For those who are not aware, the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award 2018 were held recently and life-saving mobile scanner won the best idea prize. The winning idea at the awards offers ability to measure the severity of the situation of a stroke patient in the ambulance, so he can be transported immediately to the right hospital for the right treatment.
Life-saving mobile scanner
This innovative idea is developed by Jonathan Coutinho (neurologist, Amsterdam UMC) and Wouter Potters (technical physician, Amsterdam UMC). They came up with a mobile scanner for the ambulance that measures brain waves. The Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award 2018 rewards the most innovative idea with a clear social or commercial application.
Thirteen years ago, the award ceremony was first organized by IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam, the valorisation center of Amsterdam UMC, UvA, VU and HvA) to make the valuable ideas based on scientific research visible. This year, the Impact Award was also presented for the first time. The awards are held in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam, Netherlands Cancer Institute/ Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Inholland, Tata Steel, Rabobank, V.O., Sanquin, Van Essen Patent, SURFSara and Healthinc.
As per the press release, Jury chair Barbara Baarsma said, “A scientifically unique and creative idea, but at the same time also of great social value with great opportunities for valorisation which are also being developed. Also, economically relevant in a broader sense, if brain damage is limited, it will save costs.”
Simple apps for developing countries
Further, the High Potential Award was given to Kasadaka, a project of André Baart (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) to develop apps for simple telephones in developing countries. In developing countries, mobile phones have changed the daily life just as much as here, but few people have access to the internet via their phone. To help them with apps that provide spoken information for illiterate people, Kasadaka wants to develop simple apps.
The jury said, “André Baart was very convincing in the dream he shared, but to make the dream a reality he has to work out his business model even further.” During this year’s edition, two Impact Awards were presented for the first time, for scientists and researchers from Amsterdam who have already made their mark in valorisation.
Erik Scherder (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) received an Impact Award for his important contribution in bringing knowledge about the brain to a wider audience. With his love for the brain and the patient he has meant a lot for al lot of people; for young people with severe injuries to seniors with a cerebral infarction or dementia.
Barbara Baarsma said, “He is not only super-inspiring for scientists and students, but also makes ‘ordinary’ Dutch people aware of the fact that caring for your brain is not only important but also fun. His enthusiasm is contagious.”
Image guided radiation therapy
Marcel van Herk (Netherlands Cancer Institute) received an Impact Award for his important contribution to the development of image guided radiation therapy. The accuracy of radiotherapy has improved considerably, saving countless lives or prolonging them. Baarsma, added, “Marcel van Herk is a mathematician, it-er and engineer, a human centipede with a heart for medicine. He once dreamed of space travel, but he is so captivated by this subject that he no longer wants it. And he would not even accept an offer from Elon Musk. ”
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