For the past 6 years, CelluForce has sponsored the sustainable nanomaterials design competition at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada). During this competition, talented undergraduate students in the nanotechnology program propose innovative ways of using cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and provide both a technical and commercial analysis.
The competition took place on December 1st and a total of 10 teams presented in front of a panel of judges. The panel was composed of 3 CelluForce staff members: Richard Berry, (Chief Technology Officer), Sassan Hojabr (Technical Development Manager) and Debbie Wu (Technical Development Specialist) and was anchored by Michael Pope, Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo. Again, this year, the judges were very impressed by the quality of the presentations and had a difficult time choosing the winners of the cash prizes. In the end, the cash prizes were awarded as follows:
The first prize went to the “NanoNoms” team who proposed the use of CNC grafted to chitosan to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and fats. Congratulations to Emma Atkinson, George Fawzy, Trevor Hubbard and Gurprett Ranhawa!
The second prize went to the “Rubber vulcanization” team for their concept of tire vulcanization using CNC. Congratulations to Javaid Baksh, John Philip Lee, Lydia Cheng and Mia San Gabriel!
The third prize went to “ACE lubricants” who proposed the use of CNC based lubricants compatible with e-coat paints. Congratulations to Jacob Nigh, John Tytus, Dean Stipanic and Yousef Ibrahim!
The price for the best commercial potential application went to “CelluLotion from JJLM Cosmetics” who proposed a natural cream with CNC based UV protection.
Congratulations to the winners and to all participants!
These students are among the best in the world. In addition to learning high-level science skills, they study in a commercial development environment to generate innovative solutions that provide answers to societal challenges by using CNC, the natural nanomaterial.