Success for Cardiff innovators
29 November 2016
Over 160 people from the University, local business and government gathered in Cardiff on Wednesday night (23 Nov) for the 4th annual Da Vinci Innovation and Impact Awards.
Taking part were 15 contestants, both staff and students, from a number of Schools across the University, who each showcased their innovative scientific ideas in short, three-minute pitches.
The audience, which also included undergraduate and postgraduate students, judged and voted for six eventual winners, with ideas ranging from using swarms of drones to rescue humans in disaster zones, to microencapsulating stem cells for spinal cord injury repair, and how a new form of grow bag can massively intensify food production output.
Each of the winners will walk away with up to £3000 to help turn their research ideas into economic and social reality.
Professor David Barrow, founder of the the Da Vinci Innovation and Impact Awards from the School of Engineering, said: “It gives me and my colleagues within the school a sense of great satisfaction to enable fresh ideas, to be given a chance to be seeded, without hassle, without applications forms and trophies.”
Nyle Parker who, with Dr Liz Bagshaw from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, pitched on smart river monitoring, said: “The event ran very smoothly and there was a definite buzz in the room. Everyone I have spoken to has said positive words about it. It was a great opportunity to meet people from other Schools and also to mix with different people from all backgrounds.”
Another winner, Samyakh Tukra, who pitched his idea on the use of drones for humanitarian purposes, said: “It was a showcase of innovation, intellect, joy and bringing ideas to life."
Shortly after the awards ceremony, Professor Barrow and the winning contestants were invited onto BBC Wales’s Science Café programme to talk about each of their ideas and the importance of innovation.
“It was really quite a delight to be asked to take a representative from all six winning teams to record an article for the BBC Radio Wales programme,” Professor Barrow continued.
The six Da Vinci Innovation & Impact Awards winners were: Lorena Hidalgo, Samyakh Tukra, Liz Bagshaw, Shrouk El-Attar, Jerome Cuenca and Davide Crivelli. You will be able to hear them discussing their ideas tonight at 6.30pm on Radio Wales Science Café.