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Awards for Business Ideas

Awards for Winners of the Research to Market Challenge held by Major Berlin Universities and Charité

News from Jul 05, 2018

At the closing event of the “Research to Market Challenge” ideas competition, nine teams were honored for research-based business ideas. This was the first time that the competition was held jointly by Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. A total of 48 proposals were submitted.

A personalized avalanche warning system for skiers and snowboarders, software for diagnosis and treatment planning in patients with heart disease, and realistic models for practicing procedures in veterinary medicine – these ideas for start-ups submitted by researchers based at the three major Berlin universities and Charité – Universitätsmedizin each won first place in the categories Digital, Life Sciences & Technologies, and Cultural & Social in the Research to Market Challenge. Each first prize included 1,500 euros.

In university research many good ideas with market potential are not pursued due to a lack of opportunity and know-how. To counteract this, in 2014 Freie Universität along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin founded the “Research to Market Challenge” ideas competition. In the current competition, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin are also involved.

The competition was open to students, graduates, doctoral candidates, and academic staff at all the departments of the three major universities and Charité. Their business idea had to fit into one of the competition categories: Digital, Life Sciences & Technologies, or Cultural & Social. The proposal had to have a distinct connection to the applicant’s area of work, and it had to be possible to implement. The concepts were evaluated by a jury with regard to innovation content, research relevance, feasibility, and customer benefit. At the closing event, the top three teams in each category presented their ideas. The prize money was 1,500, 1,000, and 500 euros for first, second, and third place respectively.

Winning Submissions:

Category: Digital

1st Place: Navalanche (Technische Universität Berlin)

Navalanche is an avalanche warning system for skiers and snowboarders who want to explore untouched fields of snow, off the beaten track. Using GPS, the application detects the position of the users, and a bracelet warns them with auditory, visual, and tactile signals as soon as they enter areas prone to avalanches.

2nd Place: ARCAI (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

The Augmented Reality Cockpit for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (ARCAI) provides information on critical care patients – such as their blood pressure or oxygen saturation in their blood – in an interactive, on-demand form. ARCAI is also intended to help analyze the tendency of the vital signs and support clinical decisions through predictions.

3rd Place: Recruity (Freie Universität Berlin)

The communication assistant Recruity is intended to automate the development of human resources using artificial intelligence processes. Chatbots – i.e., text-based dialog systems – are used to improve communication with applicants.

Category: Life Sciences & Technologies

1st Place: SmartCor (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

SmartCor is software for diagnosis and treatment planning for patients with heart failure and valvular heart disease. The application extends the diagnostic capabilities of conventional imaging techniques and provides more information for diagnosis.

2nd Place: DiAvEn (Technische Universität Berlin)

Currently, drones can only be operated autonomously with GPS reception. In buildings, such as warehouses, it is often not possible to receive GPS signals. DiAvEn uses ultra-fast broadband technology (UWB) to precisely locate and control indoor drones.

3rd Place: AlphaLink (Technische Universität Berlin)

AlphaLink is an innovative technology for unmanned multibody aircraft. Several aircraft modules are connected at the wing tips via mechanical joints. This results in an elongated wing, which allows longer flight time or higher load capacity compared with individual aircraft.

Category: Cultural & Social

1st Place: VetEducators (Freie Universität Berlin)

VetEducators provides teaching models for the simulation of invasive procedures on laboratory animals in teaching and research. The simulators faithfully reproduce the physiological conditions. For example, blood collection can be practiced on dog legs, rabbit ears, or horse necks made of silicone without using real animals.

2nd Place: Humanity’s Lost Heritage (Freie Universität Berlin)

By combining a pop-up book with an augmented reality app für mobile devices, a new form of representation is being created for sites in the Middle East that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has categorized as World Heritage Sites and that have been destroyed by war and religious fundamentalists in recent decades.

3rd Place: Screenplay Global (Freie Universität Berlin)

Screenplay Global is a platform for people who want to write and publish screenplays. Certified reviewers and other readers can rate the scripts on the platform. As a website and an app, the designers expect to finance the platform via advertising and pay-per-click.

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