Winners of our first R3 Student Innovation Challenge

Last Fall, we asked ourselves the question, how can we better expose students to what life is like as an applied researcher? So we thought, how about a realistic job preview of what it’s like to apply for research funding, just like our college and university professors do?

So we created the R3 Student Innovation Challenge. It started with a call for submissions to undergraduates, and then helped them by providing proposal building workshops at the university campuses across the province.

With a prize pot of $25,000, the aim was to give three students some of the money they need to work on an innovative project. Some for pay and the rest for the materials they need to do their work.

For its first year, we were very impressed with the caliber of the submissions, and after a lot of debate, we narrowed it down to five finalists and ultimately three winners:

Second runner-up was a group of engineering students at UNB who want to invent a way to store the excess energy your heat pump generates when you’re not home. The team includes Jordan Kenny, Eric Hatfield, Daniel Larsen and James MacLean.

First runner-up was Tierza Petterson, a biology student at Mount Allison who wants to reduce the rate of obesity by figuring out how to control the signals in our brain that increase appetite.

Noemi Pepin, a biology student at Université de Moncton who wants to selectively breed the cannabis plant to make it more disease resistant for farmers, was awarded the top prize.

The winners and students were presented at NBIF’s R3 Gala in March 2016.

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