Supported Projects


A Feasibility Study of The Effect of High-frequency Vibration on Mandibular Posture through Hyoid Bone-anchoring - Professor Natalie Reznikov, Professor Julia Cohen Levy, Professor Joyce Fung and Dr. Alexei Morozov

Sedentary lifestyle is a new reality of modern times, and it is harmful to human health in many ways ‒"sitting is the new smoking." In particular, habitual stooping posture of the neck and the abnormally tucked-in position of the lower jaw lie at the root of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and obstructive sleep apnea. While these conditions are not life-threatening, they are painful, and reduce quality of life in 1 person out of 10. We have designed a non-invasive physiotherapy device for the correction of a habitually poor posture of the mandible to alleviate dental clenching, TMJ disorders and neck pain, and to improve airway patency. By focally applying mechanical vibration to the attachment sites of certain muscles, this oscillating device will equilibrate muscle tone to restore the mandible to its normal, physiological resting position. We propose a preclinical feasibility study to test our patent pending device as an essential step towards clinical trials and commercialization.

A Paradigm Shift In Water Treatment: Reengineering With Low-cost, Sustainable and Recovered Wastes - Professor Nathalie Tufenkji and Dr. Mathieu Lapointe

With an annual global market of $18 billion, coagulants and flocculants are critical to water treatment but carry an economic and environmental burden. For wastewater alone, these chemicals generate ~8 million tons of metal-containing sludge waste annually. To simultaneously deal with the issues of process sustainability, cost, and efficiency, we have developed new materials notably reengineered using recovered waste from treatment plants; namely, cellulose, polyester, cotton, and keratin fibers. These advanced materials (functionalized fibers and microspheres) drastically improve removal of conventional and emerging contaminants during settling by increasing floc size and density. Moreover, we developed a three-in-one bridging/ballasting/adsorbing cellulose-based material (flake) that can simultaneously adsorb contaminants, bridge colloids, and ballast flocs, whilst reducing chemical usage. The unprecedented size of flocs produced using flakes enables easy floc removal by screening, eliminating the need for a settling tank, a large and costly process unit. These reusable materials combined with separation via screening will allow global water treatment facilities to reduce their capital and operating costs as well as their environmental footprint. Because of their relatively low cost and unprecedented performance, we expect that our products will be commercialized globally. In fact, our materials would be notably used during aggregation-settling, a technology used by more than 70% of the water treatments plants in the world. This award will be used for salary support and the fabrication of a portable pilot unit to test the materials for different market applications as we drive the technology to commercialization. This award will significantly accelerate our market entry by enabling us to demonstrate the performance of our disruptive technology at a larger scale and over a wider range of operating conditions (i.e., for several industrial sectors requiring water treatment).

Accelerated Alloy Discovery Through Machine Learning: The KASSANDRA Method - Professor Mihriban O. Pekguleryuz and Dr. Luis Angel Villegas-Armenta

Designing new materials is crucial to face the ever-increasing engineering challenges of the future. Particularly for metals, the light-alloy design is a process that involves great time and expenses to perfect a proposed material. This is traditionally done by incrementally adding elements to an alloy and testing various heat treatments until the desired properties are obtained, which involves substantial work at each iteration. The KASSANDRA method is a novel solution to design light alloys that relies on artificial intelligence to dramatically accelerate the design process. It is a flexible approach that can be applied to a wide range of challenges: mechanical resistance, corrosion resistance, ductility improvement, cost reduction and more. It has the potential to reduce the development process from years to weeks, reducing costs and giving companies a competitive edge over others traditional approaches.

Specifically, a CMOS imaging sensor is coupled with a sample microfluidic system. Samples swabbed from regions with high fluorescence will be placed on the microfluidic channels/wells on top of the CMOS sensor. Light will be generated during the ATP-mediated chemiluminescence reaction from the samples containing aerobic microorganisms, and the emitted light will be recorded and further analyzed for quantitatitation. We anticipate that a combined fluorescence and chemiluminescence approach will overall speed up the cleanliness assessment and increase the uptime for the processing facility or kitchens. Within the frame of this proposal, we will work on the adaptation and validation of the ATP chemiluminescence detection on a CMOS sensor and evaluate its use in conjunction with the CSI-D fluorescence device. Successful validation of this combined approach will lead to a robust tool for food safety inspection and quality control.


Acrylic intends to design and sell abstract acrylic artwork that has been produced via a semi-automated process (using both robotic and software automation).

Additive that Prevents Surface Defects in PVC Films - Professor Milan Maric, Professor Richard Leask,  and Professor Jim Nicell

Gas checks are visible fleck-shaped defects that occur on the surface of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) films during industrial calendering. Films containing these surface defects often do not meet minimum product specifications and therefore must be disposed of or recycled, resulting in increased cost and material waste. Currently, gas checks are controlled by keeping film gauge low and through trial-and-error modifications of processing parameters by calender operators.  We found that a series of poly(caprolactone) (PCL)‐based compounds with diester linkers and alkyl chain cappers were all effective at preventing the formation of gas checks during calendering, with additive concentrations as low as 8 phr producing films with no gas checks.

Advanced process for scalable production of viral vectors for gene and cell therapy - Professor Amine Kamen

There is a revolution happening in medicine with the recent regulatory approval of novel cell and gene therapy treatments against so far incurable diseases, such as blood cancer and some types of rare genetic diseases. As a result, researchers in the field are moving toward the development of new promising approaches with application to other unmet medical needs. However, the complex manufacturing process behind these treatments is slowing down the research translation. Preclinical experiments as well as clinical trials require large quantities of high quality viral vectors and, to date, manufacturing centers are overburdened. Academic research laboratories and early stage companies do not have the infrastructure to develop and manufacture the needed biological material. We will exploit our integrated process for a high yield and scalable production of viral vectors (lentivirus and adeno associated virus) using our suspension technology platform instead of the ancient and difficult to scale adherent cell system. Our production process and capability can have a significant impact to support the increasing demand of these vectors and bridging the existing gap between research and clinic. With this award, we want to support end user validation in the form of salary and consumables towards commercialization.


