Friday, August 5, 2022 | Daily newsletter
Innovative companies grow at Velocity Science
This article originally appeared on Waterloo News.
Global advances in science, coupled with digital transformation, continue to accelerate innovation, which has a significant impact on all sectors of the economy. Velocity Science companies are leading the way, helping thousands of patients, battling production shortages, and solving accessibility and sustainability issues for long-term solutions.
This fall, Velocity Science is reopening its doors to welcome a new wave of student entrepreneurs. Velocity Science was originally launched in 2014 but temporarily shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic. Velocity continues to support successful science projects through its partnership with the Faculty of Science and the Science Innovation Hub.
“We are thrilled to welcome students back to Velocity Science. Many successful science businesses have spun off from Velocity Science. I look forward to seeing what the next group of entrepreneurs will create,” says Robert P. Lemieux, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo.The program provides an on-campus lab and discovery space with world-class mentorship for students working in life and physical science startups.
“I am absolutely thrilled that we are reopening Velocity Science this fall. The space resonates with me personally because, in many ways, it’s where my own entrepreneurial journey began with Nicoya. Not only did this provide our young company with much-needed space and lab supplies, but it also introduced us to a community of student startups to work with and support. I can’t wait to bring this great culture back to campus,” says John Dick, Principal of Velocity Campus.
In addition to Nicoya, Velocity Science has been home to many companies that continue to operate in the region such as Arylla, Avro Life Science, Halion Displays, Kenota Health, Membio Inc., Nano CNET, NERv, Qidni Labs and Vena Medical, which went on to collectively raise over $70 million in investment. Some of these companies, like Arylla, Halion Displays and Qidni Labs still reside in the Velocity incubator.
Velocity Science drives healthcare innovation
Several Velocity Science companies, such as Vena Medical and Membio Inc., are making a significant mark in healthcare.
Michael Phillips (BASc ’17) and Phillip Cooper (BASc ’17) founded Vena Medical in the final year of their undergraduate degrees with backers such as Velocity Science. Vena creates tools to change the way doctors perform minimally invasive neurosurgery. Their flagship product is the world’s smallest camera capable of penetrating veins and arteries to help doctors treat strokes. The camera offers physicians the ability to look inside the body in real time and provides better image quality enabling better patient treatment and ultimately better outcomes. Without this technology, doctors are guided by external X-rays.
“Velocity Science gave us the first opportunity to access prototyping and dedicated space for the bio-related activities we were working on. It saved us from having to test things in our bathtub and we were surrounded by experts to make sure we’ve learned more each week from peer-to-peer Velocity Science meetings than we ever could on our own, and now these innovations we’ve developed are helping real patients since we received our Medical Device Certificate from Health Canada License,” says Michael Phillips, co-founder and CEO of Vena.
Phillips and Cooper were inspired by the combined seven physicians within their immediate families and specifically by Cooper’s father, who is an interventional radiologist and guided by external X-rays for the procedures he performs. Dr. Steven Cooper told them he just wanted to see what was going on in the patient’s veins and arteries. Vena Medical makes this and more possible.
Another company that continues to imagine new possibilities in health technology, Membio Inc. knows the importance of having access to support at an early stage. “Speed was really essential for Membio from the start of the business and the University of Waterloo is really the only place I know where you can come in, test your ideas and have access to equipment that would simply be of a prohibitively expensive.. Waterloo offers incredible opportunities to really combine the depth of engineering in new and unique ways in biotechnology,” recalls Shane Kilpatrick (MASc ’17, MBET ’18), founder and CEO of Membio .
Membio is focused on commercializing cell manufacturing technologies such as single-use bioreactors that make cells easier, faster and cheaper to manufacture.
Velocity Science is just one of the many supports available for students interested in or working on their entrepreneurial journey. Students can also work in the Problem Analysis and Ideation Headquarters or 5G Digital Zone or participate in the many events, opportunities, and programs such as Zero, Problem Pitch, or Cornerstone, hosted quarterly by Velocity. There is something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or more advanced in your journey.
Velocity Science looks forward to welcoming students back in the Fall 2022 term. The lab is located on campus within the Science Innovation Hub at ESC 319. Working at Velocity Science, students can expect to advice from mentors, technical advice and assistance, access to laboratory instruments and consumables, while working with other student teams.
Researchers win $4.4 million in social science and humanities funding
This article originally appeared on the Office of Research website.
