NCIIA Awards Top Collegiate Biomedical Engineering Teams

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance recognizes three student teams developing breakthrough emergency and maternal health technologies at the annual BMEidea Awards in New York

Jun 09, 2010, 12:00 ET from NCIIA

NEW YORK, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the NCIIA presented cash prizes to three collegiate biomedical engineering teams in recognition of their leading work in the field. This year's winners of the Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Award (BMEidea) Competition—a national competition celebrating student biomedical innovation—were announced during the Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony at the Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East trade show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

The BMEidea Competition, now in its sixth year, is open to collegiate teams from NCIIA member institutions from across the United States. First place—an award of $10,000—was awarded to the Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device team from Johns Hopkins University. Working to combat cardiac arrest, the Johns Hopkins team has designed a device that emergency or ambulance personnel can use to quickly and safely administer a therapeutic hypothermia treatment to patients and improve their chances of survival upon reaching the hospital.

The second-place prize of $2,500 was awarded to OneBreath, a team from Stanford University that was recently featured in Popular Science. The team developed a low-cost ventilator for use in developing nations and large-scale disasters. Designed to treat acute respiratory distress patients in low-resource, pandemic and emergency environments, OneBreath provides an alternative to existing ventilators, which are too cost prohibitive for many hospitals. In addition to its low cost, the device is rechargeable, portable and disposable.

Third place, and $1,000 in cash, was presented to Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) Device from the University of Cincinnati. The device enables an incision-free approach to urogynecological procedures by providing improved visibility and access to deep target tissues within the peritoneal cavity. This reduces post-operative complications such as adhesions, incisional hernias and patient recovery time.

"This year's student teams show tremendous potential to positively impact health care practices. We are excited to support them as they move forward with their innovations," said Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA. The BMEidea Competition is sponsored by the NCIIA; the National Science Foundation; Boston Scientific; Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry Magazine (MDDI); and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

About BMEidea

BMEidea is the brainchild of the BME Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance, a consortium of BME faculty from NCIIA member institutions with an interest in stimulating innovative design and entrepreneurial approaches in the biomedical field. First held in 2005, winners of this annual competition are selected from some of the nation's top biomedical engineering departments and are judged by a panel of faculty and industry representatives. Winners are required to solve a pressing clinical problem; meet technical, economic, legal and regulatory requirements; feature a novel and practical design; and show potential for commercialization. For more information, please see

About the NCIIA

The NCIIA achieves positive and sustainable social and environmental impact through technological innovation by providing end-to-end service grants, mentoring and other experiential resources to higher education institutions. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages more than 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their respective campuses as working laboratories and incubators for businesses and ultimately helping them to bring their concepts to commercialization. For more information, please visit

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Carrie Barnes

Phone: (215) 239-4643