Students Win BRICS Young Innovator Award

13 Jul 2018 - 13:15

Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes were one of two teams put forward by South Africa to compete against other BRICS countries in the BRICS Young Innovator Competition that was held recently.  They placed second which included prize money of R210 000 and a Huawei Honor 9 Lite Smart Phone.

The team recently formed a company, “Impulse Biomedical” to develop their ZiBiPen technology – a reloadable adrenaline auto-injector. Impulse Biomedical is a product of the innovative work done within the Medical Devices Laboratory at the University of Cape Town, under the supervision of Associate Professor Sudesh Sivarasu.  In addition, the company has gone through the Venture Incubation Program at UCTs Graduate School of Business to develop the company into a viable start-up with promise that is aimed at improving health-care in the developing world. This year, the 3rd BRICS Young Scientist Conclave took place in Durban from 25-29 June 2018. Each of the five participating BRICS countries have an opportunity to host the event annually, depending on where the BRICS summit will take place that year.

The BRICS Young Innovator competition is a first of its kind and a subdivision of the Young Scientist Conclave in special recognition of young talented entrepreneurs and researchers, whose outstanding innovations will make a profound impact on the socio-economic environment and conditions of life in BRICS societies today. The theme for 2018: “Building BRICS Youth Leadership through Science, Technology and Innovation” highlighted the strategic importance of science, technology and innovation as key drivers of youth entrepreneurship and leadership. Thematic discussions focused on energy, water as well as social science and specifically addressed issues related to the following:

•    Energy – The Present and Future Energy Imperatives of BRICS Economies
•    Water – The Strategic Importance of Water Resources in the Context of Climate Change
•    Social Science – The Impact and Challenges of Modern ICT Technologies on Youth Identity and Cultural Choices

A Young Innovator elimination round pitching competition consisting of two of the best start up teams from each of the BRICS countries was held on the 26th of June, in which one team from each country was chosen to represent their country in the finals. Impulse Biomedical made it through the elimination round and was selected to represent South Africa, which took place on the 28 of June 2018. After Gokul and Giancarlo from Impulse Biomedical pitched their business model and the ZibiPen reloadable adrenaline auto-injector technology, they won 2nd prize in the BRICS Young Innovator competition, securing an impressive prize of R210 000 and a Huawei Honor 9 Lite Smart Phone.

It is noteworthy to mention that the team also recently participated in the Emerging Medical Innovation Competition at the Design of Medical Devices Conference in Minnesota, Minneapolis and claimed 2nd price which awarded them with a full technical and market viability assessment from the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, valued at R180 000.

RC&I would like to congratulate Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes for their astounding success thus far and on future endeavours.