Next Big Idea Award winners announced

Photograph: L-R: Dr Michael Gantier, Stuart Emmerson, Dr Nick Boyd and Dr Shivani Pasricha

Researchers and students have pitched their innovative ‘Big Ideas’ tackling health conditions ranging from tackling Legionnaires disease to improving exercise science to a panel of research and commercialisation experts.

It was all part of the Next Big Idea Award  on August 30, which aims to encourage, reward and facilitate commercially focused innovation among our PhD students and scientists.

The winners are

  • Student category – Stuart Emmerson (wearable devices)
  • Early career researcher category – joint winners, Dr Shivani Pasricha (Legionnaire’s disease) and Dr Nick Boyd (CAR-T cell therapies)
  • Open category and overall Next Big Idea Award winner – Dr Michael Gantier (cellular expansion).

In its second year, the Next Big Idea Award was expanded to all researchers, with participation categories for student researchers, ECRs, and senior researchers (open). The winner of each category was awarded a $400 prize, with a $1000 prize going to the overall best Next Big Idea.

Participants were judged on the innovation and commercial potential of their idea, as well as their communication and engagement.

Each competitor had only five minutes to pitch their idea, detailing the unmet medical need that their innovation addressed, the novelty and patentability of their idea, and a market analysis of competitor technologies.

Students and researchers who participated in Next Big Idea had the opportunity to polish their pitches at a preparatory workshop prior to the Pitch Day.

Thank you to the Next Big Idea Award judges, Professor Richard Boyd and Dr Vera Evtimov from Cartherics and Mr Rob Merriel, Chief Financial Officer at Hudson Institute. Thank you also to Cartherics for their generous sponsorship in providing the prizes awarded to each winner.