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Lungpacer device wins another top tech award

November 19, 2009

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SFU biomedical physiologist Andy Hoffer, whose Lungpacer diaphragm-pacing device reduces recovery time for patients on mechanical ventilators, was one of six SFU winners at the B.C. Innovation Council (BCIC) Connect ’09 awards honouring the year’s top technology innovators.

Hoffer’s device, now being commercialized by SFU spin-off Lungpacer Medical Inc., won him the event’s $25,000 emerging technology award recognizing a new made-in-B.C. technology at the pre-investment stage.

The Lungpacer activates the diaphragm to reverse the muscle-disuse atrophy that delays patients from being weaned off ventilators.

The BCIC also gave one of its first two Entrepreneurship Fellow awards to Gerri Sinclair, founding director of SFU’s ExCite lab, Canada’s first multimedia R&D centre. She is currently executive director of the Master’s of Digital Media program at Great Northern Way Campus, an educational consortium operated by SFU, UBC, BCIT and Emily Carr U.

The new $20,000 fellowship recognizes a permanent faculty member at a B.C. post-secondary institution who is a leader in technology innovation and commercialization.

Sinclair was previously general manager of Microsoft’s MSN Canada network and founder of NCompass Labs, a Web content-management software company. She was also the first president of the Premier’s Technology Council.

In addition, four BCIC graduate scholarship recipients from SFU won student business-plan awards. MBA students Hoby Chou and Octavia Yung won for their plan to commercialize a naturally engineered skin substitute.

And computing science grad students Ken Herdy and Patrick Lam won for a plan to develop a new high-performance processing technology for XML (extensible markup language), an encoding language for the Web.

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