dedicated to studying neurodevelopmental disorders and child mental health. The centre draws its support from a large group of multidisciplinary researchers across the University of Calgary with expertise encompassing a broad range of neurodevelopmental and pediatric mental health research in basic, clinical, health services and population health.

The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute is dedicated to studying neurodevelopmental disorders and child mental health. The centre draws its support from a large group of multidisciplinary researchers across the University of Calgary with expertise encompassing a broad range of neurodevelopmental and pediatric mental health research in basic, clinical, health services and population health.


Silver Sponsors

The Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) is celebrating its first decade of discovery in 2019. The institute supports excellence in research, education and knowledge translation to improve the health and well-being of children from pre-conception to adulthood.

The Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) is celebrating its first decade of discovery in 2019. The institute supports excellence in research, education and knowledge translation to improve the health and well-being of children from pre-conception to adulthood.

The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education is a mental health research centre dedicated to advancing research and education on early identification, treatment and prevention of mental illness. The Centre works closely with academic and community partners in Calgary, across the country and internationally.

The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education is a mental health research centre dedicated to advancing research and education on early identification, treatment and prevention of mental illness. The Centre works closely with academic and community partners in Calgary, across the country and internationally.

BME Calgary initiative is educating the next generation of leaders for the bio-economy with our multidisciplinary training programs that involve over 250 students, 60 faculty members and 6 faculties, and include a direct-admit graduate program and an undergraduate specialization in biomedical engineering.

BME Calgary initiative is educating the next generation of leaders for the bio-economy with our multidisciplinary training programs that involve over 250 students, 60 faculty members and 6 faculties, and include a direct-admit graduate program and an undergraduate specialization in biomedical engineering.

Campus Alberta Neuroscience, launched in 2009, is a catalyst and connector, a way to bring basic researchers, applied scientists and clinicians together. It is a single community, a neuroscience “superhighway” between the Universities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Alberta.

Campus Alberta Neuroscience, launched in 2009, is a catalyst and connector, a way to bring basic researchers, applied scientists and clinicians together. It is a single community, a neuroscience “superhighway” between the Universities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Alberta.

Community Sponsors

Interested in partnering with us? Check out our sponsorship packages or contact Kathryn at translation@innovation4health.com



CONTACT

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Name



FAQ

What are the dates for this program?

Neuro Nexus unfolds over 6 weeks, and consists 4 key events:

March 27 Innovator Icebreaker: A casual night of networking with fellow participants.
March 28 Pitch Day: Learn about challenges first-hand from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. After Pitch Day, you and your team will have 6 weeks to understand the problem, design a solution, and develop a build plan for a functional prototype.

May 10-12 Health Hack Weekend: Implement your solution within 72 hours. Access to a broad range of rapid prototyping tools will be provided.

May 13 Demo Day: Showcase your solution to the community and compete for awards.

What are the eligibility criteria for innovators?

Neuro Nexus is a multidisciplinary hackathon open to anyone studying at, or that holds a certification from, a post-secondary education institution.

If you were trained in neuroscience, nursing/medicine, psychology: your experience in the lab, clinic, or community will help shape the critical early stages of design to ensure relevance to the biological problem or human health impact.

If you hail from an engineering or hard science background: your programming, app development, electronics design, 3D printing, and mathematical modelling skills will be most relevant to the challenges posed.

I’m unavailable for some of the key events of the program. Can I still participate as an Innovator?

Absolutely! We recognize that our participants will have different schedules. Missing an event, or a day of the Health Hack Weekend should not disrupt your experience too badly so long as you coordinate with your team.

An exception to this rule is Pitch Day. We strongly recommend that you make every effort to attend this as it’s when you’ll learn about challenges and form a team. Being able to meet with the prospective team members will help you get the most out of the program. If you cannot attend Pitch Day, however, we’ll add you to a ‘Free Agents’ list, so that smaller/underskilled teams that form can recruit you in the first week of the program.



TEAM

Leadership

Kathryn Simone  Co-Executive Lead  Fundraising and Partnerships

Kathryn Simone

Co-Executive Lead

Fundraising and Partnerships

Faizan Malik  Co-Executive Lead  Technology and Education

Faizan Malik

Co-Executive Lead

Technology and Education

 

Marketing

Kristina Komarek, Lead  Design

Kristina Komarek, Lead

Design

Roxanne Howard  Web Development

Roxanne Howard

Web Development

Mariam Keshavjee  Social Media

Mariam Keshavjee

Social Media

Julia St. Amand  Social Media

Julia St. Amand

Social Media

 

Operations

Will Wilson, co-Lead  Internal Communications

Will Wilson, co-Lead

Internal Communications

Pauline de Jesus, co-Lead  Events and Logistics

Pauline de Jesus, co-Lead

Events and Logistics

Linhui Yu  Technology and Education

Linhui Yu

Technology and Education

Dion Kelly, co-Lead  Events and Logistics

Dion Kelly, co-Lead

Events and Logistics

Gavin Petrie, co-Lead  Internal Communications

Gavin Petrie, co-Lead

Internal Communications

 

CHALLENGE RECRUITMENT

Bryce Geeraert, co-Lead  Industry and Community

Bryce Geeraert, co-Lead

Industry and Community

Heather Leduc-Pessah  Clinical

Heather Leduc-Pessah

Clinical

Shane Nicholls  Basic Science

Shane Nicholls

Basic Science

Trevor Low  Clinical Research

Trevor Low

Clinical Research

Nicole Burma  Clinical

Nicole Burma

Clinical

 

INNOVATOR RECRUITMENT

Jeremy Braun, co-Lead  Physics and Math

Jeremy Braun, co-Lead

Physics and Math

Kelsea Gorzo  Medicine and Life Sciences

Kelsea Gorzo

Medicine and Life Sciences

Taylor Thomas  MBT

Taylor Thomas

MBT

Sam Baglot, co-Lead  Medicine and Life sciences

Sam Baglot, co-Lead

Medicine and Life sciences

Emily Hannah  Engineering

Emily Hannah

Engineering

Timothy McBain, co-Lead  SAIT

Timothy McBain, co-Lead

SAIT

Abed Sarhan  Computer Science

Abed Sarhan

Computer Science

Thomas Lijnse, co-Lead  Engineering

Thomas Lijnse, co-Lead

Engineering

Emily Hanniman  Neuroscience

Emily Hanniman

Neuroscience

 
 

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