The Grand Prize winner is an innovative innovative approach to spinal cord repair. (Credit: Neuropair, Inc.)

A research team from Neuropair, Inc., won the Grand Prize at the live competition round on November 10 in New York, for an innovative approach to spinal cord repair  that gives new hope to the 700,000 people worldwide who suffer severe spinal cord injuries each year. The injectable scaffold of aligned magnetic nanoparticles creates conditions for protecting, healing, and regrowing neurons that were damaged during spinal cord injury. The winning team includes Johannes Dapprich, Elaine Brock, Jay Trautman, Jason Puchalla, Eve Tsai, and William S. Brown.

The grand prize winner received $25,000, while the first-place winner in each category received a Hewlett-Packard workstation computer. Finalists were selected from the seven categories: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive and Transportation, Electronics, Manufacturing and Materials, Medical, and Robotics and Automation, and Sustainable Technology.

The 21st annual Create the Future Design Contest for engineers, students, and entrepreneurs worldwide, sponsored by COMSOL, Inc.,  and Mouser Electronics , drew more than 500 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in from 60 countries from around the world. The Medical category itself received 54 innovative entries from 22 countries. Analog Devices  and Intel  were supporting sponsors, and Zeus  sponsored the Medical category.

Medical Category Winner

A Salivary Test for Brain Health 

Damir Janigro and Robert Schmidt, Flocel Inc., Cleveland, OH, USA

Honorable Mention – Medical Category

A Master Metric Predicting Lifespan 

Jess Goodman, VitalSines Inc., Ontario, Canada

POPSafe Endotracheal Tubes – Preventing Accidental Anesthesia/Ventilator Disconnections 

Kay Fuller, Smart Bridge Medical Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, USA

FluShield Antiviral Chicken Feed Additive 

Haichuan Yang, Cubist Systematic Strategies, Long Island City, NY, USA

Continuous, Pain-free Monitoring of Thyroid Hormones Using a Novel Biowearable 

Cameron West and Ali Dabas, Integrated Molecular Innovations (imi), Clarksville, TN, USA

The contest, which was established in 2002, recognizes and rewards engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. In addition to product ideas at the concept or prototype stage, contestants could submit designs for commercial products introduced to the market within the last 12 months.

All of the winners can be seen here .