Affluencial is democratizing tailored financial advising, planning and investing so that individuals can have access to quality wealth management regardless of their net worth.

Afrobeats Central

Afrobeats Central is a digital marketing company that aims to connect Afrobeats artists to editors, content curators, tastemakers on various streaming platforms as well as music magazines and blogs.

Alpha Iota Alloys

Alpha Iota Alloys aims to develop novel ultra-lightweight magnesium (ULMg) alloys for applications where weight reduction is critical by developing eco-friendly and affordable-cost alloys with superior properties.

AIM Colours

AIM Colours helps you explore colours seamlessly from any mobile device.


With the cost of wearable technology becoming more accessible, less cost prohibitive, and miniaturized for practical use, designing smart, wearable tech is literally at our fingertips. As such, Ameko set out to create every-day winter gloves embedded with the technology that provides comfort and safety, all while being fashionable.


Appetite is a social food sharing platform for people to buy and sell the meals that they prepare in their own kitchens.
The team is comprised of three co-founders: Sean Kaiser and Kristina Pearkes, both Mechanical Engineering, and Paul Bridi, Civil Engineering/Minor Computer Science, all expecting to graduate in May 2017.

Arno Project

Arno Project is a venture interested in developing a template for sustainable housing construction. By using biogenic materials and a centralized energy-management system for ensuring carbon-neutral construction and operation, Arno Project offers design and construction services for new environmentally-conscious home buyers. The team currently has a 200-square-foot prototype in construction in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, QC


Artizanko is a zero waste packaging solutions company for local enterprises. Currently, we are collaborating with local producers to innovate compostable packaging for their products. Our goal is to have packages that are inexpensive, compostable, heat and water resistant.


A new video-chat platform optimized for the needs of low-bandwidth users.


A portable and affordable brain scanner for point-of-care diagnosis in ambulances, sports fields, field hospitals, and homes.



BaseDash is the ultimate collaborative database tooling platform for tech companies. View and edit data with beautiful UI-based workflows and share insights with your teammates instantly. BaseDash replaces traditional database clients with a modern, collaborative web app. Simply the best way to manage data for teams.


BioGEEK is a non-profit startup made of students passionate about using engineering to help underserved communities. BioGEEK's goal is to provide people with quick and accessible energy to help meet their everyday electrical needs. Using a linear track, a magnetic mass, a spring, and a roll of copper coil, we hope to produce enough energy to power small appliances and help alleviate the objective of making energy accessible to everyone.


BioOptic is a necessary staple in physiotherapy and rehabilitative offices, globally, for its ability to characterize the abdominal compartment, non-invasively, for improved and targeted treatment plans. We directly measure and relate intra-abdominal pressure and abdominal wall elasticity to clinicians and patients, alike.

Blue City Technology

Blue City Technology's mission is to make roads safer, reduce commute times, and cut emissions. We develop software to provide cities with the data to better understand and improve their transportation network.


Blühen involves creating and commercialising an intuitive extract dispensing device that allows consumers to seamlessly incorporate cannabis into their daily routines.


Buzzle is an interactive video editing app made for iPadOS and the Apple Pencil, it aims to break the barriers to video creation by providing a partly automated, intuitive, and efficient platform to its users.


Brighten is a new tech start-up focused on providing Canadians with personalized, accessible, and effective solutions for managing winter depression and seasonal affective disorder. Our dream is simple: to improve winters for millions of people and to normalize mental healthcare.


Cloud Nine

Cloud Nine is the go-to platform for all things related to accommodation. It's an all-in-one solution that makes housing and related services more accessible and convenient.

Cognitive Chem

CognitiveChem aims to shape a healthier tomorrow by developing a platform powered by AI & crowd sourcing to help the chemistry community discover greener chemicals, faster.


Cookiestruct is offering customers 3D-printed, custom-made advanced cookie cutters that can make cookies for any occasions ranging from birthdays to anniversaries and weddings.


Copysmith’s AI copywriter handles the writing of marketing materials, meaning companies can focus on what they do best. Using cutting-edge machine learning, Copysmith asks a few questions and then augments the content creation process -- from blog posts to ad variants, product descriptions, taglines, and landing pages, all with just seconds of effort.


CourseLnk is a student-run, community oriented app that seeks to connect students together in order to help them keep up with their classes. The app is available at McGill, Western and Trent Universities and is the easiest way to find course group chats and classmates, especially during a time when in-person teaching and on-campus activities are largely suspended.



DawaSwift is a secure web (& mobile-app)-based platform that incorporates shipping of medical supplies to patients and health institutions, in real-time, and is hinged on the combined Uber-Amazon model, in Kenya and potentially to other countries. We intend to use drones to reach out to emergency medical situations after few months of launch following the government of Kenya’s recent (2018) legalization of use of commercial drones.

Development of an innovative composite prepreg recycling system - Professor Pascal Hubert

Carbon fibre prepregs are the most widely used raw material for making high-performance composite structures. They consist of dry fibre impregnated with a partially cured polymeric resin and they represent a very significant portion of the total manufacturing cost of a given structure. The carbon fiber prepreg market is expected to grow from USD 7.0 billion in 2019 to USD 11.5 billion by 2024. Current manufacturing practices, however, generate large quantities of prepreg waste, which poses both a financial burden on the manufacturer and a negative environmental impact. Several recycling solutions are being studied at the lab scale, but none have reached the level of maturity necessary for industrial implementation. This project aims at deploying a commercially viable recycling tool that transforms prepreg waste collected directly from an aerospace manufacturer into a high-performance compression moulding compound. The successful scale-up of this technology would lead to an unprecedented improvement in composites manufacturing sustainability within the aerospace industry. Estimated saving of USD 2-3 billion per year could be achieved with this technology developed at McGill as 30-50% of the carbon fibre prepreg purchased end up in the landfill. Furthermore, it would facilitate the adoption of composites within other major sectors, such as automotive, marine, recreational sporting goods, etc.


