The 2020 Collegiate Inventors Competition is an annual competition for college and university students and their advisers. Finalist teams (including five groups of undergraduates and five of graduates), consist of students from nine colleges and universities across the U.S.
These inventions include everything from bioadhesives to medical treatments for cancer or disease.
For example, this year one of the first-pace graduate winners (for a prize of $10,000) was a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The team members, Hyunwoo Yuk and adviser, Xuanhe Zhao, created the SanaHeal, a stronger seal for surgical success.
During surgery, tissue adhesives are regularly used to support suture or staple lines. However, current adhesives are ineffective to seal wet tissues, do not provide rapid, strong adhesion, and often lack a stable and long-term sealing capacity. The SanaHeal bioadhesive is a dry strip of tape that has the unique ability to bind wet tissues together and can potentially replace the staples or sutures used to close surgical sites following an operation and provide healthier healing.
“Global crises and challenges don’t stop innovation — they accelerate it,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “We are proud to recognize these young inventors who demonstrate the Innovation Mindset that empowers them to think big and solve the world’s greatest problems.”
This year, the students presented their inventions in a virtual format to an esteemed panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and innovation experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials.
Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO and Arrow Electronics (Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award). In addition to cash awards, the winning teams also receive an opportunity to meet with a NIHF Inductee for mentorship and advice.