For students and entrepreneurs, the i-lab provides foundational learning as the educational entry point for exploring entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Deans’ Health & Life Sciences Challenge is designed to support students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows develop, test, validate and execute innovative solutions that will improve health delivery and patient lives. This opportunity provides a platform to tackle four unique topics by using the resources of the i-lab and taking advantage of the interdisciplinary network available at Harvard, the Boston/Cambridge community and beyond.
The Challenge is structured to consist of two stages. Within the first stage, teams assemble with the support of i-lab programming and submit their initial proposals. After evaluation by the Judging Committee, six (6) teams will receive $5,000 each to further develop their proposals and deliver a final presentation. The grand prize winner and runners-up will share a prize pool totaling $50,000 to be awarded on Demo Day.
2014 Challenge Topics
Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine
Stem cell and regenerative science has the potential to transform human health. At one level, stem cell science can provide a platform for new modes of drug discovery and testing. At another, the science can lead to novel therapies involving repairing, replacing, enhancing and/or regenerating cells, tissues and organs. There are high hopes that discoveries in laboratories will be implemented clinically to transform patient lives. We are looking for plans that harness the potential of stem cell science.
Medical Devices & Biomedical Materials
The invention of medical devices that improve clinical outcomes and biomedical materials that facilitate new medical approaches are crucial to advancements in health. The creation of such tools requires cross-disciplinary collaboration, expertise and ingenuity. We are seeking ideas that combine engineering, science, medicine and business for medical devices and biomedical materials that will benefit patients.
Early Detection & Diagnostic Tests
Early detection and diagnosis of diseases, infections and other conditions results in better health management. We are interested in novel, cost-effective and accurate early detection and diagnostic assays and tests that will allow individuals and their caregivers to take preemptive and/or informed measures to maintain or improve quality of life.
Addressing the World's Aging Population
Aging populations across the world necessitate transformation in elder care. Examples include therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, technologies that help monitor and manage chronic conditions, and services for compassionate care and counseling. We seek entrepreneurial solutions to address the myriad health and societal issues faced by an aging global population.
When we bring people together across disciplines and across schools, as this challenge has done, things happen that would otherwise be unimaginable. I have great confidence that we’re going to see some great outcomes from the work in this competition.”