Dialysave is a startup company based in Montreal, Canada. Our mission is to provide widespread access to dialysis for patients suffering from End Stage Renal Disease, both locally and throughout the world.

DIASkin Technologies

DIASkin Technologies is a for-profit startup venture dedicated to utilizing the UV-filtering properties of diatom microalgae frustules to offer affordable, eco-friendly, and effective sun protection to our customers’ skin.


At DomeAge, we thrive to provide outdoor lovers with the opportunity to experience nature in a new and unique way. Our modular construction kits easily transform into safe and beautiful geodesic domes that make your stay unforgettable.

Drill bit condition monitoring system for mining applications - Dr. Hamed Rafezi and Professor Ferri Hassani

The proposed application aims to further develop our patent-pending approach (PCT/CA2018/051236) for tricone drill Bit Condition Monitoring System (BCMS) in surface mining. The mining industry is moving toward automation and autonomous machinery for increasing the efficiency, precision and safety in production. A successful automated blasthole drilling condition monitoring and control system is a vital step forward. Drilling and blasting are two preliminary tasks in large surface mining operations and constitute more than 15% of the total costs. Tricone bits are preferred in most rotary drilling applications for blasthole drilling in a surface mining operation. Bit wear and subsequent failure of drill in the hole create major delays in removing the detached cone(s) from the hole to avoid damage to the rock crusher equipment. Fully autonomous drilling would not be achievable without a machine-sensing system for recognizing when the drill bit is worn and requires replacing.


Early Breast Cancer Screening with Low-Power Microwaves - Professor Milica Popovic

Each of the current modalities, such as mammography, ultrasound and MRI, has downsides, often resulting in late tumor detection and, consequently, a lower success rate in post‐surgical treatment. Low‐power microwave‐based screening is an emerging field that promises inexpensive, comfortable and safe monitoring of breast tissue, to enable early detection of malignant lesions. The McGill research team is among only a few in the world that has evaluated the underlying technology (ultra-wide-band (UWB) microwave detection) for monitoring breast tissue in human subjects. The award is providing funds to help build a more compact and portable second-generation prototype for use in ongoing feasibility studies.

Efficient Convolutional-Neural-Network (CNN) Processing System

To further develop an efficient computing platform technology in silicon that provides industry best in class performance in throughput, low-power and achievable depth of the deep-learning network in real-time. We have re-defined the computation platform by introducing a highly scalable architecture to accommodate any order deep-learning architecture as desired by the developer.

Effortless AI Makes Artificial Intelligence Easy - Professors Brett Meyer and Warren Gross

While AI is clearly the future, most developers lack the expertise to build such systems. Effortless AI, by automating the design and optimization of machine learning systems, makes it possible to bring efficient AI to more devices, faster. Though we are not the first or only to automate the design of machine learning algorithms (e.g., Google’s AutoML, NYTimes) we are unique in our approach: by explicitly considering issues that matter for mobile/IoT systems (e.g., the time or energy required to perform facial recognition), we produce the best systems possible for these platforms. The WRSA will offer critical support at a key time as we work to prepare our prototype for customer validation and early contracts, and ultimately to raise seed funding.

External Artificial Pancreas for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes - Ahmad Haidar and Professor Benoit Boulet

This system gives those suffering from Type 1 diabetes the opportunity to access more effective, portable, automated treatment of their disease.


Fully Porous Hip Replacement Implant Capable of Eliminating Bone Resorption - Professor Damiano Pasini, Dr. Sajad Arabnejad, Dr. Michael Tanzer, Burnett Johnston

Their novel implant uses a fully porous structural biomaterial that avoids bone resorption by seamlessly matching the properties of the local host bone tissue.  In addition, the new design can be adopted with no modifications to existing surgical technique and hospital infrastructure. Existing hip replacement procedures often require follow-up surgery that can increase the risk of complications and even death. Current hip implants in the market are incapable of preventing long-term stress-related bone loss, which is a risk factor for the success of revision hip surgery.  The award is contributing to the cost of the animal studies.


Freely is a for-profit startup on a mission to make sexual wellness more accessible than ever. We are building a one-stop-shop website that empowers anybody to make informed decisions and design the perfect product for them. By leveraging AI and additive manufacturing, Freely offers completely custom sex toys that are as unique as you are.


Green, Carbon-Negative Construction Materials - Dr. Mehrdad Mahoutian and Professor Yixin Shao

They have developed a carbonation technology that produces construction materials using steel slag as binder and carbon dioxide (CO2) as activator. A specific example is a standard construction block, which are traditionally made from Portland cement. The method developed uses the carbonation activation technique to make steel slag a primary binder for block applications. This will eliminate the use of Portland cement, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, convert steel industry waste into value-added products, sequester carbon dioxide into stable carbonates, and consume zero virgin materials. These construction blocks have equivalent mechanical properties compared to commercial cement-based concrete blocks. As well, the production cost of the green blocks is approximately 25% lower than the commercial standard. The well-established block market suggests a great business opportunity for this new product. The award will allow the team to further generate commercially-relevant data and de-risk the technology for future investment.


