Sproxil featured on ZDNet

Former E-Team Sproxil, makers of a cell phone system that prevents the sale and use of counterfeit drugs, was recently featured on the tech news site ZDNet. Read "Using the lowly text message to fight counterfeit drugs."

NCIIA grantees describe ground breaking ideas on TED

NCIIA grantees describe ground-breaking ideas on TED

Amy Smith on TED
Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of childrens' lives
Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.
View on TED
Daniel Kraft on TED
Daniel Kraft invents a better way to harvest bone marrow
Daniel Kraft demos his Marrow Miner -- a new device that quickly harvests life-saving bone marrow with minimal pain to the donor. He emphasizes that the adult stem cells found in bone marrow can be used to treat many terminal conditions, from Parkinson's to heart disease.
View on TED
Eben Bayer on TED
Eben Bayer - Are mushrooms the new plastic?
Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment.
View on TED
Tony Cumberbatch on TED
Toby Cumberbatch - TEDxColumbiaEngineering - 11/29/11
Toby Cumberbatch founded the Center for Sustainable Engineering, Art and Architecture in 2005 to bring together students from the schools of Engineering, Art and Architecture to focus on problems that address the fundamental needs of energy, water and shelter in very poor communities in the less industrialized countries.

 

The Harker Innovation Team

A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam
Each year, NCIIA welcomes a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam to participate in Open Minds along with the exhibiting E-Teams. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative is a national grants program designed to excite the next generation of inventors and problem solvers through hands-on learning, while encouraging an inventive culture in high schools and communities. Teams showcase their prototypes at EurekaFest, an annual celebration of the inventive spirit presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Mass. Learn more about the Lemselson MIT program and InvenTeams at: http://web.mit.edu/invent/index.html.
 
This year's InvenTeam is the Harker Innovation Team. The team is developing an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat, the “energy graveyard.” The device floats on water, and reflector panels focus sunlight onto a black surface that converts solar energy to heat. This heat is then passed through thermoelectric panels and passively dissipated into the surrounding water. Harnessing the thermal gradient between the hot surface and the cold water, the thermoelectric panels generate significant amounts of electricity that can be used for commercial or residential purposes. In this way, the team's floating thermoelectric generator passively generates electricity from solar heat, essentially a solar farm on water.
 

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Our inventors and their inventions

Watch NCIIA grantees on TED
Great Innovations
Our Featured Grantee
Twig Light (Daylight Solutions)
Invention: Uses existing waste energy to produce clean electric light inside homes. Emerging markets. Read more


Former E-Team Ecovative Design and Sealed Air Corporation team up

Former E-Team Ecovative Design LLC and Sealed Air Corporation have announced they will work together to accelerate the production, sales and distribution of Ecovative’s EcoCradle® Mushroom™ Packaging, an environmentally responsible packaging material made from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, or mushroom roots. The technology was developed in part with a 2007 E-Team grant.

Read the press release.

Miret Surgical

Stanford University

Gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) is the most common general surgical operation in the US, with more than one million cases each year. 600,000 of these are elective, laparoscopic cases performed with ports and a camera, a minimally invasive approach that leaves no visible scar. But these scar-free techniques are burdened by steep learning curves, safety issues and high costs.

Miret Surgical is developing a safe, fast and cost-effective solution for scar-free surgical removal of the gall bladder. Miret’s system uses a novel modular instrument design to wed the advantages of pediatric laparoscopic tools with standard laparoscopic tools. Surgeons assemble and use as many of these modular instruments as needed, and after surgery the patient is left with a hidden incision in the belly button and a few tiny punctures, which will heal quickly and without noticeable scars.

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Open Minds 2012

Meet the Open Minds 2012 Teams

Open Minds is the acclaimed annual exhibition of cutting-edge innovation from NCIIA's best student teams. The exhibition takes place each year during NCIIA's annual conference, and is an opportunity for student teams to demonstrate their products/companies, and receive local and national media coverage.

The following fourteen teams were selected to participate in Open Minds 2012. These teams were showcased at two exhibitions in San Francisco and also entered videos into the Open Minds video competition.

Congratulations to our video competition winners! Earth2Block's video was recognized for Greatest Social Impact Innovation AND Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System's video was recognized for Best Pitch Delivery. Both teams won $1,000 each to help further their ventures.

