This past November 2nd 2018, the Centre for Biomedical Research (CBR) at the University of Victoria (UVic), hosted the 2nd Annual Biomedical Engineering Entrepreneurship Partnership Day, also known as BEEP Day in the Student Union Building at UVic. This event brings together startups and industry representatives with members from biomedical engineering programs across British Columbia to showcase share their work, vision, research, and goals, fostering the development of networks and partnerships between these parties. This year’s BEEP Day recruited over 160 attendees, all with very diverse backgrounds, including faculty members, students, and researchers who expressed their excitement by actively participating in panels, forums, and poster presentations. The event was sponsored by NSERC, BCRegMED, Coast Capital, RPKM, Peprotech, Biogems, and CAMTEC-UVic.

The day started with tours across multiple research labs at UVic, followed by talks from keynote speakers, such as Sue Paish (CEO, Digital Supercluster) and Alan Winter (Innovation Commissioner for BC), who gave fascinating talks about Canada’s potential in digital technology development and innovation, as well as sharing funding opportunities for biomedical engineering and health-sciences research programs looking to tackle some of the health-related problems Canadians still face today. The day continued with a networking lunch and a discussion panel about the issues, challenges, and rewards from translating innovations and research from academia to the clinic, featuring Dr. Josh Giles (Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UVic), Martin Poulin (Director of Biomedical Engineering at Vancouver Island Health Authority), and Dr. David Naysmith (Plastic Surgeon at Vancouver Island Health Authority). Later, a second panel on Biomedical Entrepreneurship featured Dr. Jennie Christensen (CEO, TrichAnalytics), Paige Whitehead (CEO, Nyoka Designs), and Dr. Noor Shaikh (Venture Manager, Creative Destruction Lab) discussed the spectrum of opportunities in the innovation field, providing perspectives from their personal experiences. The agenda finished with a poster presentation session with students involved in Biomedical research showcasing their work. Winners of the poster session were Christopher Lee, Sukhi Singh, James Mackenzie, and Brent Godau.

Make sure to follow UVic’s Centre for Biomedical Research @UVicCBR for the latest updates coming from the island.

By Laura De La Vega
PhD Candidate (UVic)