High Temperature Te-Based Solder Alloys - Professor Mathieu Brochu and Dr. Sunyong Kwon

High-temperature solders require solidus temperature at least 270 °C and the liquidus temperature at most 350 °C. Small solidification ranges are preferred to avoid solidification defects. The conventional high-temperature solders mainly comprise of Pb, which include Pb-5Sn, Pb-10Sn, Pb-5Ag, Pb-2Ag-8Sn, etc. Sn-based solder alloys are currently used for lead-free solders; but they suffer from high temperature properties due to their low solidus temperature (<260 °C). Alternatively, Bi-based solder alloys were invented (e.g. Bi-Ag), but their solidus temperature (262 °C) is still considered relatively low. For this reason, Pb-based alloys for HT solder applications have been exempted from the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), but this exemption will not be permanent. The present invention provides four alloy compositions, whose eutectic temperatures ranging from 300 to 350 °C depending upon compositions. The alloys contain over 50 atomic percent Te, and an effective amount of Ag and Cu, optionally with Sn. Although Te is mildly toxic for humans, it is not hazardous for the environment. As such, Te is not listed in RoHS. Te has been used as an essential element for photovoltaic solar cell and thermoelectric materials. The technological limitation to be addressed is to develop lead-free, high solidus temperature, high service temperature alloys. The main advantage of the invention is the ideal eutectic temperatures (small solidification range) for high-temperature solder applications. In addition, Te is less reactive to oxygen than Bi and Sn, as such, oxidation during soldering can be reduced.


HOUND is a for profit, portable timing device that will make you throw out your old stopwatch. With HOUND, you will be able to accurately time your sprints and train like a professional at an affordable price.  


Hydrolux wants to produce and distribute green hydrogen to warehouses to supply fuel cell powered forklifts. Hydrogen forklifts are tougher, faster and safer than traditional forklifts.



Immersed is a personalized language learning app that generates a tailored curriculum based on your everyday inputs into your phone. In addition, unlike other language learning software, our app facilitates subconscious learning of a language’s vocabulary by simply using your phone as you normally would.


Product aimed at drastically improving the mental health of paralyzed patients by allowing them to interact with others and engage in various activities without moving their body physically using electroencephalography (EEG) and brain-computer interface (BCI).

Inti Aerospace

Inti Aerospace believes in releasing the world from the restrictions of battery powered flight, using the latest solar technology. A clean sheet design process has allowed us to develop an optimized UAV with unbeatable surveying performance. We appreciate your patience whilst we try to build a great product and look forward to sharing it with you in August 2018. The team is comprised of three members: Elie Bou-Gharios, CEO, BEng 2018, Mechanical Engineering, Callaghan Wilmott, CTO, BEng 2018, Mechanical Engineering, and Mathew Morgan, COO, BEng 2018, Mechanical Engineering.



A software app that brings together small businesses and part-time jobseekers, offers inventory management services and provides data analytics solutions.


L'escrime Libre

L'escrime Libre is an exciting new start-up focusing on providing innovative solutions for the sport of fencing. We are a group of engineers, programmers, and scientists aiming to reimagine the future of fencing. Our primary design product is a lightweight, portable, and low cost alternative to the current outmoded and expensive scoring systems that are standard in the sport.

LFAnt Medical

LFAnt Medical is a for-profit Montreal-based biotechnology startup dedicated to revolutionizing the point-of-care detection of infectious diseases. LFAnt is currently developing its flagship product, the Compact, which is a rapid and accurate at-home test for the detection of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Libro Company

Libro is a venture started by students who promote the idea of a safeguarded workspace for studying. Our mission is to guard unattended electronics in public study spaces, and we aim to reinvent the way students interact with their belongings.


Lumbrick is a social venture aiming to improve the affordability and accessibility of biofuel for refugees in poverty. We empower women refugees to become self-supporting entrepreneurs by providing them the tools and know-how to recycle maize leaves and cardboard into briquettes, and sell them as cooking fuel to their community. In this way, we increase the food security and spendable income of refugee communities by supplying them with a low-cost direct substitute for firewood.


Lunavoy Inc. is a Canada based eCommerce and social network company offering an AI powered, web and mobile-app platform for connecting SME providers of tourist experiences / activities with travelers and travelers among themselves.


Maple Syrup Extract to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance - Professor Nathalie Tufenkji and Dr. Vimal Maisuria

They have showed that an extract from maple syrup can make disease-causing bacteria more susceptible to common antibiotics. This is a simple and effective approach for significantly reducing antibiotic usage (up to 97%), thus slowing the spread of antibiotic-resistance. The extract also acts synergistically with antibiotics in destroying resistant bacterial communities known as biofilms. The proposed synergism-based treatment may expand the spectrum of existing antimicrobials, prevent the emergence of resistant strains, and minimize potential cytotoxicity due to high antibiotic doses. They envision the extract being incorporated, for example, into antibiotic capsules or creams as an antibiotic-boosting agent.  The award will be used to conduct necessary in vitro and in vivo experiments with maple syrup extracts to confirm the efficacy of this non-obvious and potentially disruptive technology.

Mimetik Solutions

Mimetik Solutions provides innovative biomaterials and creative solutions for printing tissue mimetic scaffolds for surgical training and regenerative medicine.

‘Multimeter’ of the nano-age: a cost-effective system for multi-physics characterizations of ultrathin structures - Professor Changhong Cao

As silicon-based electronics have almost reached their physical limitations, the class of ultra-thin structures (i.e., atomically thin two-dimensional materials (2DM)) is one of the most promising alternative building blocks due to their superior physical properties for next-generation electronics (e.g., photodetectors, field-effect transistors, solar cells). The market size of 2DM-based devices is projected to $203 billion by 2028. While exotic lab-scale 2DM electronics have been demonstrated with unprecedented performance, a critical step before they can be transferred to the marketplace is to assure their consistent performance (e.g., mechanical, electrical, etc.), which determines the long-term sustainability of this new generation of electronics. However, it is much more challenging to do quality check of 2DM-based than silicon-based devices because of their ultra-thin and delicate nature (nanometers thick). Our patent-pending technology, a single-chip micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) has significant advantages over the one product currently on the market. With the support from TechAccelR Grant, we will develop additional functionalities to make our system a ‘multi-meter’ for ultrathin structures on top of its existing mechanical characterization capability. The commercialization of our development will significantly accelerate the transfer of thin/ultra-thin structure-based applications to the marketplace to support a range of disruptive technologies including augmented reality (AR), autonomous vehicles (AV) and Internet of Things (IoT).

