May 2012

NCIIA grantee Mariana Amatullo wins Dell Social Innovation Education Award

Mariana Amatullo, vice president at Art Center College of Design and co-founder of Designmatters, the College’s social impact initiative, has won the inaugural Dell Social Innovation Education Award. The honor recognizes outstanding leadership in teaching and supporting student social innovators.

Amatullo was chosen for her exemplary leadership and holistic approach in building new modes of engagement for art and design education with social impact, promoting broad collaboration through cross-sector partnerships with non-profit organizations, development agencies and industry.

NCIIA has supported Amatullo in these efforts, funding the Safe Agua Peru water system in 2010 and a Course and Program grant (Creating Social Value and Pattern-Breaking Change Through Design) in 2009.

NCIIA Student Ambassador featured in upcoming PBS documentary

On Sunday, PBS will be airing a new documentary chronicling the work of four social entrepreneurs working to change the world via a Staples-Ashoka Youth Venture competition. The one-hour special, Biz Kid$ -- Three Minutes to Change the World, presented by The Lemelson Foundation, will give viewers a front row seat to the Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition and a backstage pass into the days leading up to it.

One of the four competitors is Eden Full, a NCIIA Student Ambassador and founder of Roseicollis Technologies, a social enterprise to take her solar panel tracking invention, among other appropriate technologies, to developing communities. Don't miss this exciting show!

NCIIA grantee Ashok Gadgil wins 2012 Lemelson MIT Sustainability Award

The Lemelson-MIT Program chose Dr. Ashok Gadgil as the recipient of the 2012 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation in recognition of his steady pursuit to blend research, invention, and humanitarianism for broad social impact. Gadgil is a chair professor of Safe Water and Sanitation at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Gadgil has received NCIIA grants for removing arsenic from contaminated drinking water in Southeast Asia.

Open 2013: NCIIA's 17th Annual Conference




Thank you to all of our conference attendees!


More than 300 faculty and students attended Open 2013, the NCIIA's 17th Annual Conference, at the Renaissance Hotel from March 22-23. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our two days of knowledge sharing and network building.

Open 2014, NCIIA's 18th Annual Conference, will be held March 21-22, 2014 in San Jose, CA. Mark your calendars!

Thanks to our principal sponsor, The Lemelson Foundation, and to NSF (this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1125457).





2012 BMEidea competition winners

2012 BMEidea winners announced!

From right to left, representatives of the winning teams from Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and Georgia Tech


First place, winning $10,000:
Point-of-Diagnosis Screening & Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Johns Hopkins University
While cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, the disease has largely been eradicated in the developed world with the incorporation of regular screening and new opportunities for vaccinations. However, it remains a large burden in the developing world due to inadequate healthcare infrastructure, high costs, and the lack of an appropriate technology for treatment. Eighty-eight percent of all cervical cancer cases occur in the developing world.

This team, incorporated as Momo Scientific, is dedicated to reducing women’s deaths through the prevention of cervical cancer with a device called the CryoPop. The CryoPop is a patent-pending, low-cost medical device that uses dry ice for the treatment of cervical pre-cancerous lesions in low-resource settings. The CryoPop relies only on carbon dioxide tanks already available in developing countries (as a result of the presence of soda companies) and is ten times cheaper, thirty times more efficient, and more effective and reliable than the currently utilized technology.

Second place, winning $2,500:
Calcula Technologies: Office-based Kidney Stone R
Stanford University
Every year nearly two million U.S. patients are rushed to the emergency room (ER) with excruciating flank pain as a result of kidney stones. Urological guidelines stipulate that current stone therapies are indicated only for stones larger than ten millimeters, despite the fact that 85% of patients suffer from stones smaller than ten millimeters. These patients are prescribed narcotics, given a referral to an urologist, and sent home to pass the stone naturally over the course of several weeks. During this time patients revisit the ER, miss an average of 2.5 days of work, and suffer through acute pain onset that has been described as “the worst imaginable pain [a person] can experience.” Calcula Technologies is developing a solution that removes kidney stones smaller than ten millimeters in an office setting. The team’s minimally invasive, patent-pending device will render patients stone-free after a single visit to the urologist’s office without the use of general anesthesia. This opportunity represents a dramatic disruption in the field of urology and will allow millions of patients every year to avoid needlessly suffering through weeks of pain.

Third place, winning $1,000:
Magnet-assisted Intubation Device
Georgia Institute of Technology
Airway stabilization is one of the most important steps in emergency care. Whenever an individual’s ability to breathe is compromised, long-term brain damage can occur in as little as six minutes. This team created a device that allows medical professionals to perform safe, easy, and fast intubations. Intubation is magnet-assisted: a system of magnets both outside of the neck and within the endotracheal tube helps the professional visualize the airway and enter the trachea without the need of a laryngoscope. Additionally, the device is easily integrated with current intubation equipment and can be removed to allow for an MRI or similar test to be performed.

Honorable mentions:

  • Technology Innovation: SPIT’N-IT: Plasmonic Interferometers for Glucose Sensing in Saliva, Brown University
  • Social Impact: Wound-Pump, Massachusetts Institute of Technology