April 15, 2020

Storytellers showcase campus changemakers in Innovation Untold contest

Students and innovators receive more than $20,000 in cash prizes

Innovation Untold, a collaboration between Innovation@UCalgary and a senior-level communication and media studies course instructed by Dr. Samantha Thrift, PhD, invited students across campus to connect with a UCalgary innovator and create a compelling three-minute video to showcase their work.

The grand prize of $5,000 was awarded to Hesamaddin Rezaei for their video When Lupines Bloom, which captures the work of undergraduate researcher Catharine Bowman, who has worked with Dr. Pierre-Yves von der Weid, PhD, since 2014 to explore novel pharmacological interventions for lymphedema. Lymphedema is an inflammatory disease most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.

“Telling the abbreviated story of Catherine Bowman let me know how many unsolved problems still exist in the world,” says Rezaei.

Students were encouraged to get to know the stories of innovators on campus, and as an added bonus, innovators highlighted in the winning videos were also awarded a cash prize as a thank you for their time and contribution to the submission.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to share this journey and raise awareness for lymphedema through Hesam's media creation. Many thanks to Innovation Untold for providing a creative platform that supports the work of UCalgary community members," says Bowman.

 “One of the goals with the contest was to showcase our innovators and the research and developments taking place on campus across all faculties. We have an enormous amount of innovation activity at UCalgary and we want to share those stories,” says Dr. Steve Larter, PhD, associate vice-president (research - innovation). “Our hope is that by getting even more UCalgary students and postdoctoral scholars involved at the ground level, it will inspire others to explore what innovation means to them.”

The second place prize of $2,500 was awarded to Alejandro Gutierrez for their exploration of UCalgary internship program Medventions YYC, and the third place prize of $2,000 was awarded to Stephen Ng for Unlocking the Brain, a feature on brain imaging company, Neuraura.

Three honourable mentions received $1,000 each:

The Innovation in Communication $2,500 prize was awarded to Ifeatu Harris-Eze for What's in a story? | Collecting Data Through Storytelling, and the $1,000 People’s Choice was awarded to Minh Do for Bike Root.

To watch all the videos, visit the playlist on the UCalgary YouTube channel, or visit the Innovation Untold webpage.

Innovation Untold is supported by the Research Support Fund and the Incremental Project Grant.

The federal government’s Research Support Fund (RSF) assists Canadian post-secondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by Tri-Council agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC). The Research Support Fund helps the university create an environment where researchers can focus on their research, collaborate with colleagues, and translate their discoveries and innovations. The Incremental Project Grant is a new stream of the RSF that focuses on innovation and commercialization activities, facilities renewal, information resources, and equity, diversity, and inclusion. Read more about how UCalgary uses the Research Support Fund.