Multiplex Measurement of PCR Reactions by a Label Free Plasmonic Thermocycler - Professor Andrew Kirk, Dr. Philip Roche and Professor Mark Trifiro

This new, better, cheaper, and faster method in the performance of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been demonstrated and patented at McGill. PCR is an essential tool in molecular biological investigations and dominates the field of molecular diagnostics, providing DNA fingerprinting for crime scene analysis as well as identification of disease processes (cancer resistance and susceptibility, hereditary illness and microbial infection). The award will meet the specific aim of delivering the prototype of a miniaturized, multiplex, energy efficient, and rapid real-time PCR platform that outperforms market leaders.



Neat is a file manager for visual thinkers. It's designed to help student groups, project leaders and remote work teams discover and share resources faster.

Next-Generation Hydrological Sensor Technology for Water Quality Monitoring - Professors Vivian Yargeau and Thomas Szkopek and Ibrahim Fakih

Water is a natural resource essential to the global biosphere, and no less important to the well-being of a nation's citizens. Despite its importance, water quality is insufficiently measured in space and time due to cost, practicality and overall feasibility. Deficiencies in water quality monitoring can be overcome by increasing the accessibility of ion sensing tools. We have developed inexpensive graphene ion sensing field effect transistors (ISFETs) with very low detection limits that can measure water quality in real-time. Our invention can potentially fill an important void in water quality monitoring technology. With this award we will validate graphene ISFETs by testing them in the field and integrating them with the Internet of Things (IoT).


NIA, a bilingual (Swahili & English) AI-powered personal financial management assistant chatbot, in Tanzania, accessible through mobile banking and payment apps, empowering users to acquire relevant financial knowledge, informative financial reports, and make queries about their accounts.

Novel Insulation Inserts for Improving Large Scale BioPharma Logistics Operations - James McGoff and Charles A. Vincent

LIFEPACK, the company that James and Charles co-founded, is commercializing a novel insulation product for companies seeking to improve their large scale cold chain operations without disrupting their current shipping logistics. Adopting the LIFEPACK product is the quickest and easiest way for companies to improve their cold chain packaging by 40% to 80%. The product’s development was heavily based on a continuous dialogue with key partners in the biopharma industry. These industrial partners included pharmaceutical developers, centralized laboratory services, contract research organizations (CRO’s), blood banks, hospitals, and third party logistics providers (3PL). The award will go towards scaling and sustaining the growth of the company.

Novel Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair System - Toufic Azar, Dr. Renzo Cecere and Professors Jorge Angeles, Josef Kovecses, and Rosaire Mongrain

This system gives those suffering from mitral valve regurgitation disease the opportunity to undergo a more effective and less invasive technique to reduce risks and trauma associated with conventional open-heart surgery.


On-Chip Chemiluminescence Biosensor for Food Safety - Professor Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu and Dr. Juanjuan Liu

Pathogenic contamination of food is one of the major issues for foodborne illness. Hence, food safety inspection and quality control with food pathogen detection is of significance. Commonly used techniques for food pathogen detection include culture-based methods and nucleic acid-based methods such as PCR. These techniques are time-consuming, tedious, and are highly demanding for laboratory consumables and equipment. Our proposal is aimed at the identification and quantitation of food pathogens using our novel chemiluminescence technology. 
We anticipate that our approach will overall speed up the cleanliness assessment and increase the uptime for the processing facility or kitchens.  Successful validation will lead to a robust tool for food safety inspection and quality control.

One-Step Cell Isolation and Expansion on Multi-Functional Microcarriers

Emerging cell-based therapies for cancer, diabetes and other diseases have been hailed as the next revolution in medicine. The high cost-of-goods of these therapies is prohibitive for publicly funded health care systems such as Canada. We propose to develop a technology for cell separation and expansion in bioreactors that could reduce costs by reducing the number of steps required during bioprocessing.

Optimizing Sequential Decision-Making (A/B Testing) - Professor Daniel Varro, Sebastian Pilarski and Slawomir Pilarski

Sequential decision-making such as A/B testing is commonly required across many modern industries. Optimizing such decisions is often at the core of business success. Today, most businesses rely upon time-consuming and suboptimal manual processes. More sophisticated businesses make use of existing optimization solutions such as reinforcement learning multi-armed bandit algorithms. However, A/B-style sequential decision-making may exhibit delayed information response (e.g., a retailer does not sell all products immediately after stocking; there is a time delay between the stocking decision and the products being purchased). Such delays make optimization via manual decision-making extremely labor intensive. They also result in tremendously sub-optimal decisions. Moreover, existing automated solutions provide very poor decisions when decision feedback is delayed. We have developed state-of-the-art multi-armed bandit methodologies for optimizing sequential decision-making in the presence of delay. These methodologies significantly outperform existing solutions. The TechAccelR Grant will enable us to build prototypes of our technology for specific industrial retail business cases. In doing so, it would empower us to shift our focus from academic research to commercialization-focused research and development. Our technology has the power to transform businesses into more competitive, high-efficiency operations by improving required core decision-making.


Ora-3D is aiming to provide a smart and automated solution for effortless dental care by redesigning the decades old model of a toothbrush and automating it to intelligently provide a smart brushing experience.


Ozzie is a low-cost self-driving robot that can deliver food to students on campus in under 5 minutes. It will do so using a complex technical stack that we are building including using machine learning for centimetre localization and mapping, and state-of-the-art obstacle detection.