  • Brilliance
    Stanford University
    A low cost, low maintenance opto-medical device that uses high intensity LEDs for the treatment of jaundice
    Learn more
  • GiraDora and Balde a Balde
    Art Center College of Design
    A portable faucet that provides running water from any container, and a human-powered washer and spin dryer to increase the efficiency and improve the experience of hand-washing clothes
    Learn more
  • IntelliWheels, INC.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    After-market additions to off-the-shelf wheelchairs that decreases the effort it takes to propel them
    Learn more
  • GRIT Leveraged Freedom Chair
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    A lever-powered mobility aid designed for the use in developing countries
    Learn more
  • Medtric Biotech, LLC
    Purdue University
    Developing an innovative, environmentally friendly anti-infection technology
    Learn more
  • The Integrated Punch Biopsy
    Johns Hopkins University
    An all-in-one skin biopsy device that efficiently and safely transects and retrieves the skin sample
    Learn more
  • Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    A form-fitting garment that incorporates a unique system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects more easily and with significantly less risk of injury
    Learn more
  • Inserogen
    University of California, Davis
    Developing SwiftVax, a plant-based production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably
    Learn more
  • MetCel
    Oklahoma State University
    Developing a Hybrid Composite Armor stand-alone insert that is capable of significantly reducing Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT)
    Learn more
  • NextDrop
    University of California, Berkeley
    Leveraging the recent proliferation of mobile phones in India to provide households with accurate and timely information about when piped water will become available in their area
    Learn more
  • Earth2Block
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    Developing earthquake-resistant,inexpensive interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction
    Learn more
  • Miret Surgical
    Stanford University
    A modular, minimally invasive surgical system
    Learn more
  • Project Agrow
    IIT Bombay
    Developing a low cost, manually operated machine that enables de-cortication and de-husking of raw peanuts to deliver clean peanut kernels
    Learn more
  • The Harker Innovation Team
    A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam
    A high school student team developing an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat
    Learn more

About Open Minds

Interested in showcasing at Open Minds 2013? Check out the guidelines.

Open Minds is the acclaimed annual exhibition of cutting-edge innovation from NCIIA's best student teams. The exhibition takes place each year during NCIIA's annual conference, and is an opportunity for student teams to demonstrate their products and companies, and receive local and national media coverage. 10-15 teams are selected to participate in this high profile event, which involves an evening exhibition for NCIIA conference attendees as well as an exhibition open to the general public and an exciting video competition.

We are thrilled to once again partner with Inventors Digest for the 2012 Open Minds exhibition.


Learn More


Open Minds Gold Sponsor



Our Partners

Hollow Interlocking Compressed-Earth Blocks

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

The need for low cost housing in Southeast Asia is compelling for two reasons: the region’s seismic activity and its large, dense populations of low-income purchasers. In order to meet the need for earthquake-resistant, inexpensive housing, this team is partnering with a Thai NGO to promote interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction in the area. ICEBs are made by compressing soil with the right combination of fines (silt and clay) and sand with a small amount of water and cement so that they are stable enough to be handled right after pressing and do not erode when they come into contact with water. ICEBs are environmentally friendly and can be made locally by lower-skilled laborers with minimal training.
 

 

MetCel

 Oklahoma State University

To improve the survivability of troops in combat situations, the best gear, weapons, and training are required. One piece of equipment that can come between a soldier’s life and death is body armor. But while modern body armor has advanced enough to resist bullets, Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT)--non-penetrating injuries resulting from high kinetic energy transfer--can still do serious damage to a soldier’s body. According to the United States Department of Defense, approximately 35,000 military personnel were injured in the Afghanistan and Iraq after 2001, with 20% of these due to gunshot-related injuries. A majority of the gunshot injuries were caused by BABT.

MetCel is developing a Hybrid Composite Armor (HCA), stand-alone insert that is capable of significantly reducing BABT. It is a combination of current top-of-the-line armor-grade materials and an advanced alloy honeycomb collapsible layer. Preliminary tests indicate the technology could reduce BABT by 25%. In addition, the HCA insert is lightweight and offers a multi-hit feature.

 

 

Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System

Rochester Institute of Technology

Lifting injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers in the US each year. The injuries arise partly due to lack of training and partly from situations in which workers are required to lift heavy loads for extended periods of time. The effects of these injuries are costly, with $50 billion per year paid out in worker’s compensation.
 
This team is developing the Strong Arm, a form-fitting garment that incorporates a unique system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects more easily and with significantly less risk of injury. Essentially, the system shifts the forces of lifting from the injury-prone hands, arms, neck, shoulders and lower back and distributes them evenly to stronger and more stable areas of the torso.