University of Waterloo researchers have received more than $4.4 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to support research on environmental inequalities, economic sustainability and the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
The 22 Waterloo projects, which are part of the $175 million funding announcement for 809 projects across Canada, are:
Partnership Development Grants
Philip Beesley (Engineering): Empathic Spaces Partnership (ESP) ($114,176)
Bessma Momani (Arts): Digital Work Transformation: Determining Impacts on Women and Skills Retraining Needs ($199,999)
Dawn Parker (Environment): Why did the “Missing Middle” miss the boat? Exploring Barriers and Solutions to Intensified Family Housing in Waterloo Region ($189,926)
Kathy Acheson (English Language and Literature): The Future of Modern Outcast Research ($92,506)
Annik Bilodeau (Spanish and Latin): Mapping Artistic Sisterhood in Spanish America ($92,740)
Ramona Bobocel (Psychology): Investigating Obstacles to Achieving Organizational Justice ($283,089)
Randy Harris (English Language and Literature): Developing Rhetoric for ML Argument Extraction ($272,411)
Daniel Henstra (Political Science): Effective Governance Modalities for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure ($378,073)
Naila Keleta-Mae (Communication Arts): Sites and Performances of Darkness and Freedom ($212,932)
Allison Kelly (psychology): How can an understanding of observational learning promote new ways to increase self-compassion? ($298,165)
Emmet Macfarlane (Political Science): Hate Speech Legislation, the Commonwealth Model and Parliamentary Rights Debates ($243,737)
Lennart Nacke (Stratford): Entering the Metaverse: Investigating Social Virtual Reality Platforms and Experiences ($383,816)
Marcel O’Gorman (English Language and Literature): Critical by design: Fostering responsible innovation with critical design methods ($290,586)
Guy Poirier (French Studies): Superb and imaginary entry of a king become queen, the space of a pamphlet ($95,495)
Uzma Rehman (Psychology): Testing the Perfectionism Model of Women’s Sexual Desire ($217,242)
Andrew Stumpt (St. Jerome’s): Observational Studies to Improve End-of-Life Care in Canada ($177,733)
Sarah Turnbull (Sociology and Legal Studies): Reforming Detention: Race, Gender, and Nation in the National Immigration Detention Framework ($85,685)
David-Antoine Williams (St. Jerome’s): Opening the Oxford English Dictionary: A Data-Enhanced, Research-Ready Historical Dictionary ($265,720)
Bon Koo (Management Science): Capital Structure and Innovation: Canadian Biotechnology Industry ($89,560)
Peter Johnson (Geography and Environmental Management): Who owns the map? Data Sovereignty and the Changing Role of Government in the Collection, Use and Dissemination of Spatial Data ($202,050)
Warren Dodd (School of Public Health Sciences): Interrogating Different Pro-Poor Policy Approaches in the Context of Intersecting Socio-Ecological Crises in the Philippines ($178,423)
Aid to scholarly journal
Jay Dolmage (Arts): Canadian Journal of Disability Studies/Revue canadienne d’études sur la handicap ($90,000)
Philosophy professor Nick Ray wins WUSA Teaching Award
This article originally appeared on the Department of Philosophy website.
The WUSA Teaching Award is an annual award that celebrates faculty who have demonstrated quality teaching, demonstrated commitment to student success, and looked beyond the classroom. It is also the only award presented by the University of Waterloo Senate selected entirely by undergraduate students.
Nicholas Ray, from the Department of Philosophy, is the winner of the 2021 WUSA Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award. Some student testimonials:
“Nick is a brilliant teacher. He engages us with humor and personal anecdotes to help us better understand the concepts we are learning and to stimulate our critical thinking. His class is the kind of class you WANT to attend and as a result our class is doing very well. It really takes ownership of the class rather than just regurgitating the basics – delving into films like Ex Machina and allowing us flexibility in our projects and assignments as well as giving us frameworks to submit information (such as online blogs and collaborative PechaKuchas). We are allowed to choose any area of interest for our projects that interest us, be it animal spirit, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, etc.”
“Depending on your interests, Nick will also recommend sources other than those provided in class to further your learning. He clearly wants to see us succeed and makes himself readily available to us. library. with the librarian so we could learn to engage academically in the right way with writing/research and gave us time in class to work on group projects.”
“Thank you, Nick, for [your] contributions to our minds on minds. It was a privilege to attend one of your classes.