Pattern Based Contractility Screening in Drug Discovery -  Professor Allen Ehrlicher, Ajinkya Ghagre,  Dr. Ali Amini, Johanan Idicula and Professor Ramaswamy Krishnan

Cells exert contractile forces, and defects therein are fundamental to diverse pathologies including cardiomyopathies, skeletal myopathies, vasospasm, bronchospasm, and cancer migration, invasion and metastasis. In each of these disease contexts, novel drugs with the potential to modulate cellular contractile forces that ameliorate disease symptoms or progression are urgently sought. Nevertheless, there are no pre-clinical, clinical, or industrial methods for quantifying the forces exerted by cells. To bridge this gap, we have created a simple and efficient methodology of contractile quantification which we call Pattern-based Contractile Screening (PaCS). We are commercializing PaCS as a new screening technology that uses cell contractility to identify and characterize novel potential therapeutic compounds while eliminating false positives early in the drug process, thus potentially saving billions of dollars, years of effort, and human lives associated with defective drug candidates. With the William and Rhea Seath Award, we hope to complete the translation of our proven lab method into a successful product. 


Parklue is a venture that aims to build a community of shared parking spots through a mobile and web platform that contains two main components: allowing users to temporarily borrow and share parking spots, and an open forum for everyone.


Platform which serves as a smart pet assistant for any pet owner.

Physiological Confirmation of Stimulus Reception

Today’s electronic handheld devices are incredibly sophisticated, but they all lack the ability to assess if a signal presented to a user was effectively perceived. Using an off-the-shelf wearable skin conductance sensor, this new concept can accurately detect if a stimulus was perceived by a receiver. It operates by measuring the galvanic skin response, characterized by modifications in the skin’s resistance due to activation of the sweat glands. This invention has the potential to drastically modify current mobile communication technologies.

Polymer Coating Technology for Biomedical Applications - Professor Marta Cerruti, Dr.Simon Tran, Dr. Faleh Tamimi, Dr. Reza Farivar and Dr. Monzur Murshed 

Synthetic polymeric materials are used in cell culturing and tissue engineering as platforms to enhance cell attachment, proliferation and activity, and to promote healing of injured or missing tissues. Despite being biocompatible, most synthetic polymers do not allow easy integration with cells or tissues. Thus, the surface of a polymer needs to be modified prior to any biomedical application. Current technologies result in layers that are unstable, inhomogeneous, and often degrade the polymer, in addition to being expensive and not applicable on complex geometries. We have developed a simple technology to modify polymer surfaces to promote cell adhesion and improve in-vivo performance. With the WRSA funds, we will be able to move on to commercialization.

Power-efficient AI-processor With Direct Raw Camera-sensor Data Processing - Pavel Sinha, Professors Ioannis Psaromiligkos and Professors Zeljko Zilic

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology that is slowly making its way into our day-to-day life. Currently, AI is mostly in the cloud computing space, but in the future, AI will be present in every electronic device. Like the microprocessors penetrating every electronic component since the early 1990s, in the future, dedicated AI computation circuitry will be into every electronic device regardless of shape and size. Companies trying to build such computing devices are presently concentrating on the hardware component, which has been the traditional approach. We believe that the optimal approach is to simultaneously optimize the algorithm, hardware platform, and the overall system, resulting in a scalable and highly cost-optimized solution. We have a patent-pending AI-Processor hardware architecture that is best in its class for power consumption. The technology enables running on battery power for over a year without needing a battery replacement. We have a patent-pending technology to integrate our AI-Processor in most existing systems without the need for hardware re-spin, unlike our competition.

Further, we differentiate ourselves with patent-pending technology that enables the application of optimized AI algorithms directly on raw camera sensor data, reducing the need for expensive image signal processing hardware, thus lowering cost and power consumption. Finally, our integrated software development platform enables developers to effortlessly integrate AI algorithms from any of the popular Python/Matlab environments to our AI-Processor. We have demonstrated several attractive applications such as real-time object detection and classification and automatic lip-to-audio synthesis. We are currently in talks with potential customers that have expressed sincere interest in our technology and are in an engineering collaboration with one of them. We are currently developing the integrated circuit (IC) in an industry-academic partnership with McGill University and CMC. We intend to use the WRSA funds to pay the salary and stipend for interns and pay for material costs for the AI-Processor development and testing.

Precipice Environmental Sensors

Coastal water level sensors are needed by research scientists, government institutions and ocean-based industries alike for monitoring tides and coastal hazards such as storm surges and sea level change. Yet, commercially available sensors are generally expensive and difficult to install and maintain. GNSS-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) using low-cost equipment has recently emerged as a promising alternative technique for monitoring water levels. In previous work, we showed that four co-located low-cost GNSS antennas could be used to monitor water levels with a precision of approximately 1 cm - an improvement of 30-50% relative to measurements obtained using a single antenna. However, water level measurements were obtained by processing GNSS data days after it was initially recorded and this limits the use of the instruments for operational and commercial applications. In the proposed research project, we will investigate techniques to record and communicate GNSS-R water level measurements remotely in real time. We will design and build new prototype instruments and install them next to operational water level sensors at two sites to test their performance. In order to investigate the datum of measurements, a key attribute of the measurements that was missing from previous analysis, we will also perform surveying procedures and investigate any potential offsets between co-located instruments.



Quantropy aims to provide retail traders with a holistic approach to investing. To do so, we equip them with the financial knowledge and tools they need to learn from industry practice and academia in order to seamlessly translate their gained insights into practice. Regardless of their level of expertise or goals, they can intuitively scrutinize fundamental and technical data to identify patterns and build quantitative models and strategies with an assisted AI, which can then be deployed in real-time.


