Universities are conducive to innovation, as researchers and students dedicate themselves to the act of problem-solving through research. Over the past few years, UCT has been central to an array of practical innovations that have been implemented to better the lives of ordinary people. In many cases, women have been taking the lead.
On 26 April, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day and – importantly – this year, we’re focusing on the women who are driving change through ingenuity, curiosity and courage.
A collaboration between biomedical engineers and a clinician at UCT has led to the design of an assistant device for metered-dose asthma inhalers that will improve ease of use for children and the elderly. Aptly named the Easy Squeezy, the device dramatically reduces the force required to activate the pump. It also aims to minimise the stigma associated with using pumps by adding decorative cartoon characters for young patients.
UCT’s Medical Devices Lab is fostering an ecosystem of innovation.And the fruitfulness of its teaching practices, founded on ideas of Frugal Biodesign, is being proven in the form of biomedical engineering graduates Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes.
Both alumni of the medical device design course, they have teamed up to form Impulse Biomedical – a company presently incubated in the Medical Devices Lab. The pair are working on commercialising the ZibiPen, a reloadable adrenaline auto-injector, along with other technologies that were developed in the lab.
Jessica Fell and Dr Dyllon Randall of the Future Water Institute will fly the UCT flag as 2018 UNLEASH talents at this global innovation lab in Singapore later this month.
This lab, now in its second year, brings together 1 000 top young talents (aged between 20 and 35) from around the world who come together to create real, scalable solutions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on food, water, health, education, energy, urban sustainability, responsible supply chain, and so on.