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Winners announced in international grant competition to accelerate technology for spinal cord injury

December 14, 2018 New Delhi, India. For the millions of people living with spinal cord injuries around the world, technology can have a profound impact on their quality of life. The challenge is advancing the research that makes technology applicable, cost-effective and available for the people they are intended to help.

Today, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), IC-IMPACTS and the Rick Hansen Institute announced winners of an international grant competition called the Canada India SCI Innovation Award Getting Solutions to Market. The five winners were granted $30,000 CAD each and international support in order to accelerate their innovative research in the hopes of making it commercially available to people with spinal cord injuries.

The announcement was made during a special ceremony hosted at ISIC. Dr. V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India and Chairman, Medical Council of India was the Honoured Guest and declared the winners of the awards. This competition is the product of a partnership agreement between the three organizations announced in February 2018 by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport in New Delhi.

The applications were reviewed by a joint expert committee consisting of members from Canada and India, including research and practitioner communities formed by IC-IMPACTS, Rick Hansen Institute and ISIC. Based on the peer-review, five strong projects emerged:

Development of portable spine MEG scanner for real time spinal functional evaluation and data acquisition. Teresa Cheung, Simon Fraser University (Canada), Rohit Sharma, IIT, Ropar (India).

Wearable technology to monitor sitting posture and reduce the pressure injury risk. Hossein Rouhani, University of Alberta (Canada), Chester Ho, University of Alberta (Canada).

COPE: Community health outcomes and personalized education/exercises for spinal injured individuals. Nishu Tyagi, ISIC (India), Andrei Krassioukov, UBC (Canada).

Design2Impact: Uniting Researchers, makers and Spinal Injury Survivors through Open-Source Technology. Aaron Yurkewich, University of Toronto (Canada), Stewart Russell, Makers Making Change at Neil Squire Society (Canada).

Development of wearable artificial muscle for a tetraplegic hand. Harvinder Chhabra, ISIC (India), Sitikantha Roy, IIT Delhi (India).

Project work will commence immediately with the goal of demonstrating the effectiveness of the innovative technologies for the Canadian and Indian marketplace within the next two years.


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