Rapid high through-put 3D-printed in vitro skin models for drug discovery and screening - Professors Showan Nazhat and Anie Philip and Gabriele Griffanti

This proposal aims to advance a world unique 3D printing technology developed at McGill University that is based on a recently granted U.S patent (9,764,060). Our breakthrough development is the 3D bioprinting of tissue structures with varying architectures based on a platform bioink system with a novel printing method. By using naturally derived bioink hydrogels with incorporated cells, the printed tissue structures can be tailored to mimic collagen fibril density and alignment, as well as cell loading and density according to the intended use. This novel approach will overcome current challenges in the bioprinting of tissues such as maintaining cell viability and spatial control in 3D microenvironments during processing. In this WRSA proposal, we intend to reduce to practice this technology by focusing on the 3D bioprinting of in vitro skin models to investigate a novel therapeutic in the treatment of fibrosis and cancer.

Recycling Phosphorus by Upgrading Municipal Biosolids

We are approaching peak phosphorus (P). Similar to oil, P-fertilizer is extracted from a non-renewable resource called “phosphate rock” (PR) that is concentrated in few geographical locations. Due to PR value and future outlook, Europe recently placed PR on its critical materials list. Germany and Switzerland have mandated future P-recovery from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Canada has no operating PR mines, and no P-recovery strategy. The only P-fertilizer production facility in Canada will soon close. We are addressing this challenge of an impending PR, and therefore P-fertilizer availability problem, by simply and inexpensively upgrading municipal biosolids to increase their P-fertilizer value.

Recycling Pioneers

Recycling Pioneers are a non-profit group building smart-waste bin with public waste displays for McGill campus. 

Remineralizing Toothpaste for Treatment of Tooth Hypersensitivity - Hamed Rafezi and Professor Ferri Hassani

The mining industry is moving toward automation and autonomous machinery for increasing the efficiency and precision in production. A successful automated blasthole drilling condition monitoring is a necessary component of this journey. Drilling and blasting (Appendix – figure 1 and 2) are two preliminary tasks in large surface mining operations and constitute more than 15% of the total operational costs. Bit wear and subsequent bit failure create remarkable delays and costs. The detached bit parts after the failure must be removed from the hole to avoid damage to the rock crusher equipment. In addition, fully autonomous drilling would not be achievable without a machine sensing system for recognizing when the drill bit is worn and requires replacing. Our patent-pending system, offers a solution to monitor the bit wear level in real-time and to predict the catastrophic failure. The system relies on signals analysis and an artificial intelligence model trained by full-scale drilling data gathered in mining operations in the past phases. The proposed application aims to cover the costs to build a stand-alone prototype of our system.


Revív is creating a closed-loop, carbon-negative system that upcycles waste plastic into fuel, driven by organic waste-derived catalysts which later serve as potent regenerative soil nutrients.


Rheto is an online (for profit) marketplace that offers a simple and refreshing way to connect clients with the best-suited lawyers for their legal issue. 


At Rokulo, we are focused on deploying innovative machine learning and drone technologies to help mining companies of all sizes optimize their entire comminution process - from ore extraction, to truck transport, to mineral processing and finally recovery.



7Square helps real estate investment companies find low-risk investments by finding high appreciating residential properties in Canada. Their platform finds undervalued real estate properties that are primed for high appreciation through the use of numerous sources of data, such as traditional past sales, urban data, demographic data, social media, and satellite imaging    

SALIVERA: A Fully Automated Molecular Testing Device For Rapid Detection of Viral RNA - Professor Sara Mahshid and Dr. Roozbeh Siavash Moakhar

This technology consists of a device for very rapid diagnostic and serological testing in response to urgent needs in the COVID-19 pandemic. The portable and automated electrical acquisition can be coupled to a smartphone, using a smartphone application that can receive the electrical data and interpret the data into reading signals for a digital display. Our approach is cost-effective and does not require skilled operators. The William and Rhea Seath Award (WRSA) will support the fabrication cost of one unit of industrial design of SALIVERA with the aim of testing the device in a hospital -the last critical step before regulatory approval and commercialization.

Scale Up of Novel Biphasic Treatment Process for the Treatment of Chlorinated Solvents with Reactive Iron Nanoparticles - Professor Subhasis Ghoshal and Dr. Sourjya Bhattacharjee

Extensive industrial use and improper disposal in the past have resulted in the widespread contamination of groundwater aquifers and soils with neurotoxic, carcinogenic chlorinated solvents such as tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). A significant fraction of the TCE and PCE are present as non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in contaminated aquifers because of their slow solubilization, leading to persistent and extensive contamination. We have developed a novel, cost effective, nanotechnology-based non-aqueous phase treatment process that rapidly transforms PCE and TCE into non-toxic gases, ethene and ethane, and chloride ions, which can be recovered and reused. The limited amounts of reagents required and the generation of commercially relevant end products make this a lower environmental footprint system than existing alternatives. Through this award, we propose to scale up and demonstrate the successful treatment of PCE and TCE in a 20 L pilot scale reactor with maximized material recycle and recovery.


ScienceReach is an online platform that obtains data in specialized templates from community-based organizations (CBOs) like NGOs and provides it to the researchers and students at universities. CBOs are deeply rooted in communities, and they have invaluable information of communities’ needs, challenges and priorities.


Sheltered is a non-profit project with the goal of addressing homelessness in Canada. Although homelessness is a systemic issue, Sheltered aims to provide a temporary shelter to the unhoused population while simultaneously raising awareness of the structural nature of this issue. Our product addresses needs that are specific to those in semi-permanent/permanent homeless living conditions through mechanical, structural, and material considerations.


Sidekik is a for-profit mobile application that connects virtual tour guides to travelers by utilizing augmented reality.


The S!MVO interface is uniquely targeted to university prospects and college students alike. Overall, the platform combines snapshot moments of our listed universities for prospective students to browse, relevant social media threads, and the opportunity to map out potential degrees using our planner. The aim of S!MVO thus benefits student higher education planning as well as university recruitment operations. The team is comprised of two co-founders: Thomas Karatzas, CTO, BEng 2018, Software Engineering and John Nnamchi, COO, BSci 2018, Biochemistry.


Automatic food intake monitoring.


SokoMtaani is a for-profit social enterprise that leverages already established mobile technology to provide a virtual marketplace for manufacturers and retailers in the sub-saharan market. Making it easier for local retailers to acquire goods just from the tap of a button.


Stocate is an online platform that supports the Buy Local movement by connecting local sellers with potential buyers. They represent small businesses, artists, grassroots organizations, producers, and independent teachers in our mission to empower individuals to find, create, and add their own value to the world.


StudyBuddy is a platform for students to enhance their study experience while staying connected with friends.


Sutton is a peer-hosted cloud. Sutton connects developers seeking affordable edge computing services to billions of computer owners whose devices hold valuable, unused processing power.


SWAM is a for-profit business, with a product similar to Fitbit for high-performance athletics, specifically swimming. The product being developed is a network of intercommunicating wearable hardware modules that give a 3D model of a swimmer in motion, enabling Coaches to give much better technical feedback to their athletes. 


The Swater Guys

The Sweater Guys Custom printed for the 21st century. Simply the sexiest sweater ever created. Designed by artists and refined by engineers, you won't want to take it off... Ever.

Tricone Bit Wear Monitoring and Failure Prediction - Hamed Rafezi and Professor Ferri Hassani

The mining industry is moving toward automation and autonomous machinery for increasing the efficiency and precision in production. A successful automated blasthole drilling condition monitoring is a necessary component of this journey. Drilling and blasting (Appendix – figure 1 and 2) are two preliminary tasks in large surface mining operations and constitute more than 15% of the total operational costs. Bit wear and subsequent bit failure create remarkable delays and costs. The detached bit parts after the failure must be removed from the hole to avoid damage to the rock crusher equipment. In addition, fully autonomous drilling would not be achievable without a machine sensing system for recognizing when the drill bit is worn and requires replacing. Our patent-pending system, offers a solution to monitor the bit wear level in real-time and to predict the catastrophic failure. The system relies on signals analysis and an artificial intelligence model trained by full-scale drilling data gathered in mining operations in the past phases. The proposed application aims to cover the costs to build a stand-alone prototype of our system.


Innovative solution to facilitate the communication between family members and health care facilities.

We are a student project tasked with designing a sustainable food system that challenges the current urban agriculture infrastructure. To achieve this goal, the company is designing a novel hydroponics system founded on three food growing principles: minimizing the cost per unit of produce, maximizing vitamin and micronutrient content through experimental findings, and optimizing water and resource use as well as reusability of materials.



UCrea's mission is to enable teams to create through additive manufacturing by providing them with the quality tools and services they need to bring their ideas to life. The team is comprised of six members: Ethienne Racine, BEng 2018, Mechanical Engineering, Sebastian De Cabrol, BCom 2018, Strategic Management with an International Business concentration, Isabel Moreno, BCom 2018, Accounting with a Managing for Sustainability concentration and a minor in French, Ammar Masood Khan, BCom 2019, Marketing with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Data Analytics, Maneesha Pramdh Karunagoda, a first-year BEng student, and Adam Martino.

UV LED Curing System

The goal of this company is to create a for-profit business that brings a safe, reliable, and cost-efficient solution to curing UV activated resins used in the manufacturing of wooden instruments. The team is comprised of two members: Mariane Kim, BEng 2018, Electrical Engineering, and Justin Ye, BEng 2018, Electrical Engineering.


Vascularized Bioartificial Pancreas for The Treatment of Diabetes - Professor Corinne Hoesli, Jonathan Brassard, Professor Richard Leask and Professor Steven Paraskevas

Insulin injections is the current treatment for diabetes but fails to eliminate the related health risks associated with periods of hypo and hyperglycemia. In the last decades, transplantation of cadaveric islets has shown major glycemic control improvement compared to insulin treatment, drastically ameliorating the life of patients. Islet transplantation, however, is currently limited to a minuscule proportion of patient suffering from diabetes (<1%), for whom the lifelong immunosuppression needed to avoid graft rejection outweighs the health complications linked to their uncontrolled glycemia. We have developed an encapsulation device that can both protect the cells from the immune system and allow the graft to regulate blood glucose through insulin secretion, opening the market to the 100 million people needing insulin worldwide ($30 billion annual market). The TechAccelR Grant will help us validate our device in an ex vivo perfusion system, enabling us to prepare for a future pilot study in large animals.


Venndor is the first mobile-oriented online classifieds application that seamlessly finds and matches buyers and sellers for an item at a mutually beneficial price while eliminating negotiation altogether. Venndor is revolutionizing the online P2P sales market with a fun and powerful matching principle, matching buyers and sellers at win-win prices, saving the time and hassle of negotiating with people. The team is comprised of three co-founders: Tynan Davis, CTO, BEng 2018, Software Engineering, Julien Marlatt, CEO, BCom 2017, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Operations, and Anthony Heinrich, CFO, BCom 2016, Entrepreneurship and Finance.


Voire is an organization that aims to revolutionize the museum experience through digitalization and artificial intelligence. Through Computer Recognition, we create value to customers by providing them with the necessary information they need to fully enjoy visiting a museum without having to be worried about not understanding what they are confronted to. Through a module, we allow customers to keep track of the pieces of art they visited in a museum, thus maximizing their experience.



Our social venture is focusing on renewable energy specifically biogas for home use. The project aims at providing bio-digesters to rural Zimbabwe families at an affordable price. The bio-digesters will mainly use animal excreta and food waste. The bio-digesters will be small units so that each homestead can have its own and each homestead will be taught how to properly operate and maintain it.

Back to top